Virginia Wilderness Areas
The Wilderness Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, established the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS), which protects 110 million acres of wilderness across this great country. The first Wilderness area in Virginia was James River Face Wilderness, added to the NWPS in 1975. Virginia now has 24 Wilderness areas, totaling 214,904 acres in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and Shenandoah National Park. Virginia Wilderness Committee has been the driving force behind all of these Wilderness designations and continues to work for more.
- Explore Virginia's Wilderness areas with VWC Field Director Mark Miller. Virginia's Wilderness areas are some of the most scenic and biologically diverse places with some of the best hiking and camping in the whole Commonwealth. VWC Field Director Mark Miller is visiting each Virginia Wilderness, taking photos, and writing descriptions that highlight some of the best hikes. New descriptions will be added as Mark writes them.
- Learn about the Virginia Wilderness Committee's history. Read about Ernie Dickerman's involvement with the Wilderness Act and his work with the VWC after he retired in Buffalo Gap, VA in 1976. Also, read the full-text of tributes to Ernie from colleagues, family and friends after his death in 1998. Last, Jim Murray sums up the VWC's history very nicely in an essay that starts from its formation in 1969 and brings us up to the present day.