About the Site
Shenandoah National Park (10)  


Park History

Overlooks - Far North

Overlooks - Near North

Overlooks - Central

Overlooks - Near South

Overlooks - Far South

Shenandoah Valley

Skyline Drive

Dickey Ridge Visitor Center

Skyland Lodge

Big Meadows



Skyland Lodge

The premiere, and original, lodge and site for visitor amenities at Shenandoah National Park is a Skyland Lodge. The north entrance to this complex is found at mile 41.7 at an altitude of 3680 feet, while the south entrance is at mile 42.5 at an elevation of 3515 feet. The altitude of 3680 feet in this area is the highest point along Skyline Drive. Skyland represents the largest lodging facility in the park.

The entire complex features 3 dozen 1 and 2 story structures. There are a total of 178 rooms at the Skyland Resort. Skyland Lodge includes guest rooms, a dining room, and cabins.

In addition to the lodging available at the resort, the surrounding area would include horseback riding, pony rides, guided hikes, ranger programs, and other activities.

Visitor facilities on the Skyland site date back to the 1890's and the efforts of Skyland Resort creator and owner George Freeman Pollock. The rustic cabins in the resort were constructed in the early 1900's.

The area in which the resort is now found was originally developed in the 1850's for the mining of copper. There was also a copper boom in the Bue Ridge from 1845-1850 and beyond. George Freeman Pollock first visited the areas near Stony Man Mountain in 1886 to visit a copper mine on lands owned by his father, a shareholder in an unsuccessful copper mining company, Miners Lode Copper Co. Pollock was immediately impressed with the beauty of the area and recognized the attractiveness of the area to tourists. He conceived the idea for a resort in that area.

With the help of his father Stephen he established a resort he called the Stony Man Camp. Initially, the resort comprised a group of tents which served as accommodations for tourists. Pollock started with a tent camp in the area why Skyland now exists. In 1891, he built a rough hotel for visitors on the site along with 2 cottages. With some effort Pollock was able to gain control of the land in the area and proceed with his plans.

For potential visitors, ParkVision recommends "Story Behind the Scenery" guides and "Trails Ilustrated" maps.

Initially the resort was known as "Stony Man Camp", but after a few years Pollock renamed it Skyland. He as challenged by persistent financial difficulties, but ultimately was successful in creating a popular resort. By the mid-1890's there were log cabins, gardens, and other amenities on the site, and the Skyland Resort became famous. By 1910, the resort included a number of bark-covered cabins along with a rustic dining room. In 1920, Pollock's wife, Addie Nairn Pollock, purchased the adjoining Limberlost area to save the old-growth forest which existed there.

The "resort", known as Stony Man Camp, featured tents as accommodations. Pollock was eventually able to purchase the resort, renaming it the Skyland Resort. Although not tremendously successful, with much promotion Pollock was able to hold onto the resort and the land surrounding it. He eventually acquired about 6,000 acres in the area. Pollock became one of the primary proponents of what became Skyline Drive and was an early and enthusiastic champion of the idea of a national park in the area and worked hard in convincing officials that the Shenandoah area was worthy of a national park.

In 1937 the Virginia Skyline Company, now known as Aramark, was named the park concessionaire. Pollock sold all of his interests in the Skyland Lodge and the land he owned to the company, and it took over the management of Skyland Lodge. He was afforded a cabin building where he could reside when he desired. The concessionaire dictated much of the development of the park from 1937 to 1942.

The area around the Skyland Resort provides beautiful views of the Shenandoah Valley. These are especially accessible in the area behind the lodge, although at some times the fog may obscure long range views.

The mountaintops in the park are often covered by fog. Occasionally, however, it is the valleys which are covered by the mist, a phenomenon sometimes called the "fog ocean." This occurs when there is cold air in the valley and a layer of warmer air above it, which results in fog at the lower elevations. The picture below looks down into the Shenandoah Valley from the Skyland Resort.

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  • All photographs ©Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging, 1994-2013

  • Commercial use of the images contained in this document without express written consent is strictly prohibited.

  • Comments and other remarks can be sent via e-mail to parkvision@shannontech.com

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