Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wilderness Weekend at Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park will honor America's wilderness heritage during its 10th annual Wilderness Weekend, October 16 - 17, 2010. This year commemorates the 34th anniversary of Shenandoah's wilderness designation. Celebrate wilderness by viewing Shenandoah's wilderness from Skyline Drive, hiking a wilderness trail, joining a ranger program, completing the Wilderness Explorer Ranger Activity Guide, or exploring a visitor center exhibit.

Special events take place at Byrd Visitor Center, milepost 51 on Skyline Drive. Shenandoah National Park Trail Crews and PATC volunteers share their expertise in the traditional tools used to maintain trails in wilderness. Visitors can try their hands at using these tools and gain insight on the important role trail maintenance plays in protecting wilderness for future generations. Short talks by rangers during the day explore the history and values of Shenandoah’s wilderness.

Visitors are also encouraged to stop by park visitor centers for more opportunities to learn about Shenandoah's wilderness through exhibits and films. The highly interactive exhibit at Byrd Visitor Center, "Within a Day's Drive of Millions," tells the story of Shenandoah's establishment including the significance of wilderness designation. Visitors can explore the history and meaning of wilderness through a computer touch screen exhibit, "The Spirit of Wilderness." A newly released film narrated by Christopher Reeves, American Values: American Wilderness, will be available for viewing on request.

Shenandoah's wilderness was designated by Congress in October 1976. Forty percent of the park, almost 80,000 acres, is wilderness and represents one of the largest wilderness areas in the eastern United States. Areas preserved as wilderness provide sanctuaries for human recreation, habitat for wildlife, sites for research, and reservoirs for clean, free-flowing water.

For more information on the weekend's events, please click here. For information on hiking in the park, please click here.


Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com

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