Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP Ranger led Programs and Tours
*** Due to Covid-19, ranger programs are currently not being scheduled- updated 7-15-20 ***Our calendar page has our current program schedule.
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove "in a Box"
A Park Overview Program 30 minute orientation program on the history and settlement of the Shenandoah Valley, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War on the local community. This interactive program uses the surrounding landscape features and various props (taken from a box) to "create" the park and tell its many stories by literally placing visitors "in the middle of the park." Great for kids and adults alike! Meet near the picnic area on Belle Grove's front lawn.
Kneading in Slience: A Glimpse into the Life of the Enslaved Cook Judah
This 30 minute presentation discussing the life of Judah, the enslaved cook of
Belle Grove. Purchased by the Hite's with her two young boys, Judah
remained their cook until her death in 1836. This program will take place in
the winter kitchen of the Belle Grove Manor House.
"From Back Country to Breadbasket" The Peopling of the Shenandoah Valley
A 30 minute program on the early history of the Shenandoah Valley through the eve of the Civil War. Meet near the picnic area on Belle Grove's front lawn.
"To Battlefield and Beyond" War Comes to the Shenandoah Valley
This 40 minute program examines the physical, economic and emotional impacts of many military campaigns and battles that occurred in the Valley. This presentation makes clear that it was more than just the soldiers on the battlefield who suffered. Meet at the Hupp's Hill Civil War Park.
Battle of Cedar Creek Tour
A two-hour guided tour, using a car-caravan system (visitors follow the ranger's vehicle), which covers the Battle of Cedar Creek in a chronological fashion. This 13 mile tour follows the major events of the fighting and includes approximately 5 or 6 stops at key battlefield landmarks. Meet at the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP Visitor Contact Station.
The 8th Vermont Monument
Visit one of the few monuments located on the battlefield and learn the story of the New England regiment it memorializes. Meet at 8739 Valley Pike, Middletown VA 22645 (A Park Service banner marks the site). A short walk over moderate terrain is required. Good walking shoes or boots are recommended.
Middletown Civil War Walking Tour
Learn of the citizens of Middletown who lived through those difficult times and how the war impacted their lives. Meet the ranger for a 90 minute walking tour at the corner of First and Main Street, Middletown. The only stoplight in town! (Normally offered once a month)
These 30 minute programs provide an overview of either the 1862 or 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaigns. This interactive presentation uses the surrounding landscape features and various props (taken from a box) to "create" the Valley and place visitors "in the middle of the campaign." Meet on the front lawn of Belle Grove.
On select Friday evenings during the summer and fall Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP will present a series of specialized tours in and around the park that will cover a wide variety of subjects related to the park and its rich cultural history. These programs will give visitors an opportunity to see sites not normally open to the general public. Explore and learn about some of the many "hidden gems" of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove. Each tour is designed to last 1-2 hours.
Program schedules will be announced on the park website or call for a current schedule. Visitors should contact the park at (540) 869-3051 for a current schedule and weather-related program changes.
Meet the Interpretive Ranger Staff
Eric Campbell has worked for the National Park Service for 31 years at parks such as Independence National Historical Park, Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. He has served as the Chief of Interpretation at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park since 2009.
Shannon Moeck has been an interpretive Ranger at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park since 2010. Inspired by her completion of the GOAL Academy in 2018, she went back to school and earned her BS in Leadership and Organizational Management at Eastern Mennonite University. In 2019, Shannon received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Lord Fairfax Community College. Shannon works closely with Belle Grove Plantation uncovering the history of the enslaved and freed people in the region. Together we actively partner with Coming to the Table, NAACP, the Josephine School, and the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project with programs and events. Shannon also manages the Park’s VIP program, website and social media, bookstore, among other collateral duties. When she isn’t at work, she is likely traveling the European continent or enjoying a local winery.
Jeff Driscoll is a Philadelphia native, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1972 with a B.A. in History and a minor in Fine Arts, has spent the better part of his life involved with education in some way: teaching and serving as an administrator in a variety of independent schools (including two stints in other countries); acting as Director of Education for the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (APCWS); volunteering for over 13 years for the National Parks; working as an Interpretive Ranger at the Gettysburg National Military Park; providing tours of numerous Civil War battlefields in the Mid-Atlantic area; leading trips to Europe; teaching adult education classes in history and German at Hagerstown Community College; and currently, working as a Seasonal Park Ranger at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.
Rick Ashbacker is a lifelong student of military history and geography, and is particularly interested in the Civil War. Before joining the National Park Service, Rick served as an intelligence analyst and officer in the U.S. Army where he held a variety of command and staff positions. He then taught public school science in Frederick County, Virginia, for 22 years. Now, as an Interpretive Park Ranger, Rick enjoys sharing America's unique military heritage with visitors.
Last updated: July 15, 2020