National Park Service offers summer programs

Posted: May 25, 2013

Star staff report




middletown — Programs offered by the National Park Service are presented throughout the year, while other daily programs begin in June.

These programs are free and examine the history and settlement of the Shenandoah Valley, the Battle of Cedar Creek, its aftermath and the impact of the Civil War on local communities and the nation.


Cedar Creek and Belle Grove in a Box — A Park Overview — A 30-minute program on the history and settlement of the Valley, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War. This interactive program uses landscape features and various props (taken from a box) to “create” the park and tell its many stories by literally placing visitors “in the middle of the park.” Meet on Belle Grove Plantation’s front lawn.


Battle of Cedar Creek Tour — A two-hour guided tour, using a car-caravan system (visitors follow the ranger’s vehicle), which covers the Battle of Cedar Creek in a chronological fashion. It includes stops at the key landmarks associated with the battle. Meet at the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters.


“To Battlefield and Beyond” — War Comes to the Shenandoah Valley — This 40-minute program examines the physical, economic and emotional impacts of many military campaigns and battles that occurred in the Valley. Meet at the Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park.


The 8th Vermont Monument at Cedar Creek — Visit one of the few monuments on the battlefield and learn the story of the New England regiment it memorializes. Meet at 8739 Valley Pike (U.S. 11) in Middletown. A short walk over moderate terrain is required.


History at Sunset — On Friday evenings during the summer, park staff members will offer a series of specialized tours that will give visitors an opportunity to see sites not normally open to the general public. Explore and learn about some of the many “hidden gems” of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove.



Belle Grove Plantation Manor House — (Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.) This antebellum plantation manor house was built by Isaac Hite Jr. (brother-in-law of President James Madison). (336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown) For additional information, call 540-869-2028 or visit


Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters — (Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call before visiting.) This orientation center and bookstore is operated by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation (8437 Valley Pike, Middletown) For more information, call 540-869-2064 or visit


Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park — (Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Wednesday and Thursday.) This new museum and bookstore, operated by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and the Town of Strasburg, offers interpretive exhibits, artifacts and films about the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Its grounds include Civil War entrenchments and a walking trail. It is at 33229 Old Valley Pike, Strasburg. Contact 540-465-5884, or visit


National Park Service Visitor Contact Station — (Hours: daily, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Orientation center with interpretive exhibits and displays; fiber-optic map display about battle, plus maps and brochures for the park and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District are available. It is at 7712 Main St. in Middletown. Contact 540-868-9176 or visit


Special Events




Shenandoah Valley – 1863 in a Box— Special ranger program about the Valley in 1863, presented in conjunction with re-enactment events and programs at the New Market Battlefield. For details, vosot or call 866-515-1864.