Wilderness Weekend On Tap In Shenandoah National Park This Weekend

This weekend would be a great one to be in Shenandoah National Park, both because of the spectacular fall colors but also to celebrate the park's wilderness areas. NPS photo of view from Big Run Overlook.

Though it's surrounded by development, cross into Shenandoah National Park and you'll find a surprisingly large amount of acreage that is managed as wilderness and which appears much as it did 100, or even 200 years ago.

This weekend you can celebrate that wild setting during the park's annual "Wilderness Weekend."

Of the park's nearly 200,000 acres, 40 percent is officially designated wilderness. And within that expanse -- one of the largest wilderness areas in the Eastern United States -- there is rich wildlife habitat, leaping brooks and streams, and solitude for personal introspection and rejuvenation.

Now, because of that wilderness designation, park crews can't use power tools if they have to work in these areas to maintain trails or perhaps work on historic structures.

This weekend you can see what hand tools those crews use, and see how they use them, during a traditional tool demonstration at the Byrd Visitor Center (milepost 51) on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

And after you watch the demonstration, head down a trail into some of the wilderness acreage to savor it.