The Shenandoah Wilderness now contains a total of 79,579 acres and is managed by the National Park Service. All of the wilderness is in the state of Virginia.
Public land becomes wilderness through legislation passed by the United States Congress in the form of public laws. For the Shenandoah Wilderness, this process began in 1976 when 79,019 acres were designated by Public Law 94-567.
The Shenandoah Wilderness is part of the 106 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of wild lands contributes significantly to the ecological, economic, and social health of our country. Wilderness provides clean air and water, a shelter for endangered species, sacred places for indigenous peoples, a living laboratory for research, and a classroom for exploring personal values while experiencing risk, reward, and self-reliance. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. In an age of "...increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization," you play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the regulations listed below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Shenandoah Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.
Unless otherwise specified, no motorized equipment or mechanical transport is allowed. This is true for all federal lands managed as designated wilderness.
For more information or to contact the Shenandoah Wilderness, log onto the Shenandoah Wilderness page on Wilderness.net.
Leave No Trace principles:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more detailed information on the Leave No Trace principles above, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website