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Shooting locations in Virginia?

Adam C , Feb 03, 2009; 01:45 p.m.

I live in Virginia, but have realized that I don't even know my own state enough. What are some good shooting locations in the dead of winter?
I was thinking of skyline drive, but it's a rather large area. Does anyone have specific locations, such as good scenic views or waterfalls? Or any other areas of the state?


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Matt Laur , Feb 03, 2009; 02:47 p.m.

Well... which part of Virginia? It's a long haul from, say, Covington (in the Allegheny Highlands) to the Great Falls gorge or Harper's Ferry areas along the Potomac, north of DC.

Kerry Grim , Feb 03, 2009; 02:49 p.m.

I have never been there in winter. I was there in June the past two summers and loved the place. Great photo opportunities. I have no idea how it is during winter but apparently some visitor centers are open during winter weekends.

My suggestion to be would be to go to a visitors center and pick up hiking literature or purchase information on line through the Shenandoah National Park Association. You may find what you need online.

Most of Skyline Drive is above 3000 feet and the trails go down from there. I have no idea how the roads or trails are or whether the road is even passible at this time of year. Surely there are trails from low elevation but I am not familiar with them. By all means visit this undiscovered park of the East!

Consider also a visit to Chincoteague. The place is great around Thanksgiving, but probaly worth a vist during the dead of winter as well.

Matthew Newton , Feb 03, 2009; 02:49 p.m.

Matt just brought up the Harper's Ferry area, quite beautiful. Shanandoah park is also wonderful, especially with a good snow fall. Out towards Williamsburg can be pretty as well with some snow fall. I think the issue is that not to many winter places look all that great without a good snowfall. Some exceptions can be made here and there though.

Adam C , Feb 03, 2009; 02:50 p.m.

I'm talking anywhere that's a two hour drive from central Virginia (Richmond area).

Kerry Grim , Feb 03, 2009; 02:59 p.m.

Only about 86 miles from Richmond to Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park.

Matt Laur , Feb 03, 2009; 03:10 p.m.

It's pretty hard to reliably expect snow coverage in VA at any given time during the winter. I guess that's why I mentioned the Potomac gorge... the rocks and whitewater are always interesting. But 2 hours from Richmond? All depends on the day, time, and the traffic. Northern VA is completely capricious, that way.

Chris Werner , Feb 03, 2009; 11:17 p.m.


I'm in Richmond as well - e-mail me if you want to brainstorm privately.

As to specific suggestions, the rapids in Richmond can provide some interesting shots. To the west, Crabtree Falls and Big Meadows spring to mind. Big Meadows has some nicely colored flora that can make for nice shots. There are also some waterfalls near Big Meadows, but I recall a decent amount of hiking being involved. In low humidity conditions, some of the overlooks up to Afton Mountain can be nice. Goshen Pass near Lexington is good too.

I'm not sure it's up your alley, but if you can get onto the Kingsmill grounds in Wiliamsburg there's a fantastic view of the Ghost Fleet from points near the clubhouse. Pretty spooky seeing those ships there, though far fewer than in the past.

Ed Chambers , Feb 03, 2009; 11:53 p.m.

This workshop group has been around for a while. They go to Sperryville VA near Lurray all the time, and also have a workshop coming up that features a blacksmith.


Adam C , Feb 04, 2009; 09:14 a.m.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm just getting started in photography - that's why I live in Virginia but am still asking good places to shoot.

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