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Photo essay: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Photographs by Arman Molki
Written by Sepideh Mahani

November 26, 2002
The Iranian

Sixty miles west of Washington DC you will come across one of the most spectacular places on earth. Shenandoah National Park in the state of Virginia is a place where mother earth leaves its spectators astonished by its beauty.

Skyline Drive, which is the pathway through this phenomenal park, is a 105-mile road that winds around the edge of the mountains, and carries its viewers to the climax of beauty. With each curve and bend, you are elevated to a higher point, where an overlook of a magnificent landscape awaits you. The amazing curvature of the Skyline Drive can even take you as high as 4,049 feet above the ground, where you can stand above the clouds and inhale the crisp air.

All through the park you are embraced by Oak-Hickory trees, with more than 95 percent of the park covered by forests and about 100 species. The park also holds more than 500 miles of trails, including the Appalachian Trail. The trails may follow a ridge crest, which takes you to untamed spaces with panoramic views, and some even take you to waterfalls in deep valleys. T

he beauty of the Shenandoah National Park does not end with its landscape and scenery, but it goes as far as being the home to many animals. Through out the Skyline Drive and the park itself, almost every visitor will come across a peaceful brown-eye deer, or even a black bear. Recent statistics believe there are as many as 500 bears, and several thousand deer through out the Park.

The range of altitude, slopes and curves, rocks and soils, rainfall and autonomy makes Shenandoah National Park a significant place in North America. The beauty of the park carries on through every season of the year, with winter's bare trees and clear days being a great opportunity for distance observation.

While spring welcomes back the blooming red maples and the migrating birds into the park, summer fills the park with Wildflowers and butterflies. However the most beautiful time of the year portrayed by the park's wilderness is the fall season which peaks in late October with brilliant colors merging and creating a breathtaking and vibrant panorama.

So whether you want to hike, camp, or discover the many wonders of nature, Shenandoah National Park is the one place that truly presents it all, and elevates your sprit 4,049 feet above the ground.

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