Winter Weather Impacting Park Visitors

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

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PAGE COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Recent winter weather has kept some tourists away from Shenandoah National Park.

"It is a lot of opening and closing," said Karen Beck-Herzog, a Shenandoah National Park spokeswoman.

Closed trails and campgrounds; the sight of winter at Shenandoah National Park on Friday.

"You do what mother nature allows you to do," said Robert Vitello, who couldn't visit Skyline Drive to the park being closed. "We are a little disappointed, but mostly we wanted to get fresh air and exercise so Plan B is not a big problem."

He turned around to hike another trail.

Snow and ice are shutting down some of the trails in the park.

5,000 fewer people made their way through gates, this January compared to last January and four trails remain closed after a wildfire last week.

This may not affect the park as much during an already slow season.

"We expect winter is going to be less visited because of winters like this," said Beck-Herzog.

Fewer visitors to the park as well as fewer visitors to Artisans Grill in Luray.

"Winter is slow and the weather impacts that, it is even slower. Yet you have to make hay while the sun shines," said Greg Lockridge, a chef at Artisans Grill.

Beck-Herzog hopes for the same as sunshine means business is back to normal.

"Something like this will fluctuate so we may see a much better April, which will then cancel out this past January," said Beck-Herzog.

With the millions of dollars lost due to the government shutdown, the winter weather has not helped.

Beck-Herzog said they're really looking forward to spring.


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