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



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

Check out Bob and Kevin’s work at:


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.



Join the Friends – and those hovering around – at a Halloween campfire at Shenandoah River Statecampfire2 Park. Friends Jinny Fox and Brian Bennett will share some seasonal tales and invite you to share any of yours. We will have smores and more. Meet at the campfire circle at the tube takeout near the RV camping area at 7 PM on Friday, October 28. Easy walking distance from the RV campground and cabin area. Bring a folding chair or blanket, no seating is provided at the site. If you are driving, turn into the gravel road just past the RV campground marked “authorized vehicles only” and bear right. Parking is very limited.  {In case of rain, we’ll be in Shelter 3 in the day use area.} Bring a flashlight for the walk home – if you dare walk in the dark. Fun and maybe even scary!


Again this year we had a great turnout for the annual South Fork, Shenandoah River cleanup.

2016 Cleanup Crew
2016 Cleanup Crew

It was a beautiful day! The water was low but that made it easier to spot and collect the trash on the bottom. Thanks to all who participated and thanks to Downriver and Front Royal canoe companies for the use of their equipment. Watch for this event again next September. Sponsored by the Friends of Shenandoah River State Park.


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July 2016 Rangers

The Park has 27 new Junior Rangers after camps held  the last week in July and the first week in August. 2016 campers learned about reptiles – including a personal visit with a 40 pound snapping turtle and a 3 foot American alligator – spent time buzzing with bees, studied fish found in the Shenandoah – and got to catch a few of them – and topped off the week with a tube float on the South Fork. Activities are designed to enhance a child’s awareness of, and appreciation for, the natural environment. Children age 7 to 12 can be a part of this exciting week. Check here in the Spring for information about next year’s camp.

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August 2016 Rangers

The camp is run jointly by the Park and the Friends. The Friends also sponsor a self-guided Junior Ranger program available year round. Check at the Park visitor’s center for more information.