Shenandoah sees increase in hikers during weekdays

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MADISON COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Despite the partial government shutdown, Shenandoah National Park has seen an increase in visitors taking advantage of the lack of entrance fees.

Katelyn Hicks, a resident of Fairfax County, said she was surprised by the number of people hiking the trail on a Tuesday morning.

"Generally speaking, it's not this busy unless it's in the summer or if the weather's good or it's on the weekend," Hicks said.

Applied Portable Toilets, the company in charge of the port-a-johns at the trailhead, said that with the lack of federal funding, the company is currently being paid by the Shenandoah National Park Trust to continue the up-keep.

"You really want to hope that the environment is taken care of as much as possible," Hicks said. "That, I think, is the biggest risk to national parks, that people would come in and litter and be disrespectful, but thankfully we haven't seen that as of yet."

Alec Jacobson, a McLean resident and avid hiker, hopes that the maintenance will continue, even as the shutdown continues.

"I think the people here are here because it's a beautiful place," Jacobson said. "I feel like a lot of people feel like they should maintain it because, you know, it's beautiful."

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