At the Friends June meeting we had a presentation by Katherine Rindt on several local hikes that are family friendly.

Katherine discussed seven hikes ranging from one to eight miles. Exploring a variety of terrain and spectacular views aloRindt photong the Blue Ridge, these loop hikes are all doable by beginners, although Katherine pointed out that a couple are somewhat difficult. Katherine shared pictures, maps, directions, and tips for a safe hike.

Check out the hikes here.  Hikes

Katherine has been a member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club since 1991, becoming involved in trail maintenance while supporting her husband in his 1996 thru-hike. They are currently the overseers for AT sections in Thompson Wildlife Management Area and Shenandoah National Park. Katherine represents the Appalachian Trail Conference on the Front Royal Appalachian Trail Community Committee.

Shenandoah River State Park’s Junior Ranger Day Camp for children 7 – 12 is scheduled for July 28 to 31 and repeats August 4 to 7. The camp runs Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to noon. Camp is limited to 15 per week and pre-registration is required. There is a $10 fee. The 2014 regisPatchtration form is available  here or at the Park.

Planned activities for 2014 include a look at our weather, a trip to historic White House Farm, river discovery with a tube trip on the South Fork, and a look at the trees in the Park. Activities are designed to enhance a child’s awareness of, and appreciation for, the natural environment.

Junior Ranger Day Camp is sponsored by the Friends. The Friends also sponsor a self-guided Junior Ranger program for children and their parents.

For more information on either program call the Park, 540-622-6840, or write Shenandoah River State Park, 350 Daughter of Stars Drive, Bentonville, VA 22610, attention Junior Ranger.


When you visit Shenandoah River State Park you will likely enjoy one or more of our hiking trails – 26 miles of beautiful easy walks to moderately difficult hikes. You will spend time looking for plants and wildlife, especially the many birds.

Have you ever wonderedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA what the birds see when they watch you hiking their park? You now have a chance to find out. You can get a view of the park and surrounding mountains from up in the trees. You can just about fly from tree to tree.

Virginia Canopy Tours (TM) will take you to the top of Allen’s Mountain and, except for two short nature hikes, return you to the bottom without your feet touching the ground. I had the opportunity to do the treetop tour in late April. It was a blast! Out two guides, Tabby and Ben, outfitted us, gave us safety instruction and an idea what to expect, and then it was a ride up the mountain.

Coming down was pure pleasure. There are eight zip lines – including one 1035 feet long with speed estimated up to 40 mph – two rope bridges and a final rappel. Tabby and Ben handled all the technical stuff and we all felt completely safOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe.

This is a chance to do something many people never get a chance to try – and what could be better than having lots of fun while you are doing it?

For more information visit Virginia Canopy Tours at ZIPthePARK.com, or if you are already in the park, come to the Zip the Park office and talk to Bonnie or Marc or any of the guides. Enjoy!

Jackie Bailey Labovitz shared her photographic techniques and her stunning photographs taken in our Park’s UNDERSTORY at the Friends May meeting. Jackie’s photographs are taken in natural light and printed on canvas in the tradition of fine paintings.

Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum

Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum

Jackie’s UNDERSTORY premiered in 2010 at the Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History, Naturalist Center and has been winning awards at major exhibitions ever since. In 2013 Louis Jacobson, of Washington City Paper, named UNDERSTORY to the Top 10 Best Photography Exhibitions in Washington D.C.

Jackie doesn’t limit her talent to native plants. Her collection also includes mammals, butterflies, birds, amphibians, and insects. All of her works are for sale and you can see many of them at the Park.

You can check out Jackie’s talented career and work at www.baileylabovitz.com and see the story of UNDERSTORY at http://youtu.be/aeltRDhSv1E.




The Friends had a great start for 2014! Our members and guests hiked the Overlook Trail – a beautiful day and great fun.

2014 First Day Hikers

2014 First Day Hikers


At our October monthly meeting Chris Anderson, Executive Director of the White House Farm Foundation in Luray, spoke to us about early settlement along the Shenandoah River in Page County.

Chris brought to us her great passion for local history – some of her thoughts:

“With the discovery of gaps over the mountains, the Valley posed vulnerabilities to the English colonies to the east, and settlements were encouraged as a buffer.  The Kauffman family who built the “White House” in Page County were among the first wave of settlers encouraged to move into the Valley, build homes and begin farming. They constructed their residence and Mennonite meeting house in an architectural style typical of German/Swiss settlers with a simple floor plan and vaulted cellar. The White House is one of six remaining “fortified dwellings” on the banks of the Shenandoah River and was constructed in 1760. The river has played a significant role in the history of the Page Valley, for both Native Americans and European settlers and continues to be a treasured resource today.” 

Learn more about the work of the Foundation and Page County at whfarmfoundation.org 


The July Friends meeting featured our very own Park Manager, Tony Widmer. One of Tony’s favorite hobbies is fishing – frTony fishing2om Ohio to Maine to Virginia – and anywhere else he can find time to get to. Just ask any Friend about Tony’s fabulous fried perch!

On July 2nd Tony combined his love of fishing with his knowledge of the fish of the South Fork – identification, diet, habits, etc. He also shared the latest on Shenandoah River water quality and the wonderful recovery of its fish population.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 59 other followers