You’re wandering around on a spring day in Shenandoah National Park and you see a bird fluttering around at Big Meadows. You snap a photograph and the bird disappears. Your field guide isn’t helping much. There are just too many birds that look alike. Now, what do you do?
Shenandoah National Park
Last month, during the Memorial Day Weekend, traffic waiting to enter Arches National Park backed up so far onto U.S. 191 that the Utah Highway Patrol temporarily shut off access to the redrock wonder. That dilemma prompted a suggestion by the park superintendent that perhaps the time had come to issue reservations for people hoping to visit Arches.
When the National Park Service's leadership team sat down in August 2014 to draw up a road map for entrance fees across the system, they built upon a study conducted more than a decade earlier.
With National Trails Day coming up June 6, many parks are planning special events that day. At Shenandoah National Park, there will be plenty of hiking options for novices and experienced hikers.
As a longtime resident of northern Virginia, I feel like I know Shenandoah National Park fairly well. I’ve driven the 105-mile length of Skyline Drive several times, stayed in and near the park, and spent many weekends hiking there. And yet I’ve never experienced the park from the back of a horse...until now.
National park concessionaires, deeply concerned over what they see as three decades of stagnant visitation to the National Park System, want Congress to authorize better marketing of the parks, longer "high" seasons in the parks they believe would generate more revenues for infrastructure improvements, and expanded concessionaire opportunities in the parks.
Make an executive decision to visit a national park this Presidents Day weekend. All 405 national parks will offer free admission February 14-16.
Are current entrance fees at Shenandoah National Park reasonable? Not if Shenandoah is to continue as a "world-class park," according to Superintendent Jim Northrup.
Electric charging stations are beginning to sprout up around the National Park System, making it a bit easier for visitors with electric vehicles to recharge while enjoying the parks.