Wilderness Weekend 2017

Thornton hollow with Fall foliage

NPS/ N. Lewis

Shenandoah National Park Celebrates Wilderness!

September 9 - 10, 2017

Celebrate America's wilderness heritage during Shenandoah National Park's 17th annual Wilderness Weekend. 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.

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.

See the Program Schedule below and join us to learn more about Wilderness in Shenandoah.

 
Program Description Location
Saturday, September 09, 2017
Traditional Tool Demonstration Shenandoah National Park Trail Crew will share their expertise in traditional tools used to maintain trails in Wilderness. Visitors will be able to try their hands at using the tools and gain insight into the important role trail maintenance plays in protecting Wilderness for future generations. Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
9:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m.
Exhibits and Children's Activities Rangers will be on site to help explore the history and significance of Shenandoah's Wilderness through exhibits and hands-on activities for children. Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
9:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m.
Rose River Hike Join a Ranger on a 4-mile hike through Shenandoah’s designated Wilderness to explore the unique benefits of this important resource. Note: This is a moderate hike with 910-ft elevation change and a steep rocky section. Please bring water, a snack and wear appropriate footwear. 4 hours, moderate Meet at Fishers Gap Overlook, mile 49.3
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Packing for Success
— The Essentials for a Day in the Wilderness Seminar
Join a Backcountry Ranger to learn 10 essential items you should bring on your Wilderness experience. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
10:30 a.m.
"American Values: American Wilderness"
—Film
This film explores Wilderness across the United States. Listen to Americans share the meaning and significance of Wilderness.
24 minutes
Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
Showings at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Terrace Talk on Wilderness and Leave No Trace Principles
Ranger Talk
Join a Ranger to discuss the importance of Wilderness and how the principles of Leave No Trace can help us enjoy and protect our Wilderness areas. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Dickey Ridge Visitor Center,
mile 4.6
11:00 a.m.
The Wild Side of Shenandoah
Ranger Talk
Celebrate one of Shenandoah's iconic Wilderness animals at this short talk. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
11:30 a.m.
Wilderness Lessons in Leave No Trace
—Ranger Talk
Join a Backcountry Ranger for a short discussion on the special places we know as Wilderness and how each of us has the power to protect them while we enjoy them. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
12:30 p.m.
Dogs East
Search and Rescue Dog Seminar
Dogs East was founded in 1980 and is a professional search and rescue organization composed entirely of volunteers. They are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Come learn and observe how these dogs play a critical role in search and rescue operations. 1 hour, A, AL Big Meadows Amphitheater,
mile 51
1:30 p.m.
A Wilderness Experience: The Story of the Appalachian Trail
Evening Program
Join a Ranger for a Wilderness experience, and learn what it takes to hike the 2,200-mile long Appalachian Trail that spans from Georgia to Maine. Dress for cool mountain nights.
45 minutes, A, AL
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center,
mile 4.6
5:00 p.m.
Why Wilderness
Evening Program
A Ranger invites you to explore the history, necessity, and value of Wilderness. Dress for cool mountain nights. 45 minutes, A, AL Big Meadows Amphitheater,
mile 51
7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Traditional Tool Demonstration Shenandoah National Park Trail Crew will share their expertise in traditional tools used to maintain trails in Wilderness. Visitors will be able to try their hands at using the tools and gain insight into the important role trail maintenance plays in protecting Wilderness for future generations. Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Exhibits and Children's Activities Rangers will be on site to help explore the history and significance of Shenandoah's Wilderness through exhibits and hands-on activities for children. Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Orienteering Seminar
Here in Shenandoah National Park we have over 500 miles of hiking trails. We encourage you to bring a map as you explore, but do you truly know how to read it? Do you know how to use a compass? Join a Ranger to learn the basics of orienteering.
20-30 minutes, A, AL
Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
10:00 a.m.
Wilderness Lessons in Leave No Trace
—Ranger Talk
Join a Backcountry Ranger for a short discussion on the special places we know as Wilderness and how each of us has the power to protect them while we enjoy them. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Dickey Ridge Visitor Center,
mile 4.6
10:00 a.m.
"American Values: American Wilderness"
—Film
This film explores Wilderness across the United States. Listen to Americans share the meaning and significance of Wilderness.
24 minutes
Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
Showings at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Terrace Talk on Wilderness and Birds Followed by Live Bird Migration Watching Mid-September is peak migration season for many of Shenandoah’s bird species. Join us at 11:00 a.m.to learn about this amazing phenomenon. Live migration watching starts at 12:00 p.m. Come and go as you please and see what’s flying over us! Dickey Ridge Visitor Center,
mile 4.6
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Wild Side of Shenandoah
Ranger Talk
Celebrate one of Shenandoah's iconic Wilderness animals at this short talk. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
11:30 a.m.
Wilderness Lessons in Leave No Trace
—Ranger Talk
Join a Backcountry Ranger for a short discussion on the special places we know as Wilderness and how each of us has the power to protect them while we enjoy them. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
12:30 p.m.
Tying It All Together
Knot Tying Seminar
Properly hanging your bear bag, securing your tent at night, and keeping your boots on your feet. What do they all have in common? Knots! Join a Ranger to learn how to tie some simple knots that will come in handy while exploring Shenandoah's Wilderness areas. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
1:30 p.m.
The Life of Howard Zahniser
Ranger's Choice Talk
Join a Ranger for a talk on the life of Howard Zahniser, the author of the Wilderness Act. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center,
mile 51
2:30 p.m.
A= Accessible
AL= Assistive Listening Available

Last updated: September 1, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835

Phone:

(540) 999-3500

Contact Us