Shenandoah National Park announces new fees for camping, Old Rag

One of Virginia’s busiest outdoor destinations is making changes to some of its recreational fees.

Shenandoah National Park will see new fees for established campgrounds, backcountry camping and hiking Old Rag, after a public feedback period during which the National Park Service said it reviewed almost 400 comments and found them “overall supportive” of the changes.

Shenandoah is increasing nightly fees in established campgrounds to $30 effective for the upcoming season, with group sites rising to $75 — marking the popular park’s first increase to camping fees since 2007.

The fees take effect immediately, with reservations for the upcoming season starting Dec. 16.

“Shenandoah National Park will use the increased revenue to fund projects and services that will benefit the visitor and contribute to the protection of Shenandoah’s natural and cultural resources,” Superintendent Patrick Kenney said in a news release.

“As a result, visitors can expect improvements in the campgrounds over the next few years, such as new picnic tables and fire grates.”

A pilot program for day-hiking tickets in the Old Rag area is on track for implementation next March — through which park managers will evaluate strategies to manage and maintain one of the most heavily-trafficked hiking trails in the Mid-Atlantic region.

More information on fees for Old Rag will be provided later this winter.

As part of the proposal, fees are also coming to Shenandoah’s existing backcountry camping permit — though NPS said the earliest that fee would be enacted is 2023, and that additional details would emerge as the park moves forward.

The proposal did not include a change to current park entrance fees and focused only on specific uses.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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