‘Cross the Wide Missouri
An area forever immortalized in song, the land comprising Shenandoah National Park is steeped in history and rich in natural beauty. The region’s first settlers were Native Americans who thrived from the land’s abundant natural resources. Shenandoah’s picturesque landscapes amazed European adventurers when they arrived in the eighteenth century. Many of these newcomers earned a living as fur trappers and traders, naturally flooding to the flourishing ecosystems of the Shenandoah Valley. Eventually, homesteads speckled the formerly remote hills of the area as courageous pioneers ventured westward. Present-day Shenandoah National Park witnessed its fair share of combat during the American Civil War; both the Northern and Southern militaries aimed to gain control of the area, leading to periodic skirmishes. The valley again made history during the Great Depression. In response to alarming unemployment rates, the political minds behind the New Deal established the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC, in its quest to provide jobs to young men, transformed Shenandoah Valley into the national park modern tourists know and love. Offering opportunities for hiking, camping, and quiet reflection, Shenandoah National Park is truly one of America’s hidden gems.