Shenandoah National Park marks 100th birthday of the National Park Service

ShenandoahLogo_Outlined_Black_VerticalShenandoah National Park extends an invitation to join us in celebrating the 100th birthday of the National Park Service this week.

As a birthday gift to everyone, the entrance fee to Shenandoah and all other national parks is waived from August 25 through August 28.

The National Park Service was born on August 25, 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation that created the National Park Service. Today, there are 412 national parks throughout the country and each one tells an important part of the American story. Some commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders, and all provide a place to have fun and learn. Shenandoah National Park has many special activities planned during this special week to celebrate our milestone 100th birthday. All activities are free.


Thursday, August 25, 2016
8:30 p.m., Big Meadows Amphitheater (mile 51 Skyline Drive)

“An Interview with Stephen Mather” features Shenandoah National Park Superintendent Jim Northup portraying Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, near the end of his stellar career in 1929. In this living history interpretive program, Park Ranger Michael Punches will portray a newspaper reporter asking questions about the many challenging issues regarding the formation and development of the National Park Service.


Friday, August 26, 2016
9:00 a.m., Loft Mountain Amphitheater (mile 79.5 Skyline Drive)

Coffee with the Superintendent – Join Superintendent Jim Northup for an informal gathering to chat about Shenandoah National Park.

10:00 a.m., Upper Hawksbill Parking Area (mile 46.7 Skyline Drive)

Centennial Hike: Hike to the Highest Peak – Explore a high-elevation forest on the way to the summit of Shenandoah’s tallest mountain, Hawksbill. 2 hours, moderate 2.1-mile hike


Saturday, August 27, 2016
11:00 a.m., Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51 Skyline Drive)

“Time Travel with Bubba Jones & Family” – Time travel to meet President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Civilian Conservation Corps boys. Come prepared for a short stroll with Jeff Alt, outdoor recreation expert and award- winning author.

4:00 p.m., Big Meadows Lodge (mile 51 Skyline Drive)

“Walk for Sunshine: Appalachian Trail” – Jeff Alt will present his acclaimed Walk for Sunshine Appalachian Trail program.

4:00 p.m., Big Meadows Amphitheater (mile 51 Skyline Drive)

Centennial Hike: Highest Point at Big Meadows – Take a short walk along the Appalachian Trail to the spectacular view from the Blackrock viewpoint. 1 hour, easy


Sunday, August 28, 2016
10:00 a.m., Pocosin Trailhead (mile 59.5 Skyline Drive)

Centennial Hike: Hike Through History – Travel back in time to learn about some of the Park’s human history and visit the ruins of an Episcopal mission. 2 hours, moderate 1.9-mile hike

Superintendent Jim Northup said “Please join us as we celebrate one of America’s best ideas – our National Park System”.

For more information about these events and other park programs, visit the Shenandoah National Park website at