The forest colors are vibrant, but the occasional nip in the air foretells a change in the seasons is coming, and that means some facilities are getting ready to close at Shenandoah National Park.
Here's the closing schedule announced the other day by Superintendent Martha Bogle:
* Dickey Ridge and Harry F. Byrd Visitor Centers will close on November 25.
* Campgrounds will operate on the following schedule: Mathews Arm and Loft Mountain Campgrounds will close on October 28; Lewis Mountain Campground will close on November 4; and Big Meadows Campground will close on November 25.
* Concessioner-operated restaurants, lodges and associated facilities will operate as follows: Loft Mountain Campstore and Loft Mountain Showers/Laundry will close on October 28; Elkwallow Wayside, Big Meadows Lodge, and Loft Mountain Wayside will close on November 4. Lewis Mountain Cabins and Campstore will close on November 11. Big Meadows Wayside and Big Meadows Showers/Laundry will close on November 25. Skyland Resort will close on December 2 at noon.
* This winter the following picnic grounds will remain open year round, weather permitting: Elkwallow, Pinnacles, South River, and Dundo Picnic Grounds.
Lewis Mountain Picnic Grounds will close on November 4. The Dickey Ridge and Big Meadows Picnic Grounds will close on November 25. Loft Mountain Picnic Grounds remains closed.
* Skyline Drive is open year-round; however, the Drive may be temporarily closed on short notice due to winter weather conditions. During weather closures, park staff will work to open the North and Central Districts (from Front Royal to Route 33) first, followed by the South District (from Route 33 to Route 250).