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Old 05-13-2019, 01:08 PM   #1
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Big Meadows Shenandoah National parks worth bringing bikes?

I am heading to stay at big meadows next month. Are there any bike paths at the park or near campground or should I just leave bikes and plan to hike?

Iím also planning on not bringing another vehicle. It appears my Ace should be able to go through the entire Skyline Drive route. We donít have a dolly or car suitable to flat tow and wonít have one in time. Has anyone driven the drive with a motorhome and if so any issues?
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:31 AM   #2
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There are bike trails in the area. That said you are at one of the highest places on the Drive so most everything you do will be down then back up to campground. I always go too far down then struggle to make the climb back up. I'm a slow learner sometimes.

Check your height on motorhome. I don't think you will have any trouble but there is a tunnel or two on the drive. I've taken our 5th wheel through and it is 12'5" at the top of the air conditioner. Just to be safe I stay near the center line when going through.

Have fun. It is a beautiful area.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:32 PM   #3
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The only tunnels with height issues are at the southern end of the BRP. None on Skyline Drive. I'm not sure what to say about the bikes; kind of depends on how you do on hills. But bikes are not a lot of weight and we take ours everywhere. We have never towed a car and are not towing one behind our current 34' Mirada.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:28 PM   #4
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There are bike trails in the area. That said you are at one of the highest places on the Drive so most everything you do will be down then back up to campground. I always go too far down then struggle to make the climb back up. I'm a slow learner sometimes.

Check your height on motorhome. I don't think you will have any trouble but there is a tunnel or two on the drive. I've taken our 5th wheel through and it is 12'5" at the top of the air conditioner. Just to be safe I stay near the center line when going through.

Have fun. It is a beautiful area.

Thanks for your input. We have 5 kids under 10 so a long uphill climb isnít likely to be fun. We will probably just leave the bikes at home. I think we will be fine height wise on ours. We are listed at under 12 from factory. Iíll double check the height this week thought.

Are there enough hiking trials out of big meadows to occupy us for 4 days Orr will we need to drive to trail heads elsewhere? My wife is wanting to drive separately with the minivan. Iím just looking at map and that could be helpful but thatís a long drive for both of us to do for the trip.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:24 PM   #5
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Why don't you rent a car once you get in the area for the 4 days there?
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:13 AM   #6
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Why don't you rent a car once you get in the area for the 4 days there?

Thatís an option. Iíll check with enterprise on minivan options for when we arrive.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:33 AM   #7
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There are several trails from the campground but some of the better trails (White Oak Canyon, Mary's Rock or Old Rag) are a short drive.

The area right around Big Meadow is relatively flat, some up and down so it depends on how far you want to ride with the kids.

The tunnel I was thinking about is if you travel the BRP from Front Royal side. Coming up Rt 211 to the parkway and turning towards Big Meadow. It is listed on Allstays at 12'8". Coming in from the other side is no issue.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:19 AM   #8
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Thanks for the insight on area around camp and other trails. My wife now decided she wants to start our trip with a weekend at Canaan valley West Virginia. So with it being a 7 night trip we are just going to drive separately. We will bring the bikes since the campground is flat and worst case we can let the kids ride off some energy after dinner around the campground. Hopefully mid week at the National Park will mean fewer crowds.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:45 AM   #9
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Just got back from Canaan Valley. 2 sunny days, 2 rainy days. Lots of hiking trails in the park and nearby. Biking around campground and in the park are worth hauling the bikes. Campground is older and lots of sites are small for newer campers but folks find ways into them.

There are 3 kid friendly trails in the park. One from the campground, one from the beaver dam overlook and one at the golf club. In the area there are lots of trails. We've been going there once or twice a year for 40 years and still occasionally find a new one.

Good choice but try and get a reservation. Once school lets out it usually stays pretty booked. Have fun. Both Canaan Valley and Big Meadow are very pretty places.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:55 AM   #10
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The only tunnels with height issues are at the southern end of the BRP. None on Skyline Drive.
Mary's Rock Tunnel is on the Skyline Drive at MM 32.2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marys_Rock_Tunnel
Hieght is listed at 12'8". That tunnel is between Rt 211 at Thornton Gap. If you come into Big Meadows from Rt 33 at Swift Run Gap you would avoid the tunnel.



Quote:
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Thanks for the insight on area around camp and other trails. My wife now decided she wants to start our trip with a weekend at Canaan valley West Virginia. So with it being a 7 night trip we are just going to drive separately. We will bring the bikes since the campground is flat and worst case we can let the kids ride off some energy after dinner around the campground. Hopefully mid week at the National Park will mean fewer crowds.
The campground is fairly big, so there is plenty of riding there. There is also a picnic area nearby, as well as road to the lodge. The only trail that allows bikes is the road through the Big Meadows field, but only for a short distance before a sign warning of hikers only beyond a certain point.

Most roads around and through the campground are hilly.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:57 AM   #11
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I just reserved three nights at Canaan. I’ll be bringing the bikes. I’ve been to Timberline ski area and know Canaan is a very pretty place I bet it’s even better in spring. The campground seems like it has nice amenities with the pool and full hook ups. We are definitely excited.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:26 AM   #12
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Mary's Rock Tunnel is on the Skyline Drive at MM 32.2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marys_Rock_Tunnel
Hieght is listed at 12'8". That tunnel is between Rt 211 at Thornton Gap. If you come into Big Meadows from Rt 33 at Swift Run Gap you would avoid the tunnel.
Just so there's no question, here's where that tunnel is located:
Click image for larger version

Name:	Tunnel.JPG
Views:	6
Size:	157.7 KB
ID:	246058

I see that your 2014 Thor Ace 30.2 specs show the exterior height (with A/C) to be 11' 11". You should be good to go.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:30 AM   #13
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Just so there's no question, here's where that tunnel is located:
Attachment 246058

I see that your 2014 Thor Ace 30.2 specs show the exterior height (with A/C) to be 11' 11". You should be good to go.

Take care,
Stu


Thanks for posting that. I agree I should be fine. I did put new tires and they upgraded ac for previous owner so Iíll measure to verify height before any low bridges.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:11 PM   #14
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When measuring your height remember to include the AC & anything else that sticks up over the roof.
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