Shenandoah Commons Apartments

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

In addition to its many historic sites, the Shenandoah Valley has a lot to offer visitors interested in recreation and outdoor activities. The northern entrance to Shenandoah National Park is in Front Royal as is the picturesque Shenandoah River State Park. The city is also home to Skyline Caverns, the closest natural wonder to the nation's capital.


Skyline Caverns is located approximately two miles south west of downtown Front Royal. The site is one of the only places in the world where anthodite mineral formations are displayed. Discovered in 1937, the caverns opened to the public in 1939 and have welcomed millions of tourists in the past seven decades to explore underground Virginia.


Also located soth west of downtown Front Royal, Shenandoah River State Park is located along the south fork of the Shenandoah River. The park covers a naturally stunning 1,600 acres along 5.2 miles of shoeline. In addition to meandering river frontage, the park offers scenic views of Massanutten Mountain to the west and Shenandoah National Park to the east. A large riverside picnic area, picnic shelters, trails, river access and boat launch make this a popular destination for families, fisherman, and boaters. Shenandoah River State Park also offers ten riverfront campsites, cabins, 24 miles of trails and a new zipline.


Shenandoah National Park stretches from Front Royal to the Waynesboro-Charlottesville area. The popular tourist destination features over 500 miles of hilking trails and 196,000 acres open for backcountry camping. Skyline Drive runs north to south through the park and offers105 miles of scenic views. There are also unique opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing throughout the park. Sprawling across 14 states, the Appalachian Trail intersects with a southern portion of the park. The trail is approximately 2,180 miles long, with the greatest amount of miles (550) in the state of Virginia.

HISTORY

Originally called LeHewtown  after Peter LeHew, who purchased 200 acres in the area in 1754, Front Royal was later purchased by a group of real estate speculators who arranged to have it incorporated in 1788. Rail service was established in 1854 with the construction of the Alexandria, Orange, and Manassassas Gap Railroad. The line was soon extended further west to Strasburg, VA and Front Royal became the employment hub of the region for limber, agriculture, manufacturing, and grain mills.


On /may 23, 1862, Front Royal played a prominent role in the Civil War.  General Stonewall Jackson's Confederate forces overran Colonel John Kenly's Federal troops that day in what is known as the Battle of Front Royal. Driven through the town, the Federals made a stand on Camp Hill and again at Guard Hill after attempting to burn the Shenandoah River bridges in a rare example of urban combat during the Civil War. Outnumbered, Kenly retreated and later surrendered.


Today, visitors can embark on either a walking or driving self-guided tour featuring historic Civil War sites. The driving tour is 16 miles long and includes ten sites including Prospect Hill Cemetery, Warren County Courthouse, and Fairview, the site of the Federal surrender. The one-mile walking tour begins at the visitor's center and features more than 30 historic sites along Main Street and several historic homes on Chester Street.

LOCATION OVERVIEW

Front Royal, VA is situated approximately 90 minutes west of Washington D.C. The town of nearly 15,000 residents is highly commutable with close proximity to Interstate 66 and US Routes 522 and 340. Considered the northern gateway of the Shenandoah Valley and the Shenandoah National Park, Front Royal is a scenic destination for outdoor recreation including hiking and camping. Located at the junction of the North Fork and South Fork of the Shenandoah River, Front Royal has also been deemed the "canoe capital of Virginia". The town's history dates back to the late 1700's and today offers visitors both walking and driving tours to view historic sites from the Civil War. It's also home to other Civil War attractions such as the Warren Rifles Confederate Museum.

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