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Shenandoah National Park closes Rapidan camp area, trails due to wildfire

Crystal Graham
Millers Head Fire
Millers Head Fire/file photo/submitted

Shenandoah National Park has closed the Rapidan camp area near the eastern boundary in the central section of the park due to a wildfire.

The closure includes the area around the historic camp and the trails leading to it including the following: 

  • Mill Prong Trail
  • Mill Prong Horse Trail
  • Stony Mountain Trail
  • Fork Mountain Trail
  • Laurel Prong from Cat Knob intersection
  • Upper Dark Hollow Trail (does not impact access to falls)
  • The lower Rapidan Fire Road beyond the portion open to bicycles

Earlier closures included the entire length of the Graves Mill Trail from the intersection of the Staunton River Trail to the Rapidan Fire Road and the entire length of the Wilhite Wagon Trail.

Firefighters and support staff from Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, and National Park Service continue efforts to contain the fire, which has affected approximately 2,960 acres on private, state and federal lands.

Heavy leaf litter and extremely dry conditions prompted a complete fire ban. Open-air fires are prohibited including in picnic area and campgrounds.

Heavy smoke from the fire is affecting the central portion of Shenandoah National Park as well as surrounding communities.

Daily updates, including a smoke outlook can be found on the park website at www.nps.gov/shen

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.