Saturday, August 25, 2012

Today ... Shenandoah National Park celebrates National Park Service's 96th birthday

Virginia's Shenandoah National Park offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails.

The scenic Skyline Drive runs for 100 miles from Front Royal to Rockfish Gap at Afton Mountain along the ridge tops of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Entrance to Loft Mountain Campground that is located in the southern end of the Park.

Loft Mountain Wayside is a one-stop gift shop, gas station, and grill
with indoor and outdoor dining.

Take a day trip to the Skyline Drive today and help the National Park Service (NPS) celebrate its 96th birthday. Virginia's Shenandoah National Park (SNP) will join other national parks throughout the country by offering festivities from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (MP 4.6) and Harry Byrd, Sr. Visitor Center at Big Meadows (MP 51).

Established on August 25, 1916, the National Park Service was the first organization of its type in the world to set aside special areas to be enjoyed by all citizens. The NPS today has 397 national parks it oversees throughout the country that include urban-to-wilderness areas that encompass national parks, monuments, historic sites, battlefield, seashores, and scenic byways.

The nation's oldest park, Yellowstone, was established in 1872 before the NPS was in existence, and other parks have been added throughout the years.

Today's activities will be unique to SNP as visitors learn about the animals who call that part of Virginia home and wildflowers that are abundant to the Blue Ridge Mountains. There will also be nature scavenger hunts, hands-on touch table, and a chance to try on a park ranger uniform. Programs will go on all day as rangers teach about the birds of prey in the Park as well as butterflies, endangered salamanders, and offer an opportunity to learn all about the Junior Ranger Program for kids.

 SNP Superintendent Martha Bogle invited all to join the party:
"Birthdays are a time to celebrate and we want everyone, especially the children of America, to join the party. National parks belong to all Americans and offer something for everyone -- so visit the park, wander a trail, take in the scenery, or join a ranger program. Children especially enjoy the popular Junior Ranger program where they earn a badge by taking part in kid-friendly activities."
Join in the fun all day at any of America's national parks.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
Cross-posted at Bearing Drift 

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