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Anil John

Summer in the Shenandoah National Park

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The U.S. National Park System is one of the truly great treasures that can be enjoyed by all generations of people that live and visit the United States. On the East Coast of the United States, one of the crown jewels of the National Park System is the Shenandoah National Park. For those who are interested in visiting the Shenandoah National Park, I would recommend the following two resources as starting points:

As someone who enjoys hiking and backpacking, I am extremely fortunate that we live within a 3 hour ride of the Shenandoah National Park, which has over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

My family and I spent this long Independence Day weekend in the Park and had a very relaxing and enjoyable time. While there are many lodging options, we chose to stay at the Skyland Lodge which, at mile 41.7 of the Skyline Drive, is centrally located and provided a great base to explore all that the Park has to offer. As mentioned on their web site “If you are looking for 4 diamond, luxury accommodations with all the amenities, Skyland is not the place for you. The absence of in-room phones and WIFI only enhances the quietness of the surroundings. Skyland lets you leave the hi-tech world behind so you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.” Given that the opportunity to disconnect completely and enjoy the surroundings together was exactly what we were looking for, this worked out very well for us.

On a related note, given my son’s multiple food allergies, a criteria that we use to gauge whether or not we will ever stay at a place again is how they address our concerns with food allergies. And on that score, ARAMARK, which manages and operates the concessions in the Shenandoah National Park and operates it under contract to the National Park Service, turned out to be absolutely top notch and we could not have been happier with them. I especially want to call out and complement Mr. Peter Bizon, the Executive Chef for the Park’s ARAMARK managed properties (which includes Skyland), who personally coordinated the service that we received from the restaurant and from all the food service staff. He and his staff were friendly, accommodating, and made my son feel special and not different, and we can’t ask for anything more than that. Thank You, Peter!

We did some hiking around the area, which included a bit of the Appalachian Trail, and discovered that the Skyland area is very near the highest point of the Appalachian Trail within the Shenandoah National Park.

All in all, we had a great time and a visit to a National Park, and especially Shenandoah if you are on the East Coast, is something I would highly recommend to take a refreshing break from our our furious, fast paced, always connected world.

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This blog post first appeared on Anil John | Blog ( The opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent my employer’s view in any way.

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