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Shenandoah National Park Begins Accepting Campground Reservations for 2020 Season

Shenandoah National Park Begins Accepting Campground Reservations for 2020 Season

Luray, Virginia: Shenandoah National Park will begin accepting campground reservations for the 2020 season on June 24, 2020. Visitors who would like to camp at Mathews Arm, Big Meadows, Loft Mountain or Dundo campgrounds can go to Recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777 to make reservations from 2-days to 6-months in advance of their trip. A limited number of campsites will be available on a first come-first served basis.

Lewis Mountain Campground will be available on a first come-first served basis for the entire 2020 season.

Entrance fees to the park can also be paid in advance by purchasing a digital pass at: https://www.recreation.gov/sitepass/74293?q=Shenandoah%20National%20Park%20Digital%20Pass.

To Read Full Press Release: 2020 Campground Reservations Press Release

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Shenandoah National Park Announces Opening of New Parking Area at Old Rag Mountain

Shenandoah National Park is pleased to announce the opening of a new parking area at Old Rag Mountain near Etlan, Virginia on June 11, 2020. The new parking area was built to provide improved National Park Service access to the Old Rag area hiking trails. It is closer to the Old Rag area trails than the old (leased) lot and allows visitors to remain in the park without hiking on Route 600. The new parking lot will be the primary lot with the old lot being used only when the primary lot fills up. The old parking lot will be retained and divided into two sections. One section will be used as a parking area and the other will be used to stage emergency operations when they occur. This project is not intended to increase public use at Old Rag, only to provide better access. It secures public access to Old Rag on park service property and guarantees access into perpetuity.

 

New trails have been built to provide access to existing park trails with the goal of keeping visitors in the park and moving them off of Route 600.

  • The Ridge Trail trailhead is now located in the new parking lot.
  • The Old Rag Access Trail connects the old parking lot with the new parking lot. As a public courtesy, a local landowner has graciously allowed us to build this trail across his private property. Please help us be a good neighbor by staying on the trail when it is finalized next week.
  • A portion of the old Ridge Trail has been renamed the Ridge Access Trail. It provides access to the Ridge Trail from the Weakley Hollow Fire Road.

A new fee station building is located at the new parking lot where all visitors will check-in. If the fee station is closed, visitors will pay the park’s entrance fee at a self-pay station. A vault toilet is located next to the fee station and an emergency phone is available on the outside of the fee station building.

A special thanks to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and the Shenandoah National Park Trust for their generous contributions that made this new trail access and parking area possible.

 

To Read Full Press Release: Old Rag Parking Area Opening Press Release

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Shenandoah National Park is Increasing Recreational Access

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Shenandoah National Parkis increasing recreational access and services. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning June 11, 2020, Shenandoah National Park will reopen access to:

  • The entire park will be open 24 hours a day.
  • The backcountry, including shelters and huts, will be open for overnight camping. Backcountry campers should be self-reliant and review camping regulations online or at kiosks to self-register their backcountry permits. Kiosks are located at: Entrance Stations, Loft Mountain Wayside, North and South entry points of the Appalachian Trail, and the Old Rag Trailhead parking area. Backcountry cabins will be available for weekend rental by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club at patc.net.
  • Campgrounds will open at 12:00 p.m. noon at a limited capacity to meet the Forward Virginia guidelines of a 20-foot separation between campsites to encourage distancing. There will be limited first come-first served sites at this time. No new reservations can be made but we will honor reservations previously made.
  • Old Rag and Whiteoak Canyon/Cedar Run circuit trails will reopen from both Skyline Drive and the boundary. Entrance fees will be collected at the boundary trailheads, unless you have a current pass, and parking will be limited to available parking spots in designated parking areas only. Vehicles parked along the roadside will be ticketed and towed.
  • Boundary trailheads will reopen. Vehicles parked illegally will be ticketed and towed.
  • Picnic Grounds will reopen at 12:00 p.m. noon. Dickey Ridge Picnic Grounds (mile 4.7) is currently closed and will reopen when construction activities are completed.

Beginning June 12, 2020, the Park will reopen access to:

  • The Park Store at Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51) will open. It will operate 5 days a week (Thursday through Monday) from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. A limited number of patrons will be allowed at one time and masks will be required.

Concession-operated services by Delaware North will open as follows, masks will be required:

  • June 11, 2020: Elkwallow Wayside (mile 24), Skyland Lodge (mile 41.7 or 42.5), Big Meadows Showers and Woodyard (mile 51), Lewis Mountain Cabins and Campstore (mile 57.2), Loft Mountain Campstore (mile 79.5)
  • June 25, 2020: Big Meadows Lodge
  • June 26, 2020: Loft Mountain Wayside

 

To Read Full Press Release: Shenandoah National Park Phase 2 Reopening Press Release

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Shenandoah National Park Announces Online Entrance Pass Sales

Shenandoah National Park Announces Online Entrance Pass Sales

 

Luray, Virginia:  Beginning May 27, 2020, Shenandoah National Park entrance passes will be available to purchase online through Recreation.gov. Visitors will be able to pay the entrance fee in advance of their visit by purchasing Shenandoah National Park weekly and annual passes online.

Due to limited cellular coverage at Entrance Stations, visitors must either save the pass to their phone or print a copy of the pass and bring it with them to the park. Recreation.gov will carry the following types of passes for sale:

 

Shenandoah Annual Pass- $55, valid for 12 months from the time of purchase. Pass receipt will be exchanged for an annual pass at the entrance station. Provides unlimited entry for one year to the pass owner and passengers in the same vehicle. At boundary fee stations (Old Rag and Whiteoak Canyon parking areas) this pass covers the pass holder and three adults, not to exceed 4 adults total.  Children under 16 are admitted free.

Single Vehicle pass- $30, valid from one to seven consecutive days. Visitor will be able to pick the start date at the time of online purchase. Vehicles must be private, noncommercial, and with a seating capacity of 15 or less.

Single Motorcycle pass- $25, valid from one to seven consecutive days. Covers entry for one motorcycle and one passenger. Visitor will be able to pick the start date at the time of online purchase.

Individual Person pass- $15, valid from one to seven consecutive days. Covers entry for walk-up or bicycling visitors, when 16 years of age or older (children under 16 are admitted for free). Includes entering the Park by all means other than a private, non-commercial vehicle. A family traveling together in a single vehicle arriving to the boundary fee stations, shall pay no more than the single vehicle fee. Visitor will be able to pick the start date at the time of purchase.

To read full press release: SNP Online Pass Sales Press Release

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 Shenandoah National Park is beginning to increase recreational access to Skyline Drive and park trails

Shenandoah National Park is beginning to increase recreational access to Skyline Drive and park trails

Luray, Virginia – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Shenandoah National Park is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning Saturday, May 23 at 8:00 a.m., Shenandoah National Park will reopen access to the following areas for day-use only. Following May 23, open hours will be from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.:

  • The entire length of Skyline Drive from mile 0 at Front Royal to mile 105 at Waynesboro will be open to all traffic.
  • The backcountry will be open to day-use only. Over 480 miles of trails will be accessible from trailheads along Skyline Drive.
  • Vehicle parking along Skyline Drive at overlooks and trailhead parking areas will be in designated areas only. If parking area is full, please do not park outside of the designated area, move on to a less crowded area.
  • Entrance stations will be staffed and entrance fees collected.
  • Limited restrooms will be open at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6), Panorama (mile 31.5), Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51) and Beagle Gap (mile 99.5).

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • Skyline Drive will be closed nightly from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
  • Backcountry camping will not be authorized.
  • Visitor centers, picnic areas, campgrounds, lodges, cabins, Massanutten Lodge, and Rapidan Camp historic structures will remain closed.
  • Old Rag and Whiteoak Canyon/Cedar Run circuit trails will remain closed.
  • Boundary trailheads will remain inaccessible.
  • Retail shops, food and beverage areas are closed at this time, but they may become accessible during this Phase 1 period of reopening provided they meet the mandatory requirements in the Forward Virginia Guidelines.

To Read Full Press Release: Shenandoah National Park Phase 1 Reopening Press Release

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Shenandoah National Park Will Temporarily Close

Shenandoah National Park Will Temporarily Close

Luray, Virginia – The National Park Service (NPS) received a letter from the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District of the Virginia Department of Health recommending the full closure of Shenandoah National Park. Upon receiving this request from the health department, Superintendent Jennifer Flynn, with the support of the NPS Deputy Director, Operations, David Vela and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, made the decision to immediately close the park until further notice. 

Virginia State Highways 211 and 33 will remain accessible to pass-through.   

 The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. The NPS is working servicewide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. The park will notify the public when it resumes full operations and provide updates on the park website  https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/alerts.htm and social media channels.

 The NPS encourages people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Shenandoah National Park, including:   
 

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please visit www.goshenandoah.com for updates about park concessioner, Delaware North’s operations.

www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Shenandoah National Park Announces Additional Modifications To Operations To Implement Local Health Guidance

Shenandoah National Park, in response to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health, iannouncing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of March 26, 2020, Shenandoah National Park will offer very limited services outside those that support visitor or resource protection. The following services and operations will be suspended in order to be consistent with the Virginia State Parks:

  • All restrooms are closed.
  • The backcountry is closed to overnight camping through April 30. There is no overnight camping in the park at this time.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. As a reminder, these operational changes have already been implemented.

  • Appalachian Trail huts, shelters, and cabins are closed.
  • The Old Rag and Whiteoak-Cedar Run circuit hikes are closed.
  • All other park-operated facilities are closed including visitor centers.
  • Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville, and the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority have closed the recreational area around Sugar Hollow Reservoir.
  • For tentative opening dates of other facilities click here: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/hours.htm

To Read Full Press Release: SNP Closure of Restrooms and Backcountry Camping Press Release

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Shenandoah National Park Is Modifying Operations To Implement Local Health Guidance

Shenandoah National Park, in response to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health, iannouncing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

As of March 25, 2020, the following trails will be closed:

  • The Old Rag and Whiteoak Canyon-Cedar Run circuit hikes are closed in response to an increased risk to visitors and staff due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). These are two of the most popular hikes in the park and they have recently become overwhelmed with visitors. Visitors have been unable to practice the social distancing guidelines set forth by the CDC because of the multiple congestion points along the trails at rock scrambles, waterfall viewpoints and the summit of Old Rag. The park also cannot assure that visitors are able to meet the CDC’s hand sanitation guidance in these remote locations.
  • The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has closed Nethers Road (Route 600) and Weakley Hollow Road (Route 600) leading to the trailheads for these hikes at the park boundary. These road closures will remain in effect indefinitely.
  • Please refer to the maps to see the details of which trails, parking areas and roads are closed. Signs are posted at all trailheads and trail intersections to inform visitors of the closures.

View Full Press Release: SNP Closure of Old Rag and Whiteoak Canyon Trails Press Release

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Shenandoah National Park Announces Six Free Entrance Days for 2020

Shenandoah National Park Announces Six Free Entrance Days for 2020

The fee free days for 2020:

To view full press release: Fee Free Days in 2020 Press Release