Celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th birthday with free admission.
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A rock promontory along Whiteoak Falls in Shenandoah National Park.
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Campers cooking dinner along one of the more than 200 campsites at Big Meadows Campground in Shenandoah National Park.
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A park ranger holding a screech owl in Shenandoah National Park.
Happy birthday, National Park Service! Yesterday marked 100 years since the launch of what may have been one of the best ideas in U.S. history, and to celebrate, the park service is offering free admission to all national parks this weekend.
Virginia's crowning jewel, Shenandoah National Park, is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Its 200,000 acres of undisturbed nature, more than 500 miles of trails, five campgrounds and a full slate of events and activities attract more than one million visitors every year. This weekend, take advantage of the waived admission fee at SNP and join one of these organized group hikes:
10:00 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26
Meet at the Upper Hawksbill parking area (mile 46.7) for a 2.1-mile hike through a high-elevation to the peak of the park’s tallest mountain.
4:00 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27
For a short, easy hike on the beloved Appalachian Trail and breathtaking views of Big Meadows, head to Big Meadows Ampitheater (mile 51).
Hike Through History
10:00 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28
Take a hike and learn a few things. On this 1.9-mile historical hike starting at the Pocosin Trailhead (mile 59.5) will you’ll see the ruins of a 1904 Episcopal mission and hear stories about the park.
But Shenandoah isn’t the only place worth visiting this weekend. Join Assateague Island National Seashore park rangers at Toms Cove Visitor Center on Friday, Aug. 26 to learn how to use a seine net or hop on a free bus tour on Saturday, Aug. 27 for a look at the history of Richmond’s National Parks. NPS.org/shen, NPS.org/asis, NPS.org/rich