Shenandoah National Park straddles a beautiful stretch of the Blue Ridge, which forms the eastern rampart of the Appalachian Mountains. Beginning in the late 1700s, settlers drifted into these hills and “hollers.” They cleared some of the vast forests that originally blanketed the region so that they could till the land. Shenandoah was established as a national park in 1935. For the most part, the forests reestablished naturally. As the flora returned, so did Shenandoah’s fauna. Today, some 200 species of birds occupy the park, as well as around fifty species of mammals, some of which had declined significantly in number prior to the park’s establishment.
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