Friday, October 15, 2010

Wilderness Weekend In Shenandoah National Park
October 16-17, 2010

Shenandoah National Park Celebrates Wilderness!
Celebrate America’s wilderness heritage during Shenandoah National Park’s annual Wilderness Weekend, held the third weekend of October. One of the largest wilderness areas in the Eastern United States, Shenandoah’s wilderness offers opportunities for solitude, scenic views, wildlife sightings, and glimpses into the past. Experience Shenandoah’s wilderness by hiking through it or looking into it from Skyline Drive.
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.
Wilderness Weekend is a partnership between Shenandoah National Park, the Shenandoah Park Association, and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). PATC volunteers are at several overlooks along Skyline Drive to share information about Shenandoah’s wilderness with visitors enjoying the park’s fall foliage.
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. Wilderness areas have been designated on public land across the United States. Today more than 109 million acres of public land are protected in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

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