Less than two hours west of Washington, DC and tucked between Shenandoah National Park and Massanutten Mountain is Shenandoah River State Park, a sprawling recreational getaway of more than 1,600 acres. It’s the perfect place to chill out this summer with 5.2 miles of the south fork of the Shenandoah River readily at hand.
Float, wade, and splash at your own risk and leisure while you’re at Shenandoah River State Park. There are 10 access points to choose from, but not a designated swimming area, nor a lifeguard or safety features. Pair up for safe aquatic fun.
Feel free to put in your own kayak or canoe from the day-use area. If you’d like to rent a vessel, there are outfitters nearby to possibly source a ride. The park does not offer rentals.
Fishing is big fun on the Shenandoah with a wide variety of bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish biting lines. Near shelter 3 you’ll find access to the “fish trap” area – a place where rocks are built up to create something of a dam for fish to gather, making them easier to catch. Be sure to have a Virginia fishing license before casting your line. You can purchase one here before you go.
Trails for Hiking & More
There are 24 miles of trails available at Shenandoah River State Park. Fourteen are considered multi-use which allows bikers and horseback riders to partake in the adventure. Unfortunately, there are no guided trail rides or horses to ride, so you’ll want to bring your own, and have a negative Coggins report with you.
One of the best (if not the best) trails for river and valley views is the moderate 2.7-mile Hemlock Hollow, Bluebell, and Overlook Trail Loop. Download a trail map to become acquainted.
One dozen tent sites are available on the river and they are among the most desirable sites within the park. Two of the park’s three yurts are near the river as well. RVs up to 60 feet in length and towed campers will find 31 sites with water and electric. Five of those are pull-through.
Cabin dwellers will find happiness in the well-equipped accommodations at Shenandoah River State Park. Choose from two- and three-bedroom cabins or a larger lodge of six bedrooms. The cabins have wrap-around decks with rocking chairs; a favorite place to watch dusk turn to dark while your fire ring snaps and pops nearby. The kitchens have everything you need except food. You’ll want to bring your own linens but plan to purchase firewood within the park.
Enjoy your days in a wild and refreshing way when you chill out this summer at a Virginia State Park.
Images courtesy Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.