June. School’s out and it’s Great Outdoors Month. What better time to get outside for fresh air, work up a sweat, and then cool off in a mountain stream? Answer: None. This is the PERFECT time to be outside in the Shenandoah Valley.
It doesn’t matter what type of equipment you ride or terrain you prefer, the Shenandoah Valley has it all. Our road cycling is *chefs kiss*, our single tracks are *thumbs up*, and our mountain courses are *wipes brow*. Seriously, add these to your list of adventures:
- Connect with Burg E-Bike for electric bike tours in Shenandoah National Park
- Massanutten Resort offers a Mountain Biking Park as well as 30 miles of trail on the Western Slope. Newbies can sign up with guides for a beginner’s mountain biking adventure.
- Bryce Resort’s Downhill Mountain Bike Park is serious business. Sign up for the Down-Duro Race Series this summer to fulfill your need for a rush. Race 2 is June 18!
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We’ve written about hikes over and over again. Here are some helpful highlights to get you where you want to go:
Surely, you’ve seen the sign that says, “I’m outdoorsy in that I like to drink on patios.” If you relate, we see you, but we don’t judge you. Because sometimes … same.
Hit up the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail and get your passport stamped at each stop (there’s a free t-shirt in it for you). If you want a tour, some do that. If you want a flight, all do that. If you want to throw cornhole, you’ll find that as well. Live music? Yep, at some of them. Great food? Oh yes!
Clink some glasses with your besties when you winery hop in the Shenandoah Valley. Multiple trails will usher you along from patio to deck and back to a patio. If you don’t love Barren Ridge, CrossKeys, Ecco Adesso, or Muse, we’d be surprised. They’re top-notch. As an aside, we also enjoy the Blue Ridge Whisky-Wine Loop as there are a few stiffer drinks along the way. Copper Fox is waiting …
As you’ve always been told (we hope): Don’t drink and drive. Always designate a driver.
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The Shenandoah River is super popular for outdoor recreation and there may not be much that beats riverside camping for those enthusiasts.
Reserve your campsite at Country Place Campground in Luray this summer. It’s for tent campers only and does offer a bathhouse. There are stocked ponds as well as the river, so bring your poles. Shenandoah River Outfitters (SRO) is a neighbor and can equip you for river excursions. SRO also has their own campground – Camp Outback – with 25 wooded tent sites and bathhouse.
For mountaintop camping, consider Shenandoah National Park. Five campgrounds are available for you to pull in your camper or RV. Those looking for primitive adventure can explore Backcountry Camping. All camping in Shenandoah requires adherence to pretty serious rules. There are bears, so stick to the list.
Stargazing is a lovely idea that goes hand-in-hand with camping, especially if you choose Shenandoah National Park. Dark skies are the best skies to witness the Milky Way and beyond. Watch for shooting stars or plan your trip around the Night Sky Festival happening August 11-13, 2023.
In 2021 the International Dark Sky Association awarded both Natural Bridge State Park in Natural Bridge and Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane International Dark Sky Park status. Each of them offers space away from light pollution for optimal observation of the night sky. Both parks offer special programming with an astronomer and equipment to help you see what you can’t with the naked eye.
Natural Chimney Regional Park in Mt. Solon is another good option for both stargazing and camping. Check ’em out and then get your tickets for Red Wing Roots Music Festival happening there June 23-25.
If you’re favorite way to chill out is in the water, we’ve got plenty of that. If you’d rather take a walk in a cool area, we have those spots, too. Let’s start there.
All the Clothes On
If you haven’t made your way through the Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail between Waynesboro and Afton, you’re missing out. Once a railroad bed, the now empty tunnel runs under the Blue Ridge Mountains for more than two miles. There are no lights, but there is plenty of cool shade. You might want to wear a head lamp for this trek.
Did you know the Shenandoah Valley is home to six “show” caverns plus the incredible get-your-hands-dirty Fountain Cave? Bring a jacket to explore Luray, Skyline, Grand, Natural Bridge, Endless, and Shenandoah Caverns. Each is unique in its own right; see them all.
Fountain Cave is the epitome of adventure if you’re okay with tight spaces and possibly damp conditions. All the gear you need will be provided for your spelunking expedition. Just wear close-toe shoes, long sleeves, and long pants. Fountain Cave is suitable for ages 12 and older.
Some of the Clothes On
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If you’re more of a river person, find a public access point and get your feet wet. Shallow areas are great for little ones to splash.
– South River at Ridgeview Park, Basic Park, or Constitution Park in Waynesboro
– North River at Wildwood Park, Seven Bridges Park, or Sandy Bottom Park in Bridgewater
– South Fork of the Shenandoah River at Stonewall Riverside Park or Elkton Landing in Elkton; Shenandoah River State Park in Bentonville; or Eastham Park in Front Royal
– North Fork of the Shenandoah River at Memorial Park in Timberville
– Maury River at Goshen Pass or Jordan’s Point in Lexington
What are you waiting for? Get outside and enjoy Great Outdoors Month in the Shenandoah Valley!