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Title: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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    [Illustration: _Cover: Hikers near summit of Old Rag._]



                               Shenandoah
                             NATIONAL PARK
                                VIRGINIA



                                CONTENTS


                                                                    Page
  _INTRODUCTION TO THE PARK_                                           3
  _FUN IN THE PARK_                                                    3
  _AT HOME IN THE PARK_                                                6
  _SKYLAND_                                                            7
  _BIG MEADOWS_                                                        8
  _LEWIS MOUNTAIN_                                                     8
  _THE SKYLINE DRIVE_                                     10, 11, 12, 13
  _GEOLOGY_                                                           14
  _PLANTS_                                                            16
  _WILDLIFE_                                                          17
  _THE SEASONS_                                                       18
  _HUMAN HISTORY_                                                     20
  _A PARK EMERGES_                                                    21
  _PRESERVING THE PARK_                                               21
  _PREPARING FOR YOUR VISIT_                                          22
  _HOW TO REACH THE PARK_                                             22
  _PARK REGULATIONS_                                                  23
  _VISITOR USE FEES_                                                  23
  _ADMINISTRATION_                                                    24
  _AMERICA’S NATURAL RESOURCES_                                       24


Shenandoah is one of seven National Parks east of the Mississippi River.
Set in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, its most
celebrated features are the succession of panoramas from the crest of
the ridge and the lush beauty of the slopes. This is your park—we of the
National Park Service hope you will help protect and preserve it so that
many future generations may enjoy it. The superintendent and his staff
are here to help make your visit a happy one.



                        INTRODUCTION TO THE PARK


Like a great, hazy shadow against the sky, the Blue Ridge Mountains rise
between the Piedmont and the Valley of Virginia. The 105-mile Skyline
Drive winds along the Blue Ridge highland, crossing and recrossing the
crest. It roughly bisects Shenandoah National Park, which encompasses
over 300 square miles of scenic mountain country and claims 60 peaks
that rise 3,000 to 4,000 feet. Seventy-five parking overlooks on the
drive give you panoramic views of the Piedmont to the east and
Shenandoah River Valley to the west. From Hogback Overlook, on a clear
day, you can count 11 bends in the river and look down on fertile
valleys where Indian villages once stood.

To know Shenandoah National Park, to discover its secrets, you must take
time to stop, look, and listen. For adventure, you must explore. Leave
your car at one of the overlooks or visitor-use areas, and hike or ride
horseback along the trail. Between the drive and the park’s boundaries
are miles of ridges and valleys, hills and hollows, laced with sparkling
streams and waterfalls. Trout lurk in shadowed pools, and wild gardens
of rock, vines, shrubs, and wildflowers nestle only a short walk from
the busy roadway.

At night, take time to look down on the twinkling lights of Luray, in
Shenandoah Valley, and to see the stars through air so crystal-clear
they seem almost within reach. On a rainy day, watch the fog roll in
like a tidal wave; on a sunny day, see the cloud shadows sweep across
hill and valley.



                            FUN IN THE PARK


_Dickey Ridge Visitor Center._

This should be your starting point, if you enter the park from the
north, for it is just inside mile 4.6 (see pp. 10-13 for mileposts).
Wherever you enter, be sure to stop here sometime before you leave the
park. Ranger-naturalists are on hand to orient you and help you get all
the information you need on hiking or camping, or whatever you plan to
do. A short sequence of color slides will give you a general
introduction to the park. The program describes the variety of park
attractions—trails, wildlife, wildflowers, geology, and history.


_Visitor Activities Program._

During the summer, ranger-naturalists conduct a number of field trips
daily to points of interest and give nightly campfire programs at
Skyland, Big Meadows, or Lewis Mountain. The entire family can enjoy
these park-sponsored activities. In spring and autumn, park naturalists
present evening talks at concession lodges. For the “do-it-yourself”
visitor, self-guiding nature trails are open throughout the year.

                   SOME TRAILS OF SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
                             Round Trip
  Name of Trail    Starts   Miles   Time                Remarks

 Marys Rock       Mile 31.5   3.6  3 hrs.  Steady climb for 1.8 miles but
                                           easy return. Broad sweep of
                                           scenery in every direction.
 Little           Mile 39.1   1.5  1 hr.   Steep 385-foot climb for 0.6 mile
   Stony Man                               of forest trail. Splendid view of
                                           Shenandoah Valley.
 Stony Man        Mile 41.8   1.5  2 hrs.  Easy grade. Self-guiding nature
                                           trail through the woods;
                                           startlingly beautiful vista atop
                                           Stony Man profile.
 Whiteoak         Mile 42.6     5  ½ day   Cool walk through the woods; long
   Canyon        (Conducted                pull returning. First of series of
                  walk from                six waterfalls at end of trail.
                   Mile 43)
 Limberlost       Mile 42.6   1.5  2 hrs.  Easy walk through hemlock forest
                                           (first part of Whiteoak trail).
 Upper            Mile 46.6     2  1½ hrs. To summit of Hawksbill Mountain,
   Hawksbill                               highest in park. Shady but steady
                                           climb.
 Dark Hollow      Mile 50.5   1.5  1 hr.   Shady trail; fairly steep climb
   Falls                                   returning. Falls drop sheerly 50
                                           feet.
 Big Meadows      Mile 51.2     2  2 hrs.  No climbing; trail through swamp
   Swamp       (Big Meadows                and woodland. Self-guiding.
              Amphitheater)

    [Illustration: _Whiteoak Canyon Falls._]

A complete schedule of these free interpretive activities is found in
the _Visitor Activities Program_, available at all park and concession
installations in Shenandoah National Park, or by writing to the Park
Superintendent, Luray, Va.


_Hiking._

The park is a hiker’s paradise, with over 200 miles of foot trails,
including a 94-mile link of the famous Appalachian Trail, which extends
more than 2,000 miles from Maine to Georgia. The park maintains a series
of open shelters along the trails, conveniently spaced a day’s hike
apart. Each hiker should bring his own bedroll for use on one of the six
spring-covered bunks furnished in most of the shelters. These bunks are
occupied on a first-come, first-served basis.

Detailed hikers’ guides and maps of the trail system can be ordered by
mail. (See p. 22, PREPARING FOR YOUR VISIT.)


_Horseback riding._

There are about 25 miles of scenic horse trails in the park. Horses (and
ponies for children) can be rented at hourly rates at Skyland and Big
Meadows.


_Photography._

A filter is advisable when you are taking panoramic views, for haze is
often present without your even noticing it. You will get better
definition and more interesting shadows if you take your pictures in the
morning or late afternoon, rather than in the flat light of midday.

With a long exposure you can get most dramatic photographs at sunset
when the trees and rocks stand out against the western sky in
silhouette. Don’t be afraid to go out and shoot black-and-white film in
the fog or during a storm; cloud effects often are more striking than
ever. If you want good pictures of wildlife, a telephoto lens will help.


_Fishing._

The fun of fishing awaits the eager angler along the park streams.
There, to try your skill, are native brook trout. At the park entrance
stations you can get rules and regulations governing angling and also
directions to fishing waters. You will need a Virginia fishing license.
A 3-day limit, nonresident trout fishing license is available at all
concession units in the park for $3.


_Picnicking._

Campers and picnickers come from all over to take advantage of
Shenandoah’s superb facilities for 9 months of the year. Fireplaces make
it easy to prepare steaks or fish or even pancakes. Your frying pan
rests on a grill as steady as your own stove. Choose one of the picnic
areas along the drive for your evening meal, and then walk out and watch
the sunset. (Picnic grounds are noted on the map, pp. 10-13.)



                          AT HOME IN THE PARK


_Where To Stay._

All of the lodging and restaurant facilities, the gift shops, and
service stations in Shenandoah National Park are operated by the
Virginia Sky-Line Co., Inc. While types of accommodations in the park
are limited, there is a wide choice of cabins, tourist homes, motels,
and hotels in nearby communities, which are available the year round.

Hotel-type accommodations may be obtained in the park at Big Meadows.
Cabins, with rooms and private connecting baths, may be rented at
Skyland, Big Meadows, and Lewis Mountain. These accommodations are
closed during winter. There are no cabins equipped for housekeeping.

As rates are subject to change from season to season, no prices for
facilities are given in this booklet. Reservations and rates may be
secured from the Virginia Sky-Line Co., Inc., Luray, Va. Whenever
possible, lodging reservations should be made in advance, particularly
from early July through October. You are urged to plan your trip to the
park during the middle of the week to avoid congested periods over
weekends.


_Camping._

Campers and picnickers should bring camp stoves or fuel for fireplaces
since wood is not always available. Food supplies, ice, charcoal
burners, and fuel may be obtained at Big Meadows Wayside. Electricity is
not available. Use of campgrounds is free but is limited to 14 days in
any one year. Reservations for campsites cannot be made; the policy is
first come, first served.


_Shelters._

There are 20 open shelters, each sleeping 6 persons (see map, pp. 10
-13); they cannot be reserved, and hikers must bring their own bedding.
However, locked, equipped cabins are available by reservation from the
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, 1916 Sunderland Place NW., Washington 6,
D. C. A small nightly charge is made for the locked cabins.


_Restaurants_

are operated by the Virginia Sky-Line Company at Panorama, Skyland, Big
Meadows, and Big Meadows Wayside, Lewis Mountain, and Swift Run Gap.
Light lunches are available at Elkwallow; groceries, at Big Meadows
Wayside.


_Mail_

is delivered daily to the lodges; campers should direct their mail to be
sent in care of General Delivery, Luray, Va.


_Long-distance telephone service_

is available 24 hours a day at the developed areas.



                                SKYLAND


    [Illustration: SKYLAND
    REV. JAN. 1963   MARCH 1958 NP-SHE-7011D]

  STONY MAN 4010
  HORSE TRAIL
  APPALACHIAN TRAIL
  NATURE TRAIL
  PARKING
  WHITEOAK CANYON
  SKYLINE DRIVE
  RESTAURANT
  RECREATION HALL
  OFFICE
  CAMPFIRE CIRCLE
  STABLE

Skyland, at 3,680 feet elevation, is the highest point on Skyline Drive.
Here in the largest of the park’s developed areas are accommodations for
350 persons. The lodge is the center of the community, with groups of
multiple-unit cottages scattered within walking distance along the ridge
and under the trees. Besides dining room, coffeeshop, and gift shop,
there are lounges for use on chilly nights and a terrace for lazy
sunning.

Skyland is the starting point for many of the guided walks and horseback
trips; stables are just downhill from the lodge. The campfire circle is
the scene of naturalist talks on fine evenings; in rainy weather you
will find them in the recreation hall, “under the hill.”

Don’t leave this area until you hike the 1½-mile round trip to Stony Man
Mountain. You saw the rock profile in view for many miles if you
approached Skyland from the north. From this cliff of weathered,
greenstone rock, the view is sheerly downward to the valley, and
sweepingly across to the Massanutten Mountain, a hazy blue in the
distance. The half-day hikes to Whiteoak Canyon, and to the summit of
Marys Rock (trail starts at Panorama), as well as shorter walks to
Millers Head, Little Stony Man Cliffs, and Hawksbill Mountain, are most
easily reached from Skyland.



                              BIG MEADOWS


Second largest of the developed areas, Big Meadows has a hospitable
lodge with spacious veranda, surrounded by individual cottages. These,
together with a few lodge rooms, accommodate 250 persons. Tent, trailer,
and picnic grounds are a part of the development. The lodge dining room
is open to all visitors. At Big Meadow Wayside, you will find a
coffeeshop, small grocery store, gift shop, and service station.
Horseback trips from Big Meadows begin near the ranger station.

The great charm of Big Meadows lies in its open fields, in contrast to
the forests on every hand. The fragrant meadows once were heavily
grazed, keeping down the trees that only now, after 30 years, are
starting to come back.

Of considerable interest is a swamp in one part of the fields,
destination of the self-guiding trail fittingly called the Swamp Trail.
Usually the pathway is quite dry, but in the damp areas nearby is an
unusual variety of vegetation—gray birch, cardinal flower, and American
burnet, all rare in the park. Remnants of the ghost forest of gaunt
chestnut trees still stand. From the edge of the meadows there are fine
views of the valley. An equally relaxing walk of another kind—along a
forest trail—is to Dark Hollow Falls, a round trip of 3½ miles from the
lodge.

Campfire talks are held in the amphitheater several times a week in
summer, and in the lodge in spring and autumn.



                             LEWIS MOUNTAIN


At mile 57.6, Lewis Mountain is the southernmost and the smallest
accommodations area in the park—room for only 24 people. But besides the
cabins, there is a coffeeshop and camp and picnic grounds. Park
naturalists present campfire programs during the summer.

    [Illustration: BIG MEADOWS
    REV. JAN 1963   MARCH 1958 NP-SHE-17011B]

  NATURE TRAIL STARTS
  PICNIC GROUNDS
  FISHERS GAP OVERLOOK
  AMPHITHEATER
  LODGE
  CABINS
  CAMPGROUND
  BLACK ROCK 3721
  3650
  SWAMP
  DARK HOLLOW TRAIL
  LEWIS SPRING SHELTER 3300
  STABLE
  LEWIS FALLS
  APPALACHIAN TRAIL
  HORSE TRAIL
  SKYLINE DRIVE
  DARK HOLLOW FALLS
  PARKING
  WAYSIDE 3498
  TANNERS RIDGE OVERLOOK

    [Illustration: LEWIS MOUNTAIN
    MARCH 1958 NP-SHE-7011C]

  TO FRONT ROYAL
  PICNIC GROUNDS
  RESTAURANT
  CAMPFIRE CIRCLE
  CABINS
  SKYLINE DRIVE
  APPALACHIAN TRAIL

    [Illustration: SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
    _VIRGINIA_]



                           THE SKYLINE DRIVE


The drive is 105 miles long from Front Royal to Rockfish Gap. Mileposts
numbered from north to south are keyed to the map on the left, and to
the table below. Symbols indicate developed areas (accommodations,
restaurants, service stations); entrance and ranger stations; camp and
picnic grounds; trail cabins and shelters; roads and trails. Most picnic
grounds have fireplaces; all have tables and water.

  _NOTE: Dates given for accommodations areas vary with weather
  conditions from season to season._

  Mile                   Point of Interest                    Elevation,
                                                                 Feet

    0.0  Junction with US. 340                                        595
    0.6  North Entrance Station                                       705
    2.8  Shenandoah Valley Overlook. First important view           1,390
         of the valley 900 ft. below. Directly opposite is
         Signal Knob. Civil War communications post, on
         Massanutten Mountain
    4.6  Dickey Ridge Visitor Center. Exhibits and
         programs to explain park. Information, bookstore,
         maps. Restrooms. Picnic grounds nearby.
         Telephone. Open daily Apr. through Oct.
   17.1  Range View Overlook. Piedmont Plateau; Blue Ridge          2,810
         peaks
   20.1  Hogback Overlook. Eleven bends in Shenandoah               3,385
         River visible on clear day
   24.1  Elkwallow. Picnic grounds. Lunch, souvenirs,               2,445
         gasoline. May through Oct.
   31.5  Panorama (Thornton Gap Entrance Station).                  2,300
         Intersection with U.S. 211. Dining room, lunch
         counter, gift shop, service station. Open all
         year. Trail to Marys Rock. Park headquarters 4
         miles west on U.S. 211; 8 miles to Luray
   32.4  Marys Rock Tunnel cut through 700 feet of rock             2,545
         (13-foot clearance)
   36.7  Pinnacles. Picnic grounds                                  3,550
   37.4  Pinnacles Ranger Station                                   3,215

    [Illustration: SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
    _VIRGINIA_]

  Mile                   Point of Interest                    Elevation,
                                                                 Feet

   37.4  Pinnacles Ranger Station                                   3,215
   39.2  Little Stony Man Parking Area. 1½-mile-round-trip          3,210
         trail to sweeping view of Shenandoah Valley
   41.8  Entrance to Skyland. Lodge rooms, cottages,                3,680
         dining room, coffeeshop, gift shop, riding
         horses. Accommodations for 350. May through Oct.
         Stony Man Nature Trail Parking Area
   42.6  Whiteoak Canyon Parking Area. 5-mile-round-trip            3,510
         trail to falls
   44.5  Crescent Rock Overlook. Best view of Hawksbill             3,550
         Mountain, highest in park
   46.6  Upper Hawksbill Gap Parking Area.                          3,400
         2-mile-round-trip trail to summit of Hawksbill
   50.5  Dark Hollow Falls Parking Area.                            3,070
         1½-mile-round-trip trail to falls
   51.3  Big Meadows Wayside. Coffeeshop, gift shop,                3,500
         service station, campers’ store. Apr. through Oct.
         Entrance to Big Meadows. Lodge, dining room,
         hotel rooms, and cottages. Gift shop, riding
         horses. Accommodations for 250. Apr. through Oct.
         Camp and trailer sites, picnic grounds. Showers
         and automatic laundry. Big Meadows Nature Trail.
         Ranger station.
   57.6  Lewis Mountain. Coffeeshop, cabin accommodations           3,390
         for 24, Apr. through Oct. Camp and trailer sites,
         picnic grounds
   62.9  South River. Picnic grounds; 2½-mile-round-trip            2,940
         trail to falls
   65.7  Swift Run Gap. Intersection with U.S. 33. Dining           2,365
         room, gift shop, service station. Apr. to mid-Nov.
   73.2  Simmons Gap Ranger Station                                 2,245
   78.2  Rockytop Overlook. Big Run watershed, wild canyon          2,860
         scenery, trails
   90.1  Calvary Rocks Parking Area. 2-mile-round-trip              2,730
         trail
  104.6  South Entrance Station                                     2,070
  105.4  Rockfish Gap; intersection with US. 250; 5 miles           1,910
         to Humpback Rocks Visitor Center—Blue Ridge
         Parkway

    [Illustration: _The mountains of the Blue Ridge are rounded by ages
    of erosion._]



                                GEOLOGY


Geologists tell us how the rounded, forest-covered mountains of the Blue
Ridge record more than a billion years of the earth’s history. The two
types of granitic basement rocks are the oldest. These rocks were formed
many thousands of feet beneath the surface of the earth, as large masses
of magma (molten rock) cooled and crystallized very slowly. One type of
granitic rock (hypersthene granodiorite) is exposed at Marys Rock
Tunnel, and along the crest and on the western flank of the Blue Ridge.
The other type is a much coarser grained granite. It is named Old Rag
granite for exposures found on that mountain and in the area east of the
crest of the Blue Ridge. Both of these granitic rocks were changed by
heat and pressure (metamorphism), which accounts for their layered or
laminated (gneissic) textures at many locations.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, long before the present landscape was
formed, erosion carved an ancestral terrain of mountains, hills, and
canyons into the ancient granitic rock. There were no trees,
wildflowers, or animals to relieve the barrenness of the wind- and
rain-swept landscape. A half-billion years ago, only a few primitive
plants (algae) may have spotted the jagged granite hills.

Then, from a series of long cracks or fissures in the earth, layer after
layer of lava poured out until most of the granitic hills were submerged
in a vast, level plain of lava. These basaltic outpourings formed the
principal rocks of the Catoctin formation. Long after the lavas had
hardened, they were radically altered by intense metamorphism into
completely new groups of minerals, which give the rock its present
characteristic green color, and its name—greenstone. This extremely
durable greenstone schist caps many of the highest peaks in Shenandoah.

The lava plateau sank slowly beneath advancing Paleozoic seas. Some
30,000 feet of sea-floor sediments were deposited in a vast trough, or
geosyncline. Only the very lowest or oldest rocks from this age are now
found in the north and south districts of the park. They belong to the
Chilhowee series, but throughout the central district even these have
been stripped by erosion from the crest of the Blue Ridge.

Near the end of the Paleozoic era (some 180 million years ago), the
sediments of the Appalachian geosyncline were subjected to intense
compression by tremendous unknown forces acting from the southeast.
These intense pressures slowly wrinkled, folded, shoved, and fractured
the ancient granites, lavas, and sea-floor sediments into a great
original Appalachian mountain system, which stood several times higher
than the present mountains. Most of the younger rocks were shoved into
parallel mountain ridges to the west of the Blue Ridge and now form the
Allegheny Mountains. Continuous erosion has stripped thousands of feet
of material from the former alplike mountains. Vast quantities of this
material have been transported to the sea. Some of it was deposited in
local basins to the east during the Triassic period. The Triassic
redbeds are now being uncovered by erosion along Lee Highway (U.S. 211)
and in the road cuts west of Bull Run or Manassas Battlefield. Even
today the geologic forces continue, almost unnoticed, to change and
shape the land.



                                 PLANTS


Ninety-five percent of the Blue Ridge is wooded, and much of this forest
is made up of scarlet, red, and chestnut oaks. On the ridges and dry
slopes there may also be hickory, black locust, black birch, and
scattered maple, black gum, ash, and pine. In moister coves there is a
greater variety of species including white oak, maple, birch,
yellow-poplar, sycamore, and basswood. In cooler coves and on north
slopes, hemlocks are dominant. At higher elevations, red spruce and
balsam fir stand as relics of the northern forest type that covered the
Blue Ridge during the more arctic conditions of the Pleistocene Age.

The limberlost at the head of Whiteoak Canyon contains hemlocks that are
over 400 years old and 3 feet in diameter. The dead trunks of some giant
American chestnuts are still standing, but these trees are no longer a
part of the Blue Ridge forest—they were killed out by the chestnut
blight. The forests of 300 years ago were cut for wood products and to
clear land, and their regrowth was prevented by fire and grazing.

Today’s forest contains mostly small trees. The older oaks along the
exposed ridge lines have been twisted and broken by ice and wind. In
many places open fields are becoming overgrown with scrub pine, black
locust, sassafras, and other early invaders. These lead the way for the
return of the climax oak forest that will again someday clothe the
mountains.

The changing seasons make the variety of Shenandoah’s woody plants
conspicuous. The flowers of redbud, dogwood, wild cherry, black locust,
azalea, and mountain laurel make spring a veritable fairyland. The
autumn color parade begins with black gum and red maple, varied and
added to by hickories, dogwood, ash, and sassafras, until the climax of
oaks makes the slopes blaze with red and orange, then subside to russet
and brown. The gray of winter branches is relieved only by the dark
green of pine, spruce, fir, and hemlock.

From March to November, you will find flowers blooming in the Blue
Ridge. So many kinds: 80 different flowering plants can be identified in
a day’s walk.

In the spring, hepatica and masses of violets, bluets, and marsh
marigolds brave the uncertain weather of March and April, followed by
the bloodroot, trillium, and jack-in-the-pulpit. Summer brings great
clumps of goldenrod and Queen Anne’s lace, asters, daisies, and
black-eyed-susans along the roadside. In the fields look for columbine,
the showy turks-cap lily, and the purple thistle.

Autumn’s brilliant leaves compete with the flower displays, but many
varieties hold their own—goldenrod, asters, chicory, yarrow, fireweed,
and ironweed. To all these are added the bright fruits of the dogwood,
white baneberry, sumac, and mountain ash. It is no wonder that October
draws more visitors to the park than any other month except July.



                                WILDLIFE


_Birds._

This park is an exciting place for birdwatchers who could, if they had
time and patience, spot more than 100 different species at the height of
the spring migration (April and May). Other migrants bring the year’s
total to 200.

You will notice first of all the soaring birds—buzzards, vultures, and
ravens—because they are constantly “floating” over mountaintops and
valleys. Take a few minutes to watch the raven do his stunts. He’s the
acrobat of the park’s bird population. Like a highly maneuverable
aircraft, he dives and stalls, somersaults and soars for hours on end,
apparently with no aim but to have a good time.

On the roadside, watch for the indigo bunting and junco, the ruffed
grouse, and, in the southern part of the park, the wild turkey. Along
the trail you will hear the towhee call his name; the hammering of the
woodpecker; the call of the whip-poor-will and the mourning dove; the
screech of the jay.

The woods are filled with songbirds; if you listen closely, you may hear
oven-birds, red-eyed vireoes, nuthatches, chickadees, catbirds, wrens,
brown-thrashers, and black-throated blue warblers.

Bring your bird guide along. You will find your hikes and walks greatly
enriched by being able to identify the birds you see and hear, and you
may introduce the whole family to a new interest that will reward you
wherever you travel.


_Mammals._

Because the Blue Ridge was dominated by man for over 200 years, wild
animals both large and small became scarce. Now, under park protection,
deer and bears, bobcats and foxes are increasing in number. Of these,
most likely you will see the white-tailed deer in the early morning or
evening in open meadows. Watch for them at Skyland, near the Whiteoak
parking area, at Big Meadows, and at the edge of the forests,
particularly in the northern part of the park.

The woodchuck feeds all day long on the shoulders of the drive, but
because he is the same color as the rocks, you may miss him. The
friendly, noisy chipmunk you will find in camp and picnic grounds. Gray
squirrels are numerous in the woods and cottontails in meadows and
clearings. Flying squirrels are active only at night.

Also, after dark be on the lookout for the pert, masked face of the
raccoon. He, as well as the familiar black-and-white coat of the skunk,
may turn up in the glare of your headlights.


_Fishes._

An interesting assortment of native fishes lives in quiet pools and
turbulent riffles of park streams. In cooler headwaters, brook trout
find a favourite home. Suckers, shiners, dace, bass, and sunfish join
the trout in warmer waters farther downstream. More than 20 kinds of
fishes inhabit the park waters. The American eel makes its long
migration from the Shenandoah streams to the Atlantic Ocean to spawn and
then return upstream.



                              THE SEASONS


Shenandoah National Park is open the year round. However, you may
occasionally find Skyline Drive closed for short periods because of ice,
snow, or heavy fog. Big Meadows Campground is open the year around, and
lodge and cottage accommodations are available from April through
October; exact dates depend on the weather. Entrance fees are suspended
during the winter.


_Spring._

When the buds turn red on the maple trees, you know that spring is on
the way to the Blue Ridge. Soon, the pale-green veil of new leaves
begins to creep slowly—about a hundred feet a day—up the slopes from the
valley floor until the mountainsides are painted with the color of
spring. In the woods, the violets and marsh marigolds are blooming
together in clumps beside the springs, and tiny blossoms appear
everywhere in sunny patches on the forest floor. The air is crisp and
fresh. Except for a few mild days, it is cold in the park until June.
Along the drive, the dogwood and redbud bloom early, followed by azalea
and black locust, and in early June by the delicate pink and white of
laurel.


_Summer._

These are the hazy, lazy days that often bring afternoon thunderstorms
and spectacular waves of fog that sweep across the mountaintops and hide
the valleys. Temperatures are a comfortable 15° lower than those in the
valley—mid-80’s in the daytime, mid-40’s at night. At midday, the air is
heavy with the damp, earthy smell of the woods, and the sweet scent of
wildflowers in the fields. It is a good time of year to go for a
leisurely walk in the woods, where shade is everywhere, or to pluck
blackberries and blueberries in the Big Meadows. And if a shower catches
up with you, you’ll be dry again before you get back. We suggest that
you take a short walk out to Stony Man or Crescent Rock and gaze at the
incredible patchwork of farm and field in the valley below. Field
glasses will add to your enjoyment of this view.


_Autumn._

This time of year brings the “down-flowing” of autumn color from
mountaintops to the coves and hollows. By mid-September the foliage has
begun to change, starting with the Virginia creeper. Exquisite patches
of color—the blood-red of the gum, the red and yellow of the
maple—appear in large areas of green, and soon whole mountainsides have
“caught fire.” There is a series of “color-peaks” as varied as the
different latitudes and altitudes within the park, but the most lavish
displays usually occur between October 10 and 20. This is hiking
weather, and campfire-picnic weather.


_Winter._

Do not discount the beauty of the Blue Ridge in winter when the trees
shed their leaves and open up new vistas. Now, you can see long
distances in every direction. The cold crisp days are brilliant, and the
evergreens stand out like bright-green exclamations against the snowy
white of the hillsides. After a storm, with the roads freshly cleared,
you can come up and inspect Stony Man, who will be wearing a frosty
beard. Gleaming icicles cascade over a cliff like a frozen Niagara. On
crisp winter mornings observe the ghostly fog “fingers” that protrude
from branches like ruffled white plumes.

    [Illustration: _A second-growth oak forest covers Stony Man
    Mountain._]



                             HUMAN HISTORY


There is no record—except for isolated artifacts—of Indian inhabitants
in Shenandoah National Park. The Shawnee and the Moneton, Saponi, and
Manahoac were reported in the valleys during the 17th century, but they
wandered into the mountains only occasionally to hunt.

It is not surprising, then, that John Lederer found only deer, bears,
and wolves when he arrived in the present area of Big Meadows with his
Indian guides. Virginia’s Governor, Sir William Berkeley, had sent him,
in 1669, to explore the unknown mountains. Lederer is the first known
white man to venture into the uncharted Blue Ridge.

In 1716, Gov. Alexander Spotswood, also seeking westward expansion for
Virginia, led 50 men on horseback through Swift Run Gap and down the
western slope to see the Shenandoah Valley, where they camped by the
river they called “Euphrates.” After their return home Spotswood
proclaimed them “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe,” and presented each a
tiny gold horseshoe.

Shortly afterward, English, German, and Scotch-Irish pioneers began to
settle in the valleys. They gradually moved up into the coves and
hollows of the Blue Ridge. By 1760, roads were being built, and grist
mills, sawmills, cider presses, and tanneries were common sights. The
first toll turnpike, in 1785, crossed the mountains at Thornton Gap
(Panorama). It was named for Francis Thornton, who settled there in
1733. Other important roads crossed at Swift Run and Browns Gap, in the
southern section of the park.

In the early years, the settlers of the Blue Ridge coves and hollows
wrested a comfortable living from their farms and domestic industries.
They sold lumber products and tanbark to the lowland settlers for cash
and thus could buy things they could not produce.

For some 20 years before the Civil War, there was iron and copper mining
in the Blue Ridge. The mountain people were not much affected by this
short-lived industry and by the time the war came, the ores had been
worked out. You can see remnants of the old copper mines on the Stony
Man Nature Trail.

During the Civil War, both the Piedmont and the Shenandoah Valley became
battlegrounds; Browns Gap was used by Jackson as an important
thoroughfare in the Campaign of 1862, and Signal Knob became a major
communications point. You can see Signal Knob from the Shenandoah Valley
Overlook.

When the railroad came to the Shenandoah Valley, heavy machinery and
larger, more efficient industry came with it. Many mills and tanyards
that served small communities through the skill and energy of one man or
family became quiet, then decayed into the landscape. Demand for the
mountaineers’ crafts decreased. They had little cash income left except
from moonshining and chestnuts. By 1915, the fungus chestnut blight had
destroyed most of the chestnut trees.

Isolated from the rapidly changing lowlands, and with their forest and
soil resources depleted, the mountain people were reduced to subsistence
farming.

As the years passed, the population of the mountains east of the
Shenandoah dwindled. However, there were still over 2,000 people living
on the lands which were acquired by the State of Virginia for Shenandoah
National Park. Before the land was deeded to the Federal Government,
these people, more than 400 families, moved to new homes. The
self-sufficient families moved without assistance. The very old and the
disabled were helped by the State Welfare Department. About 300 families
were moved into homesteads by the U. S. Resettlement Administration.
Here each family had the use of a house and small farm with the
privilege of long-term purchase.



                             A PARK EMERGES


The first official act in forming the park was the appointment of the
Southern Appalachian National Park Committee. The Secretary of the
Interior appointed the committee to survey the Blue Ridge and other
eastern regions as sites for future National Parks. After hearing the
report, local groups were formed to promote the project.

The Shenandoah National Park Association, formed in 1925, became an
instrument of this movement. In 9 months its members raised $1,249,000.
Twenty-four thousand Virginians pledged this amount to buy up the
necessary property at $6 an acre. The Virginia Assembly voted an
additional million dollars to help buy up the 3,870 private tracts, and
in 1926 Congress formally authorized establishment of the park.

Eight years went by before the land was totally acquired. In the interim
the Skyline Drive, which early had been visualized as one of the major
attractions of the park, was begun in 1931. In 1934 the first section
was opened to the public.

At Big Meadows, on July 3, 1936, Shenandoah National Park was dedicated
“to present and succeeding generations of Americans for the recreation
and the re-creation” they were to find there.



                          PRESERVING THE PARK


You may wonder why dead trees and fallen logs are not removed, why
streams are not dammed for swimming, and why certain plants and animals
are not brought into the park and others removed.

The answer is in the fundamental policy of the National Park Service to
maintain the National Parks in their natural state. The landscape
scars—remnants of roads and fences, and grazed-over land—will disappear
in time. The forests will come back to cover the farmlands, and in its
own way the wildlife will balance and adjust to this forest ecology.
These are the things you see taking place in your National Parks all
over the country.

And so we ask you not to disturb the flowers or trees in any way, and
not to collect rock specimens. You can help to protect the wildlife by
driving carefully. Hunting is prohibited anywhere in the park.



                        PREPARING FOR YOUR VISIT


_Books and Maps._

Knowing something about the park before your visit will help you enjoy
it more. You can order books and maps from the Shenandoah Natural
History Association (a nonprofit organization), c/o Shenandoah National
Park, Luray, Va., or buy them at the visitor center or at park
headquarters. The association will send you a list of titles and prices.
The following publications are representative.

The book, _Skyland, Heart of Shenandoah National Park_, based on the
autobiography of George Freeman Pollock, contains early photographs.
_The Mammals of Shenandoah National Park_ describes the wildlife in the
park with stories and photographs. The illustrated book, _101
Wildflowers of Shenandoah National Park_, is an excellent flower guide.
Topographic trail maps of north, central, and south sections of the park
and a booklet describe _20 Circuit Hikes_.

Describing not only Shenandoah, but all of our parks, is Freeman
Tilden’s _The National Parks_.


_What To Bring._

Summer sportswear for daytime; sweaters and topcoats for evening (tuck
in a raincoat, too). Bring sturdy shoes for walking; non-skid soles are
good for rocks and slippery trails. Binoculars, or field glasses, will
double your appreciation of the park, especially of its birds and
animals. Do not forget your camera; film is available at the lodges.



                         HOW TO REACH THE PARK


There are four main entrances to the park along the Skyline Drive. These
are:

_North Entrance_ (Front Royal, Va.): From U.S. 340 and Va. 55 and 522.

_Thornton Gap_ (Mile 31.6): From U.S. 211.

_Swift Run Gap_ (Mile 65.7): From U.S. 33.

_South Entrance_ (Rockfish Gap): From U.S. 250, and from the Blue Ridge
Parkway.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, when completed, will link Shenandoah National
Park with Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a distance of 469 miles.
A unit of the National Park System, the parkway is more than two-thirds
complete. Short detours are well marked. Information on road conditions
can be obtained at the entrance stations.


_Bus service_

is available at nearby towns all year. Virginia Trailways,
Charlottesville, Va., operates tours to and through the park from late
May through October. Call Trailways terminals for reservations and
information.



                            PARK REGULATIONS


_Traffic._

The speed limit is 35 miles per hour. Park rangers, in charge of traffic
control, investigate all accidents. When necessary they gather material
for preparation of court cases to be heard before a park commissioner.

Signal when crossing the road to overlooks. Drive slowly on curves and
in rainy weather when roads are slippery. In fog, observe “Travel Not
Advised” warnings; they are posted for your safety. If you must proceed,
use your driving lights.

The solid centerline in the road is for your safety. Keep to the right.
Pass only when your sight distance permits.


_Fires._

Build fires only in fireplaces at picnic areas and campgrounds. Be sure
your campfire is out! Be careful with cigarettes; do not throw them from
your automobile or along the trail. Remember, fire is the forest’s
greatest enemy.


_Pets._

Dogs and cats must be on a leash at all times, or otherwise confined.


_Litter._

You will find trash receptacles in all parking and picnic areas. Deposit
your refuse there—do not throw it along the road like a litterbug!


_Camping_

is limited to 14 days in any one year. Campsites cannot be reserved;
when they are filled, rangers will direct you to temporary campgrounds.


_Fishing._

A Virginia license is required. Trout fishing only permitted. A 3-day-$3
nonresident trout fishing license is available at all concession units
in the park. Obtain a complete set of fishing regulations from a park
ranger at the entrance station as you come into the park, or write to
the superintendent for a set.


_Firearms._

Assembled firearms and similar devices, including air pistols and
rifles, bows and arrows, and slingshots, are prohibited. Shenandoah
National Park is a sanctuary for all wildlife, and the hunting, killing,
wounding, frightening, or capturing of any wildlife is prohibited.



                            VISITOR-USE FEES


Vehicle permit fees are collected at entrance stations. If you arrive
when an entrance station is unattended, you must obtain a permit before
leaving the park. Fees are not listed herein because they are subject to
change, but the information may be obtained by writing to the
superintendent.

Fee revenues are deposited in the U.S. Treasury; they offset, in part,
the cost of operating and maintaining the National Parks.



                             ADMINISTRATION


Shenandoah National Park is administered by the National Park Service,
U.S. Department of the Interior.

The National Park System, of which this park is a unit, is dedicated to
conserving the scenic, scientific, and historic heritage of the United
States for the benefit and enjoyment of its people.

Development of this park is part of MISSION 66, a 10-year conservation
program to unfold the full potential of the National Park System for the
use and enjoyment of both present and future generations.

The administrative offices of Shenandoah National Park are located 4
miles west of Thornton Gap and 4 miles east of Luray, Va., on Lee
Highway (U.S. 211). If you have questions or comments about the park,
send them to the Superintendent, Shenandoah National Park, Luray, Va.

_Park Rangers_ are the protective force of the park, and are assigned to
enforce park regulations, and to help and advise you during your stay.
Consult them if you are in any difficulty, or need information. Ranger
stations are indicated on the map on pages 10-13.

_Park Naturalists_ are here to help you understand and enjoy the park’s
features. You will meet the naturalists at the visitor center, at
evening campfire talks, and on conducted walks. They welcome your
questions and comments.



                      AMERICA’S NATURAL RESOURCES


Created in 1849, the Department of the Interior—America’s Department of
Natural Resources—is concerned with the management, conservation, and
development of the Nation’s water, wildlife, mineral, forest, and park
and recreational resources. It also has major responsibilities for
Indian and territorial affairs.

As the Nation’s principal conservation agency, the Department works to
assure that nonrenewable resources are developed and used wisely, that
park and recreational resources are conserved, and that renewable
resources make their full contribution to the progress, prosperity, and
security of the United States—now and in the future.

    [Illustration: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR • NATIONAL PARK SERVICE]

                             UNITED STATES
                       DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Revised 1963
                          U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1963—O-676410
 For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing
              Office, Washington 25, D. C.—Price 15 cents



                          Transcriber’s Notes


—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.





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