Luray, Virginia: On April 23, 2017 Shenandoah National Park will open the north district of Skyline Drive to non-motorized vehicles only to celebrate National ParkRx Day and National Park Week. During this event, Skyline Drive will be closed to motorized vehicles from the Front Royal Entrance Station at mile 0 to the Thornton Gap Entrance Station at mile 31.5. The rest of Skyline Drive will remain open to all vehicles. In honor of National Park Week, April 22 and 23 are fee-free days and all entrance fees into the park are waived.
“Ride the Drive” is a pilot event to promote opportunities for alternative modes of transportation and recreation, promote health and well-being, and enhance the visitor experience by providing an opportunity to access the Park in a unique way.
”Ride the Drive” is open to bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles. Registration opens March 10 and is required but does not guarantee a parking space. Registration information can be found on the Park website at www.nps.gov/shen/ride-the-drive.htm. The event begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. Parking will be in Front Royal at Skyline High School (151 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal). There will also be limited parking at Panorama Comfort Station (mile 31.6 Skyline Drive) with overflow at Hearthstone School (11576 Lee Highway, Sperryville). The Park will not be offering a shuttle service.
To ensure a safe event, all participants will obey the rules of the road, maintain control of their bicycle or non-motorized vehicle at all times, abide by the 35-mile-per-hour speed limit, stay in their lane of traffic, and follow all other Park regulations and policies (i.e., lights in foggy and rainy conditions, etc).
Facilities will be limited:
- Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6) – restrooms and water
- Browntown Overlook (mile 14.9) – restrooms
- Elkwallow Wayside (mile 24) – restrooms, water, and food
- Elkwallow Picnic Grounds (mile 24) – restrooms
- Panorama Comfort Station (mile 35.5) – restrooms and water
To prepare for the event, the North District of the Park (mile 0 to 31.5 Skyline Drive) will close to motorized vehicles beginning at 10:00 p.m. the evening of April 22 and will reopen to motorized vehicles at 7:00 p.m. on April 23.
National ParkRx Day is celebrated across the United States to promote the growing movement of prescribing parks and nature to patients to improve human health. It encourages everyone to envision their visits to parks and public lands as very important parts of their physical and mental health.
National Park Week is America’s largest celebration of national heritage. It’s about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and enhancing America’s best idea—the national parks!
For more information about Shenandoah National Park, visit the Park’s website at www.nps.gov/shen.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 414 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.