Wildlife and Pests
Ticks and other insects that carry disease are prevalent in Virginia. We highly recommend using insect repellent.
Here are some good practices that the Sierra Club, The National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend for anyone visiting parks in the region.
There are several symptoms that people should be concerned about after visiting wooded areas that may expose them to ticks. If you experience any of the following warning symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible and get treatment:
-An unusual rash, called the "Bulls Eye" rash, around the area of a tick bite. This rash does not occur in all cases, so other symptoms are just as important to look out for headaches, mild aches and pains, fever,and mild flu-like symptoms
Although our park is surrounded by civilization, keep an eye out for wildlife, including many deer on the roadways and the occasional black bear.
Do you know how to respond if you see a black bear? Black bears are a natural inhabitant of our ecosystem, and we do have sightings of them in the park on an irregular basis, usually late summer to early fall. Please leave the bears alone, and they will usually leave you alone. If you feel threatened, do NOT run away. Slowly walk away, facing the bear. If it comes toward you, make lots of noise (they do not see very well) and if it continues to approach, throw things (like rocks or sticks - but NOT food) at the bear if it gets too close. Running from a bear is a bad response--it might trigger a predator response where the bear may run towards you.
Summers in Virginia are often very hot with high heat indexes. Check the weather in advance of your trip, and plan accordingly. Dress for the heat and for sun protection. Pack lots of water.
The Shenandoah Valley experiences temperate spring and fall seasons and winters with snowfall and cold temperatures.
No roads within the park boundary are owned by the NPS. They are all maintained by state and local governments. Be prepared to drive on unimproved roads if taking the self-guided tour, ranger led tour, or battlefield app.
Last updated: June 9, 2018