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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Great Reasons to Visit Shenandoah National Park This Spring

National Park Week is April 22-26 at all national park locations including Shenandoah National Park.  Nature lovers can take advantage of the free admission (Monday through Friday of that week) and explore Shenandoah.

Shenandoah National Park facilities started opening as scheduled this season with a new park superintendent, new management company and a new chef.  Jim Northup, a 32-year national park service ranger, was named superintendent of Shenandoah earlier this year.  DNC Parks & Resorts, Inc. is kicking off its first season as concessioner at Shenandoah.  Executive Chef, Steven Sterritt, is heading up the Skyland Resort culinary team.
Guests can enjoy an array of wildflowers, waterfalls and stunning views while staying at one of the three DNC Parks & Resorts' lodges located in the park – Big Meadows LodgeSkyland Resort or Lewis Mountain Cabins.  Shenandoah National Park's rich history and scenic beauty draws more than 1.2 million visitors each year.
"Spring is a special season in the Blue Ridge Mountains," said Wayne Soard, Parks & Resorts General Manager at Shenandoah. "Guests can enjoy over 1,300 species of plants, 50 species of mammals and 200 species of birds.  It's the perfect time for couples and families to discover all that Shenandoah has to offer".
What to See:
Breathtaking Views - Skyline Drive, the park's scenic roadway, meanders along the crest of the mountain revealing spectacular views of the Shenandoah Valley and Virginia Piedmont region. Seventy-five overlooks spaced along the Drive's 105 miles entice drivers to stop to take in the expansive vistas.
Location - Shenandoah National Park is located just 75 miles from Washington, D.C., and is a quick getaway from major metropolitan areas.
Wildflowers - Engage your senses with the abundance of wildflowers in Shenandoah. A beautiful and varied display begins in late March as the hepatica and bloodroot push their way through the forest leaf litter. In April, purple and yellow violets flower, and the large-flowered trillium, pink lady's slippers, and wild geraniums appear. In May, pink azaleas bloom in the forest and along Skyline Drive, followed by the white flowers of mountain laurel in June.
Waterfalls – Shenandoah's beautiful waterfalls are a favorite destination for hikers in spring.
What to Do:
Experience New and Classic Cuisine – DNC Parks & Resorts' new chef at Skyland Resort, Steven Sterritt, offers buttermilk fried chicken and other regional favorites in the Pollock Dining Room. In addition, guests may order popular dishes such as the Mile-High Blackberry Ice Cream Pie, or place an order with the front desk for a "Picnic-to-Go."
Sample Regional Wines - Sample award-winning, regional Virginia wines. Wine tastings are held every Thursday at 3:00 p.m. at either Skyland Resort or Big Meadows Lodge.
Join a Cooking Demonstration - Skyland Resort's new executive chef shares his expertise with guests every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. in the dining room building.
When to Go:
Spring Getaway Package - Enjoy great savings with the mid-week Spring Getaway package. Available through June 20 at both Skyland Resort and Big Meadow Lodge, it includes lodging, breakfast and gratuities. Packages start at$141 for two people.
Wildflower Weekend - May 4-5 is Wildflower Weekend in the park with scheduled hikes and programs led by National Park Service rangers and guest naturalists.
Delaware North also offers a 10 percent discount on the best available rate for Shenandoah lodging to AAA members, AARP members and active duty, reserve or retired U.S. Armed Services personnel.
Additional lodging promotions, events and activities for planning your Shenandoah getaway are available on our website www.goshenandoah.com or call 877.247.9261 to speak with the reservation office.

About Shenandoah National Park Established by Congress in 1935, Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia contains nearly 197,000 acres of land with over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Shenandoah draws up to 1.2 million visitors a year with its rich history, unique geography and wildlife, as well as the panoramic vistas from the Skyline Drive. This National Scenic Byway, built during the Depression era, winds along the crest of the mountains through the length of the park, providing vistas of the sweeping landscape to the east and west. Lodging options in the park include Skyland Resort (mile 41.7), Big Meadows Lodge (mile 51.2) and Lewis Mountain Cabins (mile 57.5), which are operated by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at Shenandoah, Inc., an authorized concessioner and hospitality provider for the National Park Service. For more information about Shenandoahaccommodations, dining and special events, call 877-247-9261 or visit www.goshenandoah.com.
Delaware North Companies is one of the largest privately held hospitality companies in the world. Delaware North Parks & Resorts operates lodging, retail and other guest services at Shenandoah National Park. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.
DNC Parks & Resorts at Shenandoah, Inc., is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service.
NPS release about Jim Northup:  http://home.nps.gov/cebe/parknews/jim-northrop-to-head-up-shenandoah-national-park-and-cedar-creek-and-belle-grove-national-historical-park.htm
Directions: http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/directions.htm