13 acres affected by SNP wildfire

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Over 13 acres of Shenandoah National Park faced the effects of a wildfire that started around 2 pm on Thursday and lasted till 11 pm that evening.

National Park Service firefighters and a crew from the United States Forest Service got the blaze under control in the Big Meadows area.

Several trails in the region and Rapidan Road remain closed while crews continue to clear remnants of the wildfire.

A power line in the impacted area left Big Meadows Wayside, Campground and Picnic Grounds and Lewis Mountain temporarily without power.

Those areas, which opened for the season yesterday, have reopened with power restored.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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

SNP looks to lease locally for seasonal workers

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

The Shenandoah National Park announced that they are looking for help in housing their seasonal employees this year.

The SNP is seeking to lease a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and/or three-or-more bedroom units with full kitchens, bathrooms, and a living/dining space to house between 1 to 50 employees.

Fully or partially furnished residences are preferred.

SNP must be able to lease the property from mid-April to mid-November.

They are specifically looking for properties in the area of Front Royal, Luray, Stanley, Elkton, and Harrisonburg.

Offered spaces must meet government requirements and be registered through SAM.gov.

To learn more about the NPS Leasing Program, click here.

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

Skyline Drive fully reopens

Shenandoah National Park announced that the entirety of Skyline Drive is once again open to through access.

National Park Service crews and volunteers from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club worked diligently to clear the southern section of the Drive between mile 65.5 at the Swift Run Entrance Station to mile 105.5 at the Rockfish Gap Entrance Station.

The winter storm in December began closing stretches of Skyline Drive due to downed tree limbs, ice blocking Mary’s Rock Tunnel, and other roadway hazards.

Click here to view some pictures of the crew’s hard work to clear the Drive.

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

Portions of Skyline Drive reopen

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Skyline Drive has reopened from the Thornton Gap Entrance Station at mile 31.5 to the Swift Run Entrance Station at mile 65.5.

The stretch from the Front Royal Entrance Station at mile 0 to mile 5 at the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center is also open.

All other sections of Skyline Drive remain closed to all visitors including vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and horses.

This differs from regular park policy due to the dangerous nature of the work taking place in the closed areas.

The clean-up and work taking place stems from the ice storm earlier this winter.

The Shenandoah National Park Facebook page will continue to update the situation.

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

National Parks celebrate Public Lands Day

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

National Parks across the country are celebrating Public Lands Day with free admission today.

There are plenty of options within driving distance including the Shenandoah National Park, Harpers Ferry, and Fort McHenry National Monument among others.

Not only are the parks open for public use, there will also be volunteer opportunities at most parks such as clean ups, pollinator garden planting, and more.

National Public Lands Day is the country’s largest single-day volunteer event.

To learn more or find volunteer opportunities, click here.

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

SNP host Innovative Training Course

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) reports that Innovative Training was held in the Shenandoah National Park (SNP).

The annual Civil Engineer Manager training course took place in early August.

The course was hosted by the Air National Guard and helps to provide future project managers with the latest knowledge, skills and tools to ensure understanding of coordination  in  real world situations.

The three day course focuses on a number of scenarios project managers could face.

Those scenarios included material shortages, leadership dynamics and medical events.

The objective of the training  is to prepare future leaders with knowledge and ability to coordinate across the globe in worse case scenarios.

The Shenandoah National Park was chosen because of its remote location which helps future leaders to learn to live and work together.

The Innovative Training programs collectively provided training for over 2,000 Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines across the Department of Defense.

The training provides over $5 million worth of cost savings to communities and military partners across the globe.

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

Hiker falls 30 feet at Shenandoah National Park

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Rockingham County Fire and Rescue (RCFR) report the rescue of a hiker who had fallen in the Shenandoah National Park.

The hiker was discovered unconscious by Park Rangers after he had fallen approximately 30 feet from the backside of his campsite near Loft Mountain.

Rangers called RCFR to assist in the rescue effort Fri. morning Aug. 5.

National Park personnel then worked with the RCFR’s Tactical Rescue Team to reach the person and treat him for immediate injuries.

The person was pulled from the site after he was stabilized and airlifted to the UVA for trauma care. 

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

SNP expands by hundreds of acres

Thanks to land protection efforts the Shenandoah National Park (SNP) will expand by hundreds of acres.

According to the Daily News Record in February 2021 the Shenandoah National Park Trust (SNPT)  purchased 225 acres of vacant land in the Browntown area.

The property was purchased from the Wildlife Center of Virginia for $200,000.

The SNPT closed the sale on land which borders the park on the west side of the Skyline Drive on September 16, 2021.

The SNPT will have to have the  land surveyed before it can be transferred to the National Park Service (NPS).

The purchase and donation extends the park’s boundaries and helps to protect the ecological integrity of the current boundary.

Once the land is transferred a National Park biologist can then determine if the land provides a habitat for any endangered or threatened species.

This is in addition to the recent purchase and donation by the SNPT of 900 acres in Page County.

The funds for the purchases comes from a settlement from damages done by DuPont to a Virginia waterway.

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

SNP Old Rag Mountain tickets are on sale now

A social post from Shenandoah National Park announced that the day use passes for Old Rag Mountain are available.

A limited number of the passes became available yesterday in an attempt to reduce the impact on Old Rag.

The pilot program is attempting to keep the impact of the natural resources at the site down at the same time improve the visitor’s experience.

Recent years have shown as the hike became more popular Old Rag Mountain was often over run with visitors.

Beginning Mar.1 all visitors to Old Rag Mountain will have to have a ticket to hike the site.

Visit go.nps.gov/oldragtickets for more information on the requirements on acquiring tickets.

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

The Library of Congress is seeking memories from Lewis Mountain visitors

The Library of Congress Federal Research Center Division is working with the Shenandoah National Park NPS to tell the story of Lewis Mountain.

The Library of Congress twitter post is asking for pictures and memories from individuals, families and groups who visited and used the facility between 1939 and 1970.

The materials shared will be used to develop an online interactive display to preserve the area’s history.

The Library of Congress calls the Lewis Mountain story an important part of the park’s history that needs to be told and preserved.

Originally the facility was established as a segregated recreational facility until the park was fully integrated in 1950.

You can share any pictures and memories by emailing NPSLewis_FRD@loc.gov.

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