With hunting season in Virginia arriving soon, Shenandoah National Park officials have announced that portions of Skyline Drive through the park will close nightly, beginning on Monday.
Park Superintendent Jim Northup notes that this is the 33rd year that this closure has been undertaken and stressed its importance in reducing illegal hunting activity within the park during the Commonwealth of Virginia hunting season outside the park.
Beginning Monday, November 11, and ending Sunday, January 5, 2014, the Skyline Drive between Front Royal (Mile 0 at U.S. Highway 340) and Thornton Gap (Mile 31 at U.S. Highway 211) and between Swift Run Gap (Mile 65 at U.S. Highway 33) and Rockfish Gap (Mile 105 at U.S. Highway 250) will be closed daily between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.
The central portion of the Drive, between Thornton Gap and Swift Run Gap, will remain open for overnight access to the Skyland Resort until that facility closes on December 8. Beginning Monday, December 9, 2013, and ending Sunday, January 5, 2014, the entire length of the Skyline Drive will be closed daily from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m.
Superintendent Northup also reminds the public that the park has a reward program to assist in combating illegal hunting in the park.
"A reward will be paid to anyone who furnishes information which leads to the conviction of any person who hunts, transports, or attempts to transport illegally taken wildlife within the park," he said.
Anyone with information about such activities should call the park (toll free 1-800-732-0911; or 540-999-2227). The identity of persons furnishing information will be kept strictly confidential, and a person does not have to reveal his or her name.