Shenandoah National Park was closed Wednesday and going forward by the National Park Service following a request from the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District of the Virginia Department of Health.
Superintendent Jennifer Flynn, with the support of the NPS Deputy Director, Operations, David Vela and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, made the decision to immediately close the park until further notice, said a press release Wednesday.
Virginia State Highways 211 and 33 will remain accessible to pass-through, said officials.
The park, which runs from Interstate 64, at Rockfish Gap, north to Front Royal, is one of the most popular and visited in the U.S. Some if its most popular trails such as Old Rag and Whiteoak Canyon have been closed in recent weeks. Access to other nearby trail heads has been blocked on recent weekends by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. The NPS is working service-wide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the release.
The park will notify the public when it resumes full operations and provide updates on the park website https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/alerts.htm and social media channels.