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Resting quietly in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia, with an area of about 363 square miles and a population of around 16,000, Giles County offers a relaxed small-town atmosphere for its residents and visitors.
Giles County is the location of Mountain Lake, one of only two natural fresh water lakes in Virginia. The Lake drains into Little Stony Creek, which passes over "The Cascades", a spectacular waterfall, before reaching the New River.
Thirty-seven miles of the New River flow through the heart of Giles County, and offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities for everyone. The New River is considered to be a rival of the James and the Rappahannock as one of the best fishing rivers in Virginia. Rafting, kayaking, canoeing and tubing are always popular on the New River.
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SKYLINE DRIVE... The Skyline Drive runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the park. You can enter Shenandoah at four places: Front Royal near Rt. 66 and 340, Thornton Gap at Rt. 211, Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33, and Rockfish Gap at Rt. 64 and Rt. 250 (also the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway). It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day.
As you travel along Skyline Drive you will notice mileposts on the west side (right side if you are traveling south) of the road. These posts help you find your way through the park and help you locate areas of interest. The mileposts begin with 0.0 at Front Royal and continue to 105 at the southern end of the park.
The speed limit is 35 mph, so you can roll down your windows, feel the breeze and experience every curve and turn of this beautiful drive. There are 75 overlooks that offer stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west or the rolling Piedmont to the east. The park purposely leaves the roadsides unmowed so wildflowers put on a show all year long.