It seems not a week goes by without some dire issue being identified as a threat to the national parks. One week it might be funding woes, another week pollution, another diversity concerns, and then, of course, there's climate change.
During my recent hike in Shenandoah National Park along the Appalachian Trail, I came upon a tight crook in the trail that carried Ivy Creek downhill amid a flurry of gold, red, orange and yellow leaves of fall. There can be no more spectacular setting that the hardwood forests of the East. Unless it's set ablaze by the pastel daubs of spring wildflowers in places such as Glacier, Saquaro or Canyonlands national parks.
You can add Shenandoah National Park to those units of the National Park System that are celebrating milestone birthdays. On November 5 the park that hugs the rippled ridge of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia will kick off its 75th birthday celebration.
Fall is a spectacular season to hike in Shenandoah National Park. Reds, golds, greens and browns are dappling the hillsides, deer are on the move, and, if your timing is excellent, bears are falling from the trees and Mennonite women are backpacking along the Appalachian Trail.
You'd be hard-pressed to stay in a national park lodge in the fall without some spectacular vistas. Still, there are some places that seem slightly better situated to capture the display of foliage. Contributing writers David and Kay Scott share their thoughts on some of the best lodges to call home during the fall.