Why is the SNP missing a chunk along 33?

Does anybody know why the oddly-shaped Shenandoah National Park has this particularly oddly-shaped chunk taken out of it? (Or, more accurately, why that chunk was never put into it?) I’ve never taken that turn off of 33, but it looks like your basic rural, residential area. I have a hunch that there might be an interesting story behind how the park service was prevented from taking that land, which they presumably wanted.

4 thoughts on “Why is the SNP missing a chunk along 33?”

  1. This post got me curious. I didn’t find anything concrete about that specific tract of land, but I found an extremely interesting history lesson:


    Maybe the tract of land you’re looking at belongs to a family of someone on the “special list”. If the last survivor on that list passed away in 1979, I find it hard on that late date the federal gov’t to swoop in on the land and not make some sort of preservation effort.

  2. Back in the day I used to drive from Manassas to Bridgewater via va 29-va230 and grab Va 33 at Stanardsville, so I have driven that stretch coming down the west side of the Blue Ridge many times.

    The best guess I have is that either (a) that is a flood plane sort of territory and as such was not wanted or (b) the land was owned by someone with enough pull with the Byrd organization to keep from having it grabbed up…remember, about the time this happened Senator Byrd Sr. had just taken office and was still on good terms with FDR…

  3. Land swaps in order to fill out a park or forest or monument are not uncommon. Of course, the owners also have right to not sell. As a BLM employee, I used our new (90’s) digital database to look at possible acreages for transfer/swap in the California Desert. I can’t remember which park it was, although I seem to remember it was a monument rather than a National Park.

    In this case, it could be that bequests are slowly filling it in, or that purchase development rights or the equivalent are in place to fill that gap. In any case, it would be interesting to find out, now that you have brought it up!

    These are only a few of the possible answers from a mapping/parks perspective.

Comments are closed.