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Rappahannock County is in the Northern Virginia region. The crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the western boundary and is one of Virginia's most scenic counties. The Rappahannock River is the northeastern boundary.
Shenandoah National Park has 32,000 acres in the county and provides ideal settings for fishing, hunting, horseback riding, hiking, camping and canoeing. The Appalachian Trail and Skyline Drive that traverse the mountain crests are easily accessible from the county, too. For those doing the Skyline Drive you can enter or exit at Thornton Gap at Rt. 211, near Sperryville.
The town of Washington (the county seat) is well known for its Inn at Little Washington, which showcases a splendid gourmet restaurant and first-class lodging, attracting patrons from around the world. On July 24, 1749, the town layout as it appears today was surveyed and platted by 17 year old George Washington with the assistance of his chainmen John Lonem and Edward Corder as part of his service to Fairfax. The village was officially established as a Town by the Virginia General Assembly on December 14, 1795 when it gained the requisite population of 200. It was the first of more than 30 "Washingtons" across the country and the only one surveyed by Washington himself.
Horse lovers will find the county in the midst of a multi-county region where the horse industry is prominent. Fox hunting, steeplechase racing, horse shows and polo matches are popular.
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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.