SNP collaborates with utility partners

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Shenandoah National Park (SNP) is taking proactive measures to fortify its infrastructure in collaboration with utility partners, aiming to minimize potential damage from future weather occurrences.

The initiative involves the replacement of utility poles and the restoration of power lines along two key utility corridors within the park.

Consequently ,certain visitor services will be affected at Elkwallow, Mathews Arm Campground, and the Big Meadows area.

Updates for Visitors in the Big Meadows Area:

  • During April, intermittent power outages will occur between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from Mondays to Thursdays.
  • Shower facilities will be closed between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays.
  • Normal Park operations will resume on Fridays through Sundays.
  • Wood and ice sales remain available at Big Meadows Wayside until further notice.
  • Comfort stations/bathrooms in the loops of Big Meadows Campground will continue to operate fully.

Big Meadows Wayside and the visitor center at Big Meadows will function mostly as usual with the assistance of generators.

However, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from Mondays through
Thursdays, Wi-Fi services may experience disruptions, exhibits will be closed, and movie screenings will be suspended.

Big Meadows Lodge is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, as planned.

Elkwallow Wayside & Mathews Arm Campground:

  •  Renovation work for these areas will commence upon completion of the tasks at Big Meadows.
  • Opening dates for these facilities are to be determined later due to the ongoing renovations.

For individuals with campground reservations until mid-June who have not received communication regarding their reservation at Mathews Arm, please reach out to Mindy Bogue at or 540-999-3500 x3405.

Guests have the option to relocate their camping reservations to either Big Meadows or Loft Mountain Campgrounds.

However, availability may be limited at these sites due to the closure
of Mathews Arm.

Alternatively, guests may opt for a refund if they choose to cancel their reservation.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Seedlings for sale

The Virginia Department of Forestry is accepting seedling orders from Virginia landowners.

With over 60 years of research behind their inventory for the best suited for Virginia soil and climate.

Orders are being accepted from now until later April.

Shipping will begin in February, once the ground has thawed.

They have available a wide selection of bare root seedlings, and specialty
seedling packs to meet specific goals like fall colors, buffers, or pollinator and wildlife habitat.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Calling all educators!

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Shenandoah National Park is planning their spring programs and are currently booking for April, May, and early June.

Bookings can be made for virtual or in-park presentations by the educational team.

All programs meet Virginia State standards with the beauty of Shenandoah National Park.

Classroom teachers and homeschool co-ops may learn more about their programs at

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Why is April called that?

The fourth month, but it wasn’t always.  It used to be the second month, that is before the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar.  How did April get it’s name?  According to Dictionary dot com, one explanation is that the name is rooted in the Latin Aprilis, which is derived from the Latin aperire meaning “to open,” which could be a reference to the opening or blossoming of flowers and trees, a common occurrence throughout the month.  Another theory holds that since months are often named for gods and goddesses, and since Aphrilis is derived from the Greek Aphrodite, it is possible the month was named for the Greek goddess of love. Yet another origination story; around the fifth century, the Anglo-Saxons referred to April as Eostre-monath, a reference to the goddess Eostre, whose feast was celebrated during the month.  However it got it’s name, we love April and it’s showers.  Because April showers bring May Flowers.  And everyone knows what Mayflowers bring; Pilgrims. Listen to the podcast here;