Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley

Sherando Lake: 24 Acres of Summer Fun

During August in the Shenandoah Valley, few outdoor pleasures can match the lure of a Blue Ridge mountain lake surrounded by towering pines and shady hardwoods. And Sherando Lake Recreation Area near Lyndhurst, Virginia, is one of the prettiest options travelers have.

Open this year from April 3rd to October 30th, Sherando Lake Recreation Area actually encompasses two lakes with most of the recreational facilities lying between them. Sherando Lake is the lower and larger of the two lakes at 24 acres, offering a range of activities. It, as well as many of the recreational facilities, were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the mid-1930s. (The seven-acre Upper Sherando Lake is open for fishing only.)

Playtime on the site can range from lying on a sandy beach and doing absolutely nothing, to swimming, camping, hiking, picnicking, fishing, canoeing, paddleboarding, and cycling. (Boaters—gasoline engines are not allowed.) From Memorial Day through Labor Day, various weekend outdoor educational programs are offered by the Forest Service. If you do feel an urge to get into town, Waynesboro is about 14 miles away, offering all the city services, entertainment, shopping and diversions you need.

Sherando is particularly popular with campers. There are 65 family campsites and group sites as well; these accommodate tents and medium-size RVs. There are no full RV hookups. The campground is divided into three sections: Meadow Loop has sites with electric hookups; White Oak Loop has non-electric campsites; and River Bend Loop and the upper part of White Oak have first-come, first-served sites. Each site has a picnic table, lantern post and campfire ring with grill. Modern showers, flush toilets and drinking water spigots are located throughout the campground. Plus there is a bathhouse with warm showers at the swimming area.

Fees: $8 per vehicle day use fee. $20 per single site per night, plus $5 electric fee (some sites). $30 for the double site per night, plus $5 electric fee (maximum 12 people). Group campsite: $50 per night per group site 1 – 15 people, (maximum 75 people). Group picnic shelter: $25 (maximum 50 people) (day use fee applies).

Sherando Lake Recreation Area is one of the most popular summer destinations in the Valley, and campsite reservations are strongly advised. Reservations must be made 4 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance. Book your stay here.

Getting There: From I-64: Take exit 96 just east of Stuarts Draft. Turn south onto State Route (SR) 624 and continue. At Lyndhurst the road changes to SR 664 (Mount Torrey Road), but there is no distinct turn. Continue south on SR 664 approximately 8 miles to the entrance to Sherando Lake Recreation Area on the right.

From I-81: Take exit 217 for Mint Springs/ Stuarts Draft and continue east on State Route 654 (SR) to the stoplight. Turn left onto US 340 and continue into Stuarts Draft. Off US 340, take a right onto SR 662 at the third stop light. Continue on SR 662 to the stoplight at intersection with SR 608. Continue straight ahead on what is now SR 608 (Howardsville Turnpike) following the main road as it curves left and continue to the stop sign at the intersection with SR 610 (Mount Torry Road). Turn right onto SR 610 and continue 5 miles to the entrance to Sherando Lake Recreation Area on the right.

Lodging Nearby: Pet-friendly Cabin Creekwood is about one mile away.