Four weeks, three venerable national parks, three entirely different experiences. And time to mull the future of the National Park System and its caretaker, the National Park Service.
Shenandoah National Park
To facilitate and encourage scientific research in Shenandoah National Park, applications are being accepted for the Shenandoah National Park Trust research fellowship program. Funded by the Shenandoah National Park Trust, the grant supports field research in the physical, biological, ecological, social, and cultural sciences.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on Thursday announced a new study showing that spring is beginning earlier than its historical average in 75 percent of the national parks examined — providing further evidence that climate change is already impacting public lands. The announcement came during a visit to Shenandoah National Park, one of the sites identified in the study as experiencing the impacts of an early onset of spring.
American chestnut saplings reaching for the sun, mountain laurel sprouts climbing out of the soil, and sassafras. Those are just some of the signs that more than 10,000 acres of Shenandoah National Park that burned back in the spring are coming back to life.
Shenandoah National Park, along with the Barlow family of Stanley, Virginia, will co-host the 83th Annual Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Reunion this coming Saturday. The public is invited to meet with families and alumni and hear first-hand about their experiences. Alumni reunion events will take place at the Big Meadows Lodge Massanutten Room (mile 51 Skyline Drive) beginning at 10 a.m. with remarks from park leadership.
Shenandoah National Park will honor America’s Wilderness heritage during its 16th annual Wilderness Weekend, September 10-11. This year commemorates the 40th anniversary of Shenandoah’s Wilderness designation.
There are good times to go birding in Eastern forests and times that are less than ideal. I won’t say the birding is ever “bad,” because even if there aren’t any birds, a walk in the woods is never a bad thing. Still, if seeing tons of birds and hearing beautiful songs is on your agenda, avoid August. Head to the beaches to see shorebird migration.
When you're done hiking in the park or touring Skyline Drive, these Blue Ridge small towns have much to offer visitors.
Fall is weeks away, yet it's not too early to start planning for your fall or winter excursion. Traveler's Essential Park Guide, Fall 2016, takes a closeup look at Everglades and Shenandoah national parks, and looks farther afield to Costa Rica and Manuel Antonio National Park where you'll find sloths and toucans.
In the wake of a dog being killed by a sow black bear, Shenandoah National Park officials are temporarily closing a section of the park to dogs. The closure affects the greater Dickey Ridge area (Mile 4.6 Skyline Drive) to reduce the risk of negative dog/bear encounters.