Shenandoah National Park will be hosting a nine-day celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act from Saturday, August 30 through Sunday, September 7, 2014. The week’s events will include special ranger-led talks, hikes, Junior Ranger programs, and demonstrations held throughout the park. All programs during the nine-day event will feature a special emphasis on wilderness and the Wilderness resources found in Shenandoah National Park.
Along with the scheduled hikes and ranger programs, the Shenandoah National Park Trail Crew will host a primitive tool display and demonstrations at Byrd Visitor Center, Saturday August 30, and at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, Saturday September 6. Visitors can learn how trails in wilderness areas are maintained without power tools and can try their hand at using these tools to gain insight on the important role that trail maintenance plays in protecting Shenandoah’s Wilderness.
For those who want to help protect Wilderness areas in a more hands-on way, visitors can participate in a cleanup of Old Rag Mountain trails on Saturday, August 30. To volunteer for this cleanup, contact Leslie Velarde, Volunteer Coordinator, 540-999-3500, x3181.
All programs and demonstrations are FREE with your paid park entrance fee. A complete listing of wilderness programs and events can be found on the Shenandoah National Park website: www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/wilderness50-events.htm.
The 1964 Wilderness Act formally designated wilderness areas through federal law. This legislation provides the highest level of protection for some of our nation’s most iconic, wild landscapes. Initially more than 9 million acres of public land was set aside as Congressionally-designated wilderness. Today, more than 109 million acres of wilderness are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Shenandoah National Park has nearly 80,000 acres of designated wilderness, one of the largest Wilderness areas in the eastern United States, and is only 90 miles from Washington DC!
Whether you are looking to relax or exercise, disconnect or reconnect, wilderness provides a stunning setting for adventure, personal challenge, or solitude. The magic of wilderness is that it offers something different for each and every one of us and, thanks to the Wilderness Act, these special places will be protected for generations to come. For more information on the Wilderness Act and to find a Wilderness area near you, visit http://www.wilderness.net/