This is a side project that I have been working on for the past few months. “Shadow of Skyline” started as a desire to see SNP without taking Skyline Drive. Once I got to Afton I figured I might as well keep going. There’s a section south of Natural Bridge VA that goes a little SSE of Buchanan VA that I need to get rubber on it before it gets added. For 4 wheels and camping it does get better the further south you go. Though the paved sections north of Afton are fun on 2 and 3 wheels.
The Massanutten ridge is something I want to explore eventually. For the eastern side of the SNP ridge I traced roads using the same sort of principle of putting your hand on a wall in a maze and following it on a USGS map. When I had a through path I traveled on it either in the FJ, the Ural or the R1200GS. Lots of dead ends. Sometimes at a gate. Sometimes the “road” washed out. Dipping into a gully strewn with boulders with what’s left of a road visible on the other side that was probably last used in the 1930s.
Lots of the fire roads and trails in SNP use to be roads for horse drawn carts to farms and settlements. When the park was created the residents were forced to move out and homes, farms, churches, schools, etc. were abandoned. My Sister’s Husband has some family history from that area and time. The Dodson’s had a farm at the base of Hazel Mountain. The Hazel Mountain Trail is the old road bed to the farm.
I’ll continue to work the east side and add the west too. The name will evolve to.