How best can the Loft Mountain Wayside in Shenandoah National Park serve park visitors? That's the question park staff are working on with help from the Shenandoah National Park Trust.
Waysides along the Skyline Drive that winds along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains through Shenandoah offer motorists places to pull over to enjoy the views, hit a restroom, and sometimes fill up with gas or grab a bite to eat.
The Loft Mountain Wayside, at milepost 79.5 on Skyline Drive, serves as a hub in the park's South District, with its popular campground, numerous trail heads, amphitheater and wayside restaurant.
What Loft Mountain lacks, according to Trust officials, "is an attractive and functional destination for visitors to learn about Shenandoah National Park and all its magnificent features and to interact with park rangers."
With that in mind, the vision being discussed for a revitalizing Loft Mountain Wayside includes an indoor/outdoor education and recreation destination with various opportunities for people to connect with their park. The entire project will be built with environmental sustainability in mind--and will be the first LEED Certified Construction in Shenandoah National Park.
More details on the plan and how it evolves will be forthcoming in the months ahead.