Virginia Shenandoah National Park map and highlights

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Virginia Shenandoah National Park map and highlights

Map of National Park Shenandoah, Virginia
Shenandoah Virginia on the map. National Park Shenandoah ( Virginia state ) on the map of USA.    
Far right, top: The heart of Shenandoah's beauty is its  forests—over 95 percent of the park is covered with lush forests with  100 species of trees.    
Far right, middle: The barred owl is a permanent resident of the  park, but many species of birds find their way here on their southward  migration.    
Far right, bottom: Deer are frequently seen from the trails that  crisscross the ridges and valleys, and the hills and hollows of this  enchanted land.    
Facing page: Scenic Skyline Drive provides panoramic vistas of the spectacular Shenandoah Valley.    
Below: A family enjoys a peaceful moment of solitude as the sun  sets on the Blue Ridge Mountains, painting the horizon pink and purple.    
National Park Shenandoah, Virginia    
Established: 1935   Acreage: 195,057
     
Shenandoah National Park lies astride a section of the Blue  Ridge, which forms the eastern bulwark of the Appalachian Mountains  between Pennsylvania and Georgia. Providing vistas of the spectacular  landscape is the 105-mile-long Skyline Drive, a winding road that runs  along the Blue Ridge through the length of the park. The park contains  60 mountain peaks ranging from 2000 to 4000 feet in elevation. When it  was established in 1935, it became only the second national park east of  the Mississippi River.
     
The story of the park includes 9000 years of continuous human  involvement with the land. Indians lived here long before the Europeans  discovered it, living off the land, picking what they could use from the  native plants and hunting wild game. By 1800, white settlement of the  lowlands around the park was generally complete. While the valleys were  being colonized, the mountains themselves remained uninhabited. As long  as land was readily available in the valleys, farmers had no need to  move to the less hospitable mountain slopes. Later, good land was hard  to find, and people moved farther up the mountains.
     
It was these subsistence farmers who, in the mid-1800s,  established the celebrated 'mountain culture' of this area of the  Appalachians. As the people moved into the mountain hollows in  increasing numbers, they began to adversely affect the land. Game, once  plentiful, disappeared. Soil erosion increased as land was cleared for  use. By 1900 the land was wearing out and people began to move off the  ridge. In 1936, President Franklin D Roosevelt initiated a novel  experiment in returning an overused area to its original beauty.  Croplands and pastures soon became overgrown with shrubs, locusts, and  pine. In turn, oak, hickory and other trees that make up a mature  deciduous forest were growing within the boundaries of the park. The  vegetative regeneration has been so complete that in 1976 Congress  designated two-fifths of the park as a wilderness. The area now teems  with wildflowers, strawberries and blueberries, as well as many species  of wildlife— deer, bobcat, bear, turkey and smaller animals, such as  chipmunk, raccoon, skunk, opossum and gray squirrel. Over 200 species of  birds have been recorded. The park is also home to several species of  salamanders and snakes.
     
Although the park's primary purpose is to preserve the natural  resources, traces of the human story remain to be explored. The remains  of the mountain people's homes, barns, hog pens and fruit cellars exist  throughout the park as piles of logs, a few standing walls and lone  chimneys. A few significant historic buildings, such as President Hoover's Camp, have been preserved.   
Shenandoah Virginia on the map. National Park Shenandoah ( Virginia state ) on the map of USA
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