Shenandoah National Park, VA -; Camp Hoover, the mountain retreat of President Herbert Hoover, will be open to the public Sunday, August 9. “Hoover Day” is an annual event in Shenandoah National Park, held on the weekend closest to the former President’s August 10 birthday.
Camp Hoover, a National Historic Landmark, is currently undergoing a four-year restoration of the remaining buildings and cultural landscape to the early 1930’s design which was influenced by Lou Henry Hoover. Architectural, archaeological, and landscape investigation, and archival research have led to exciting discoveries, including a trout pond and an ornamental fountain that had been backfilled when the Hoovers left.
Visitors may explore the restoration in progress on ranger-guided tours through the rustic landscape of Camp Hoover. Buses for ranger-guided tours will leave regularly from the Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center at Big Meadows, Milepost 51 on the Skyline Drive, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Bus tickets are $2 for adults, $1 for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased the day of the event. A wheelchair-accessible van will be available. No food or drinking water will be available at the camp.
Camp Hoover had its beginning in 1929. Herbert Hoover purchased land in the Blue Ridge Mountains to create a “summer place” between two mountain streams. The Hoovers used Camp Hoover frequently to escape the pressures of public life. The President often found the camp’s natural setting more conducive to sensitive government business than the formal setting of the White House. Even foreign statesmen were brought to his retreat. When he left office in 1933, Hoover donated the land and cabins to the newly-created Shenandoah National Park.
Visitors will find that the vegetation at Camp Hoover is undergoing changes. Many of the hemlock trees have been damaged by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. This insect kills the needles, thus killing the tree. Many trees at Camp Hoover were also damaged by the three major ice storms that blanketed Shenandoah National Park in January and February of this year. Over 160 trees, some from the Hoover era, had to be removed; most are being replaced.
For more information, call Shenandoah National Park at 540/999-3500.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
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