Wilderness Weekend 2016

Thornton hollow with Fall foliage

NPS/ N. Lewis

Shenandoah National Park Celebrates Wilderness!

September 9 - 11, 2016

Celebrate America's wilderness heritage during Shenandoah National Park's 16th 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
Friday, September 9, 2016
"In Wilderness Lies the Hope of the World"
Evening Program
Discover how the immortal words from environmentalist John Muir still ring true in our modern society and how we can take home some of these wilderness values after our trip to Shenandoah ends. Join Ranger Bill as we also address what we are celebrating this centennial year. Dress for cool mountain nights. 45 minutes, A, AL Skyland Amphitheater,
mile 42.5
7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
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.
Rose River Hike What is Wilderness? What does it mean to you? Join a Ranger on a 4-mile hike through Shenandoah's designated Wilderness to explore the unique benefits of this important resource. Please bring water, a snack and wear appropriate footwear. 4 hours Meet at Fishers Gap Overlook, mile 49.3
9:00 a.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 Ranger Travis to learn the basics of orienteering. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 10:00 a.m.
Dogs East
Search and Rescue Dog Seminar
Dogs East was founded in 1980 and are 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
11:00 a.m.
"American Values: American Wilderness" This film, narrated by Christopher Reeve, explores Wilderness across the United States. Listen to Americans share the meaning and significance of Wilderness. 24 minutes Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 11:00 a.m. and 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.
Packing for Success
The Essentials of Backpacking Seminar
A stove, a water filter, extra socks, flashlight, extra batteries, three gallons of water, a cell phone, shampoo and conditioner. Should I take all this with me on my backpacking trip? Join Ranger Sabrina to learn these 10 essential items you should bring on your Wilderness experience. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 1:30 p.m.
A Wilderness Experience: The Story of the Appalachian Trail
Evening Program
Join Ranger Rob 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 Mathews Arm Campground, mile 22.2
5:30 p.m.
The Meaning of Wilderness
Evening Program
Join Ranger Debby to explore Wilderness at Shenandoah and discuss the meanings and values associated with these lands over 50 years after the birth of the Wilderness Act. Dress for cool mountain nights. 45 minutes, A, AL Big Meadows Amphitheater, mile 51
7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
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 Ranger Matt to learn the basics of orienteering. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 10:00 a.m.
"American Values: American Wilderness" This film, narrated by Christopher Reeve, explores Wilderness across the United States. Listen to Americans share the meaning and significance of Wilderness. 24 minutes Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 11:00 a.m. and 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.
Tying It All Together
Knot Tying Seminar
Properly hanging your bear bag, securing your tent at night, keeping your boots on your feet. What do they all have in common? Knots! Join Ranger Travis 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 Wilderness of Dark
Centennial Ranger's Choice
Each National Park Service site protects special natural and cultural resources. Join Ranger Kristin to learn about the importance of dark night skies in Wilderness areas and National Parks. 20-30 minutes, A, AL Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 2:30 p.m.
A= Accessible AL= Assistive Listening Available

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835

Phone:

(540) 999-3500
Use this phone number to contact us for all of your park inquiries!

Contact Us