The Northern Mountain Region of Virginia

The Northern Mountain Region of Virginia is also know as the Shenandoah Valley Region in many guidebooks. The two mountain ranges that make up this region are divided by the great valley of the Shenandoah. To the west are the Allegheny Mountains and on the east are the Blue Ridge Mountains. Between them is Virginia’s premiere  agricultural heritage region.

The Shenandoah Valley begins in the north near Winchester. Its southern boundary is sometimes described as “just south of Lexington.” According to the state’s tourism map, the Shenandoah Valley continues all the way south to Roanoke and Salem and is overlapped by the Roanoke Valley.

The Shenandoah Valley is clearly defined, however, to the east and west. The ragged peaks of the Allegheny Mountain range lie to the west. Forty miles to the east are the rounded peaks of the old, eroded Blue Ridge range. Both mountain ranges are visible on a drive through the Shenandoah Valley or on a float down one of its rivers.

The Shenandoah Valley was known as the Breadbasket of the Confederacy during the Civil War. As a result, General Sheridan’s Union troops destroyed homes, barns, livestock, corn cribs, and crops on the valley’s largest farms. Scores of bloody battles were fought up and down the length of this fertile land.

via Sherpa Guides | Virginia | Mountains | Valley & Ridge III | Shenandoah Valley.

The fourteen counties that make up the  Northern Mountain Region are (in a more or less north to south list):

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