By Glynn Wilson –
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK, Virginia – Hot and humid October weather that could be attributed to climate change due to global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels for energy has slowed the arrival of the color d maximum fall in the mountains of Virginia.
But it was still a beautiful day in the park on Wednesday October 20. You can’t go wrong stepping out and enjoying a national park on a day like this with 70’s low temperatures and not a cloud in the baby blue sky.
Take the time to sit on a rock face at one of the many viewpoints along Skyline Drive and give thanks to those smart enough almost a century ago who saw the need and benefit of preserving this wild and picturesque land from private developers for wildlife and future generations.
According to research by the National Park Service, the earliest evidence of humans in Shenandoah National Park dates from around 8,000 to 9,000 years ago. Native Americans visited this region seasonally to hunt, gather food, find materials for stone tools, and trade.
In the 1700s, European hunters and trappers explored the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley. Shortly after 1750, European settlers settled in the lowlands near springs and streams. Over the next century and a half, hundreds of families worked the land, planting orchards and crops, building farms and mills, using the mountains for logging and mining.
By the late 1800s, an increasingly urban American society yearned for places of recreation and refuge. Enterprising minds have built resorts, promoting mountain views, healthy water and cool breezes. As Congress created national parks in the west, a call was made for an eastern national park accessible to large population centers. It would take two decades to license Shenandoah National Park. Another decade passed before the park was created.
Learning about the history of Shenandoah means learning about the lives and communities of ancient mountain dwellers, the creation of the park, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the segregation of early visitors to the park, the dynamic and changing role of parks. in our society, and much more. All of these topics have a lasting impact on what Shenandoah is today and what it might become in the future.
I have visited, explored, photographed, and written about Shenandoah for the past eight years, since I first moved to the DC area in a media motorhome. Check out the links below the photographs for some of our most important stories.
Here’s what the peak color looks like looking north from Black Bear Curve along Skyline Drive:
More stories from Shenandoah
Climate change is coming to Shenandoah
Shenandoah’s Lewis Mountain Campground Welcomes African Americans
Camping and hiking in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
Fall color 2020: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Visit to Herbert Hoover’s Rapidan Camp, Shenandoah National Park
One-year-old bear named “Boo Boo” chooses awkward clearing in Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park
Secret Vistas: A Spiritual Experience in Shenandoah
If you stand for the truth in reporting without paywall and courageous writing without contextual ads or sponsored content, consider contributing today with GoFundMe or Patreon or PayPal.