Books on Virginia's Shenandoah Valley
This list is enhanced with hyperlinks direct to book pages on Amazon.com (for purchase or just for information). Clicking on links and images on this page will pop up a new window in your browser. Close it, and you can return to this page.
by Andrea Sutcliffe
Shenandoah, most often translated as "Daughter of the Stars", is one of the loveliest names in the language. Backroads travelers will find that it fits the Valley perfectly. Most people know the Shenandoah Valley for its Civil War-era history, from Robert E. Lee's capture of John Brown at Harpers Ferry in 1859 to Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862 to the Battle of New Market in 1864. Fewer know that the Winchester area was home to George Washington, explorer Richard Byrd, novelist Willa Cather, and singer Patsy Cline. Or that Thomas Jefferson owned the geologic wonder known as Natural Bridge. Or that the McCormick Farm near Steeles Tavern was the site of a revolutionary breakthrough in agriculture. The word Shenandoah may have had as many spellings and definitions as there are stars in the sky, but travelers will know they've reached the Valley when they see rugged Goshen Pass, the beautiful country roads between Lexington and Staunton, the Mennonite farms around Harrisonburg, and the mineral springs that first attracted visitors over 200 years ago. The 13 tours in this book explore areas of unspoiled wilderness and mountain landscapes within easy range of metropolitan centers like Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Richmond, and Norfolk.
by Russ Manning
75 trails and 70 scenic overlooks along the crest of the Blue Ridge Parkway. New maps and photos! Shenandoah National Park lies along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains of northeast Virginia, encompassing 196,000 acres, including 80,000 acres of federally designated wilderness. The trails in this thorough guide will take hikers along the peaks of the Blue Ridge, past waterfalls, and down into lush canyons. In addition to the detailed information about each trail, you'll find information about park history, plants and animals, geology, and human history, plus some highlights of the 105-mile Skyline Drive.
by Steven Carroll & Mark Miller
Let Wild Virginia be your comprehensive guide to thirty roadless recreation areas in the state. Explore the pristine lands of Shenandoah National Park, Mount Rogers, St. Mary's, Ramsey's Draft, Laurel Fork, Brushy Mountain, and James River Face. Each carefully researched profile includes: at-a-glance information on location, size, and management status; a map showing major roads, trails, and access points; an overview of the landscape and its major features; a description of local recreational opportunities; suggested excursions - day hike, backpack, overnighter, cross-country ski, or canoe trip - with detailed information on how to get there, what you'll see, and when the best times are to go. In addition, you'll learn about protecting and preserving wilderness areas, tips for having a safe trip, and being prepared for natural hazards.
by Bert Gildart (Author), Jane T. Gildart
Rich in human history and wildlife, Shenandoah National Park is truly one of the jewels of the East. Located in northern Virginia, Shenandoah is an easy drive from Washington D.C., metro area. Park trails lead to sweeping views, rushing waterfalls, and historic points. With over 196,000 acres (79,000 of the designated wilderness), Shenandoah offers a wide variety of hikes for all abilities. Recently updated, Hiking Shenandoah National Park provides detailed descriptions and maps of 59 of the best hikes in the park. From easy day hikes to strenuous backpacking trips, this guide will provide you with all the latest information you need to plan virtually any type of hiking adventure in the park. Hiking Shenandoah is divided into sections according to the park's three districts: North, Central, and South. Each hike description includes the distance, level of difficulty, elevation information, a trail map, and a detailed narrative of the hike. The guide also includes overview maps and comprehensive information on backcountry safety, minimum impact techniques, and the park's human and natural history. Don't forget to include Hiking Shenandoah on you next adventure in the park.
by Joan Leotta
Fifty percent of the U.S. population lives within a half-day drive of the Shenandoah Valley region--now this guidebook will show the millions of Valley tourists the best this area has to offer.
by Hullihen Williams Moore (Photographer)
The only collection of photographs devoted to one of America's natural treasures, Shenandoah: Views of Our National Park documents one man's decades-long fascination with this uniquely beautiful region in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Hullihen Williams Moore has been visiting Shenandoah National Park since the mid-1960s, but it was after studying with Ansel Adams in 1979 that he began seriously photographing it. Through fifty-one black and white duotone photographic prints, Moore reveals the quiet beauty of Shenandoah National Park. From grand vistas and waterfalls to the delicate unfurling of new ferns, these photographs capture the singular appeal that attracts 1.7 million visitors to the park each year. In two essays, Moore addresses the natural and human history of the park as well as his own personal experience of it, including the stories behind the individual images. The author has also included a helpful appendix of technical details regarding the photographs.
by Bert Gildart & Jane Gildart
This handy guide includes 28 of the best day hikes in Virginia's popular national park. The hikes vary in length, but most are short and not too strenuous. To simplify hike selection, the trips are ranked from easiest to hardest. For visitors with only a day or two to explore Shenandoah, this is the book to pack.
by Michael P. Branch (Editor), Daniel J. Philippon (Editor), John Elder
"Including works by John Smith, George Washington, John James Audubon, Willa Cather, William Carlos Williams, and John Daniel, this book presents a collection of 70 essays, scientific reports, folklore transcriptions, diary entries, and works of fiction from 1612 to 1996 that explore the changing sense of place of those that lived in and visited the Blue Ridge and the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia." - Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR
by Regina H. Pierce, Sharon G. Yackso (Photographer)
Designed to give the discriminating traveler insight into some of the most interesting locations within the United States, this series makes planning a trip simple, enjoyable, and educational.
by Julia Davis, Lucian Niemeyer (Photographer)
"The Shenandoah Valley, a lush and elegant work of nature that rests between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains, has been the scene of many important historic events. It is famous for Revolutionary and Civil War battles as well as its early Native American settlements and the activity of American pioneers. Photographer Niemeyer, a native of Germany who has published three other photography books about America (Chesapeake Country, Abbeville, 1990), captures the landscapes, shows us the architecture and historic sites, and introduces us to Shenandoah's residents in nearly 200 color photos. Author Davis, who was reared in the area and wrote more than 20 books of history and fiction before her death in 1993, shares an abridgment of her 1945 book about Shenandoah. Her love of the land, its myths, and history pervades the informative text." - from Library Journal
by Michael G. Mahon
New interpretation of Philip Sheridan's 1864 Valley campaign! Firsthand reports of property captured or destroyed by Federals! Conventional wisdom has it that the Shenandoah Valley, called the granary of the Confederacy, was of vital strategic importance during the Civil War. New evidence, however, shows that since most of its resources were depleted by late 1862, the significance of the Valley has been overestimated. The author uses an extensive array of primary sources to back up this revolutionary thesis: diaries of Valley residents; records and correspondence of the Confederacy's Subsistence, Quartermaster, and War Departments; dispatches between Robert E. Lee and his subordinates; as well as recently discovered tax-in-kind records.
by Kenneth E. Koons (Editor), Warren R. Hofstra (Editor)
Among historians, the Great Valley of Virginia has long attracted attention as a battlefield and site of strategic importance during the Civil War. More recently, scholars have shown increasing interest in its early development during the eighteenth century -- the "backcountry" era when white settlers, pursuing property and land, took control of this vital region at the western edges of established English communities. But what of the valley's development after the passing of the frontier? How did it become a significant rural, agrarian, and small-town society of the Upper South? And how did its inhabitants respond to the new conditions unleashed by the Civil War? Seeking answers to such questions, the contributors to this volume focus on the social, economic, and cultural processes that shaped the lives of ordinary people in the region over the course of the nineteenth century. They look at how these inhabitants secured livelihoods, interacted with one another, and built or transmitted culture. Further, they strive to illuminate the values and mentalities that informed the conduct of these activities.
by Scott Hamilton Suter
"Anyone who has traveled through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia knows that it is a naturally beautiful place, unfortunately pocked, like most of the United States, with garish fast-food "restaurants." But there is more to the place than the mountains and corn fields, as Scott Suter's deeply informative book reveals. There are people, their customs, their culture: music, religion, food, basket-weaving, amateur sport.... The book proves that, in spite of those ubiquitous burger joints, there is still a "there" in America. So, I highly recommend a deeper trip through "the Valley." The book, by the way, is well researched, vaguely academic in tone, as it uncovers the antecedents to the Valley's current folkways; but that doesn't mean it's hard to read. It's also got some amazing photos. And I'm really grateful to at last have a recipe for "ham-pot pie"!" - Richard E. Gaughran from Bratislava, Slovakia
by Phyllis Pellman Good, Kate Good
Known for its piercing mountain ranges, its soft hilly pastures, and its Civil War secrets, Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is also home to thousands of Mennonites. Their foods are as lush and as whole as the land on which it is grown and prepared. Here are hundreds of those uncommonly tasty recipes, gathered from a comforting food tradition, rooted in the old South. Included are color photographs of the community and its people, and historic sketches of many of the Valley's small towns.