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Madison County has been a crossroads of history for over 11,000 years. Paleo-Indians, the royal governor Alexander Spottswood and the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe, as well as Civil War Generals Stonewall Jackson and J. E. B. Stuart along with their men have all been visitors to Madison County. Trails and early roads led through the Piedmont area of Madison and up into the Blue Ridge Mountains enabling 18th and 19th century travelers to enter the Shenandoah Valley. Early settlers included German, English and Scots/Irish families in the 18th century. Descendants of these families still live in Madison.
President Herbert Hoover bought land in the mountain area of Madison and built his summer camp there. His official visit to the town of Madison in August 1929 is commemorated annually.
The county has retained its rich agricultural tradition and has maintained the architectural heritage of 18th and 19th century buildings and homes. Museums offer a view to the past for history buffs of all ages and a walking tour of the town of Madison enables visitors to appreciate its beauty. Travel through the county will bring the visitor into the unique blend of country life today amidst the historical evidence of years gone by.
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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.