Greetings from Shenandoah National Park

As a summer intern in Washington D.C. working with NPCA, I got several opportunities to drive down to Shenandoah and experience my first eastern park (I’m a native West Coast-er) in many different ways. I drove along Skyline Drive with other NPCA interns as a storm brewed over the hills. I hiked solo up to Mary’s Rock to ogle the panoramic view of the Shenandoah Valley. I went backpacking with friends at Mathew’s Arm, leading to lots of muscle pain, laughter, and a night in the woods I’ll never forget.

But my most memorable Shenandoah experience this summer was talking to park staff, advocates, and experts as part of my internship project about the challenges Shenandoah faces from a warming climate. From them, I learned about creatures I didn’t get a chance to see for myself, but still call the park home, and what warmer temperatures could mean for them.

The Shenandoah salamander, for instance, can be found in a 2 square mile area of the park, and nowhere else on Earth. Because it can live only at high elevations, it will have nowhere to go if its native streams become too warm for it to survive there.

The brook trout, the only trout species native to Virginia and a keystone species for the ecosystem, is also threatened by warming waters. As the capstone for my internship, I wrote about what this fish means to both the park and the neighboring communities. That story is now featured on the NPCA blog:

I am grateful to NPCA for giving me the chance to get to know Shenandoah National Park so well and from so many different angles. I hope that in doing my small part to raise awareness about some of the unique challenges facing the park as a result of our actions, I can help ensure that the park and all its wildlife will survive and thrive for future generations to enjoy.


Shenandoah National Park

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia, Shenandoah features rolling tree-lined hills, wooded hollows, spectacular waterfalls and a diversity of wildlife, all easily accessible from the scenic Skyline Drive. The park preserves a remarkable slice of southern Appalachian natural history and beauty with a dazzling array of recreational opportunities.

State(s): Virginia

Established: 1935

“National parks represent America's heritage. They also offer so many opportunities to us today, from hiking and camping to wildlife watching and simply being in wilderness, that we couldn't get on the same level any other way. The national parks materially improve our quality of life as Americans and our connection to the land we call America.”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

{{ active ? "Cancel" : "Begin"}}

Success! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

You’ll be notified by email when your story is approved and added to the collection on the My Park Story homepage.

In the meantime, you can share your own story page with your family and friends — and help us spread the word about these priceless memories and priceless places!

Here’s your unique story page link:

{{ storyUrl }}

* indicates Required fields

Click to choose a file to upload

Submitting your story means that you agree to our Terms of Service

More Stories

  • Greetings from Shenandoah National Park

    More than 100 children from Arlington, VA visited Shenandoah National Park in April on a trip made possible by the Every Kid in a Park program. These children were part of an after-school educational program managed by AHC Inc., whose mission is to produce and preserve high quality affordable housing…

  • Greetings from Shenandoah National Park

    Once upon a time on a sunny, hot summer day, not a cloud in the sky, my boyfriend and I went to Lurray Caverns in Virginia, also accompanied by my boyfriend's best friend. On our way home we decided to drive the Skyline Trail if I recall the name correctly.…

  • Greetings from Shenandoah National Park

    After some nights with snow and wind gusts I woke up in Shenandoah National Park for a magnificent sunrise along Skyline Drive. The sky colored deep red and in the valley some low hanging clouds made this a perfect sunrise. This year i'm visiting all 59 national parks and publishing…


Preserve Our Parks

Make a tax-deductible gift today to provide a brighter future for our national parks and the millions of Americans who enjoy them.

Donate Now