Shenandoah National Park announces second phase of entrance fee increase
On January 1, 2017, Shenandoah National Park will implement the second phase of its plan to raise the entrance fees to the park. In 2014, the National Park Service conducted a study of the entrance fees charged throughout the National Park System, to bring consistency to fees being charged at parks of similar size and complexity. To solicit public input, Shenandoah National Park launched a civic engagement campaign which included a series of public meetings aimed at discussing the increase needed to bring the park’s fees into compliance with other similar parks in the nation.
During the public comment period, the park received over 240 formal comments through e-mails, letters and on-line comments, as well as, over 100 comments on the park’s Facebook page. While the majority of comments supported an increase, many people felt that the original proposal was too much of an increase to make all at once. To respond to public comments, the park modified the proposal to phase implementation of entrance fee increases beginning in 2015, and followed by a second and final increase on January 1, 2017.
The new entrance fees and schedule are as follows:
|Pass Type||Effective January 1, 2017|
|Per Vehicle (1-7 days)||$25|
|Per Person (1-7 days)||$10|
|Motorcycle (1-7 days)||$20|
|Shenandoah National Park Annual Pass||$50|
“The fee program is critical to the park,” stated Jim Northup, Shenandoah National Park Superintendent. “Eighty percent of fees collected stay right here in the park and are put to work improving facilities and services important to visitors. Without this funding, park staff would have to forego these projects. The additional revenue from this increase will allow us to sustain this world-class park.”
Entrance fees have supported a wide range of projects that improve park conditions and visitor experience including, rehabilitating trails and trailhead signs, developing and installing exhibits in visitor centers, improving park water systems, rehabilitating wastewater treatment plants, providing ranger programs, improving ADA accessibility at Rapidan Camp and park comfort stations, and maintaining open vistas at park overlooks. Additional revenue raised by a fee increase may be used to rehabilitate/rebuild Front Royal Entrance Station for increased staff safety and improved access, restore wetlands in Big Meadows campground by removing a loop in and establishing replacement sites in a less sensitive area, as well as, restore backcountry stone structures, retaining walls, bridge structures, and huts.