Our National Parks are some of America’s greatest treasures, and they’ve been getting steadily more popular in recent years. In fact, crowds are actually becoming a problem in many of America’s favorite places to enjoy peace, quiet, and nature’s beauty.
It’s up to the National Park Service to make sure these treasures stay enjoyable for us today, and are preserved for many generations to come. That’s why several national parks are introducing new ticketing policies to limit impact on the ecosystem, and to improve every visitor’s experience.
The Front Royal area’s own Shenandoah National Park is seeing some significant changes in 2022. But there’s no need to be intimidated. Discover Front Royal has you covered with this guide to all the upcoming changes at Shenandoah National Park. Read on to find the information you need to make sure your visit to the Park goes according to plan.
Tickets to be Required for Old Rag Hike
The biggest change Shenandoah National Park visitors will experience is a ticketing system designed to reduce crowds at Old Rag. One of the park’s most popular hikes, Old Rag has begun to suffer from overcrowding during peak seasons of the year. Starting March 1, 2022 Old Rag hikers will need to pre-purchase a $1 ticket to secure their spot on the mountain’s famous trails.
Don’t worry, the system is designed to give everyone a fair chance. Tickets can only be purchased up to thirty days in advance, so a little advance planning should give you the Old Rag access you want. And you’ll have the added bonus of enjoying a more secluded hiking experience.
Head here to purchase Old Rag tickets and here for more information. Note: Old Rag tickets will not be available at the trailhead and must be purchased in advance.
Camping Fee Changes at Shenandoah National Park
Going forward, campers at Shenandoah National Park can expect to pay a little more for their stay. Campground users will now pay $30 per night, with the fee for group campsites going up to $75. It’s a raise in fees that’s been long in coming; camping fees at Shenandoah National Park haven’t changed since 2007. The Park Service will use the increased revenues to make improvements and updates to the campgrounds, such as adding new fire grates and picnic tables.
And coming in 2023, the park will also introduce new fees for back country campers, so they can fund their efforts to ensure that camping at Shenandoah National Park remains safe and fun for everyone.
Free Lifetime Passes for Veterans and Gold Star Families
But it’s not all about fees going up! In 2022, free lifetime passes to National Parks and more (including Shenandoah National Park) will become available for America’s veterans and Gold Star Families. So those who have sacrificed so much can enjoy some of America’s greatest treasures at no cost. Check here to see who’s eligible and learn how to claim your lifetime pass!
With the warmer weather coming, it’s a great time to start dreaming of outdoor adventure in and around Front Royal. If Shenandoah National Park is in your plans for 2022, look forward to less crowds and improved camping facilities to come.
Discover Front Royal