The U.S. Mint celebrates the launch of a new Shenandoah National Park quarter in the area next week with a special appearance by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, D-Virginia.
Thursday, U.S. Mint Deputy Director Dick Peterson will host a coin forum at the Rappahannock County Library in Little Washington. The free event at 5:30 p.m. is an opportunity for the public to express their views about future coinage and to learn about upcoming programs and initiatives, according to a news release from the U.S. Mint.
Friday, Kaine will attend the official launch of the SNP quarter at 10 a.m. in the Skyline High School auditorium in Front Royal. Jim Northup, SNP superintendent, and Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward will also attend.
At Friday's coin launch, the public is invited to trade their cash for $10 rolls of the new SNP quarter. It is the 22nd coin in the U.S. Mint's America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a 12-year initiative honoring 56 national parks and sites.
Each year, five new national sites will be released on the tails side of the America the Beautiful quarters.
The back of the SNP quarter depicts a day hiker taking in the view from the Little Stony Man Cliffs, its parking lot located a few miles north of Skyland Resort along Skyline Drive in Luray. The relatively short route to the cliffs, mostly traversing the Appalachian Trail, is all uphill with 750 feet elevation gain, according to virginiatrailguide.com.
"For that bit of climbing, you get to enjoy the views from Little Stony Man Cliffs, which (in my opinion) are far prettier than the Stony Man summit. I love the way Skyline Drive looks winding through the woods from the cliffs’ vantage point. In autumn, the afternoon light sets the foliage ablaze at this spot. If the sky is clear, you get a beautiful view of the Page Valley," according to virginiatrailguide.com.
The distance to Stony Man summit, Shenandoah's second highest peak, is 2.9 miles round trip.
The new Stony Man quarter will be available for purchase in SNP stores and online at snpbooks.org.