Pictured, left to right: Lisa Moss, USFWS; Celia Vuocolo, PEC; Chris Miller, PEC; Albert Spells, USFWS; Landowner Jimmy Graves Jr.; Jim Schaberl, Shenandoah National Park; Jennifer Flynn, Shenandoah National Park; Seth Coffman, Trout Unlimited; Peter Hujick, PEC; and John Odenkirk, VDGIF. Photo Courtesy of Hugh Kenny, PEC
Trailhead Crossing Restored!
The six magnificent waterfalls along its route make the Whiteoak Canyon Trail in Shenandoah National Park a popular hiking destination. Not so magnificent was the concrete crossing to the trailhead, whose frequently clogged culverts caused flooding and impeded fish migration.
On October 5, 2019 Trout Unlimited and Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), with support from Shenandoah National Park and the Graves Family, replaced the old crossing with a bridge. Spanning 35 feet across Cedar Run, the new bridge allows water to flow freely beneath it, opening up habitat for brook trout, American eel, and other native aquatic species. The bridge also reduces the erosion of surrounding areas, increases flood resilience, and improves access to the Whiteoak Canyon trailhead.
This project is part of a larger regional initiative led by PEC to reconnect habitat and improve water quality for brook trout and other aquatic species. The Whiteoak Canyon bridge marks the fifth restoration project located along the eastern slope of Shenandoah National Park that PEC and their partners have completed since 2017.