Natural Features & Ecosystems
Shenandoah National Park includes 300 square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the central Appalachians. The park rises above the Virginia Piedmont to its east and the Shenandoah Valley to its west. Two peaks exceed 4,000 feet. The range of elevation, slopes and aspects of mountain and hillsides, rock and soil types, precipitation conditions, and latitude interact to create a mix of habitats.
The park’s biota and natural features include: well-exposed strata of the Appalachians, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world; diverse animal and plant populations and habitats; migratory bird stop-over points; and forested watersheds that perpetuate numerous streams flowing from uplands to lowlands.
Shenandoah is the largest fully protected area in the mid-Appalachian region.
Did You Know?
The large rounded boulders on the top of Old Rag, Shenandoah National Park’s most popular peak, were formed in place by chemical and physical weathering, called spheroidal weathering.