Stories from the Field

2018 Shenandoah Scholars: Backcountry Adventures

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Our Shenandoah Scholars came back from a WET yet rewarding backpacking trip late Wednesday.
Shenandoah received daily rainfall, making the wilderness experience all the more raw for everyone. The Scholars arrived back to the campground in high spirits on Wednesday afternoon with a sense of accomplishment having endured the wilderness, rain and all!  They were rewarded for completing their backpacking journeys with showers and ice cream, as well as fresh fruit and veggies with dinner. The two trail groups had unique but equally awesome experiences.

Amanda & Jim's Trail Group #

The trail group led by Amanda and Jim was comprised of Ben and Heidi from Australia, Kaitlin and Andrew from the U.S., Fanni and Rebeka from Hungary, Henrique from Brazil and Jofridur from Iceland.  
These students hiked for approximately 40 miles (64.37 km) over seven days. If that isn’t impressive, we don’t know what is!
They started the trail by hiking next to Dark Hollow Falls, spent two nights at the base of White Oak Canyon and woke up at 5 a.m. one morning to reach the summit of Old Rag, Shenandoah’s most popular and difficult loop trail. This trail group saw lots of wildlife, including nine bears, a few cubs, a copperhead snake and many scurrying salamanders! 

Alcoa Scholars in Shenandoah National Park

Christina & Dani's Trail Group #

The second trail group was led by Christina and Dani and included Naomi and Liam from Australia; Nico and Inés from Spain; Tamás from Hungary; Ellie and Ryleigh from the U.S.; and Lára from Iceland.
These Scholars started hiking on the famous Appalachian Trail, a national, 2,180 mile (3,508 km) scenic path before crossing onto the Rose River Loop and then out and back along the Cedar Run Trail. This group had a change of plans and arrived in the campground two days early, having hiked back along the Appalachian Trail. 
They made the most of their additional day at the Big Meadows campground by continuing their science research (in the pouring rain, we might add), and by becoming official Shenandoah National Park Junior Rangers! This trail group proudly bears the group name Oasis. 

Alcoa in Shenandoah
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