Shenandoah River State Park Junior Ranger Day Camp is open to children 7-12 years old. The four day program will be held Monday, July 24 to Thursday the 27th and repeats Monday, July 31 to Thursday, August 3. Sessions run from 9 AM to noon each day. Activities are designed to enhance a child’s awareness of, and appreciation for, the natural environment. This years planned activities include Birds of Prey, with Raptor Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, on Monday; Cold-Blooded Critters on Tuesday; River Day tube float and discovery on Wednesday, and Recycle It! on Thursday.

Each child will receive a Junior Ranger patch and certificate. A short awards ceremony is held on Thursday at 11:30 and parents are encouraged to attend. There is a $10 State registration fee – the Friends of Shenandoah River State Park contribute the balance of program costs.

SIGN UP NOW. Download the Registration Form (click “Registration Form”)and take it to the Park Visitor’s Center or mail it to the Park at 350 Daughter of Stars Dr., Bentonville, VA 22610. Please enclose your check for $10 per child, payable to Treasurer, State of Virginia. Space is limited to 15 campers per week.

Questions? Call the Park , 540-622-6840.


On Sunday, May 21st, Friends spent an afternoon at Twin Creeks Llamas.

A selfie with Prince

Our adventure began in the barn where we learned about llamas, where they came from, how to read their body language, and what those ears are saying. Yes, they do spit, but we where surprised as to when and why. We took a walk with Santiago, Coffee Bean, Pete, and Prince along the creeks and through the woods. We stopped along the way for a cookie and lemonade break and hand fed the llamas a special treat for a job well done. Each person had an opportunity to harness and lead the llamas.

The Parkmans have lots of options for a fun and informative day. If you are interested in a great family adventure, contact them at twincreeksllamas.com.

EARTH DAY 2017 – Landscaping and Junior Ranger Planning

Our 2017 Earth Day celebration was visited by much needed rain, but a few stalwart Friends, lead by our own expert, Harry Reed, worked the visitor’s center garden to remove some nasty invasives. Harry had to leave before we remembered the camera. He got down to earth as much as Jinny.

Part of our small but mighty 2017 work crew

We also had a good planning session for 2017 Junior Rangers which will be held July 24 to 27 and repeat July 31 to August 3. Check back here for registration information.



On Sunday, March 19 Hannah Bement lead a walk to view the Park’s natural and man-made vernal pools along the Cottonwood Trail and to discuss their value to our ecosystem. A vernal pool is a form of temporary, freshwater wetland that contains water for a portion of the year and supports an array of wildlife and plants, some specially adapted for these habitats and many being rare species in Virginia. The Park’s vernal pools provide habitat for the Spotted Salamander, the Jefferson Salamander, Spring Peepers, Wood Frogs, and many others.

Hannah Bement is a science teacher at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal. She has degrees from the University of Akron and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science. She is a member of the Shenandoah Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists and our Friends group. Hannah loves being a teacher, working with children, and working to make our environment a better place. She is presently volunteering with the Virginia Vernal Pool Monitoring Program.



In February the Friends hosted a nature photography workshop with penguins local photographer Sharon Fisher.

Sharon shared some of her beautiful work from both near and far. She spoke about basic nature photography principles and about how digital cameras work.

This well attended program generated so much enthusiasm that a likely outcome will be the establishment of an ongoing nature photography program in the Park. If you would be interested let us know through “Contact” and check back here for details coming soon.

You can view some of Sharon’s fantastic work at sharongfisher.zenfolio.com



On January 28, Virginia State Parks guest bloggers, Bob Diller and Kevin Divins presented a smartphone photography workshop! Topics included tips for doing all your nature photography on your smart phone, useful post-editing apps and basic composition skills.

This program was limited to 15 and filled quickly but will be presented again, probably in May. Check back here or at the park site at www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/shenandoah-river.

Check out Bob and Kevin’s work at: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/blog/getting-to-know-virginia-shenandoah-river-state-park-part-1.


2017 First Day Hikers
2017 First Day Hikers

Many friends of Shenandoah River State Park started the new year off right by taking a hike in the park. Over 110 two legged, and about 8 four legged, friends spent time on either the Overlook or Cullers trails on a beautiful day that started a little chilly but soon turned into coats and hats off. The Friends and park staff served hot chocolate, cider, and lots of munchies to a happy group.

Put “January 1, 2018 – Hike” on your calendars now.