Shenandoah River State Park, 350 Daughter of Stars Dr., Bentonville, VA 22610.
Massanutten Shelter Parking Lot


Saturday, January 1, 2022. 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Join us for our annual hike celebrating the start of 2022!. We are all ready to celebrate a fresh start after dealing with an extended pandemic, so bring your friends, family and leashed pets to Shenandoah River State Park for a hike on the Cottonwood trail.

The Cottonwood trail is about 1.5 miles long without too much change in elevation. The loop at the end of the trail is a raised boardwalk, but the rest can be muddy in wet weather.

The Friends Group will be leading the hike and providing light refreshments in the Massanutten Building.

The parking fee is waived on January 1. Participants should park at the Massanutten Shelter Parking Lot near the start of the Cottonwood Trail.

Don’t forget to bring your mask and practice social distancing. 

What’s a Photo Ark?

Samuels Public Library presentsThe National Geographic Photo Ark


Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

6:00pm – 7:30p


Are you an animal lover?  Do you appreciate incredible photographs?  Please join Mary Ladrick, Director of Education, Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV), for a presentation about the National Geographic Photo Ark exhibition at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. 

The Photo Ark is an ambitious project committed to documenting every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries—inspiring people not just to care, but also to help protect these animals for future generations.

Beginning September 25, The Museum will be hosting an inspiring traveling exhibition that showcases this important project and features the work of National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore.   Sartore estimates the completed National Geographic Photo Ark will include portraits of over 15,000 species representing several animal classes, including birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. These iconic photo portraits have captured the imaginations of people around the world and have even been projected on the Empire State Building and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

You will not want to miss this presentation at Samuels Public Library and do take time to visit the MSV from September 25, 2021, through February 13, 2022, to view more than 40 of Sartore’s most compelling images.  This is our opportunity to come face to face with animals from the National Geographic Photo Ark.  Please register for this presentation.

“We’re dreaming of a green trail that’s safe and peaceful…”

Samuels Public Library Presents – Shenandoah Valley Rail Trail Partnership

Tuesday, September 14 – 6:00 PM – Virtual


Come learn about this exciting new initiative.  The Shenandoah Valley Rail Trail Partnership is an unincorporated coalition of public, private and non-profit organizations along the proposed Shenandoah Valley Rail Trail that have come together with the vision of transforming an unused single-track railroad corridor from Broadway to Front Royal into a multi-use almost 50-mile trail re-connecting communities, businesses, schools and many local cultural and historic resources. Rail corridors are an important part of our near and distant past, with the origins story of this corridor through the Valley dating all the way back to pre-Civil War 1850. As it stands, the right-of-way, in an unused state, is the very worst use of the land and doesn’t honor its past importance in the bordering communities’ vitality. Imagine the corridor rebirthed as a connection between important historic and iconic natural resources and an opportunity to keep its history alive for generations to come. This trail would be first and foremost for our community. Imagine a short, scenic stroll from your backyard to your nearest town for coffee and a local pastry. Or a long, primarily car-free, cycle three towns over for a well-earned lunch. Or if you work close (or even far!), a pedestrian friendly commute.


Virtual Presentation:  Samuels Public Library

Thursday, March 18th, 2021 – 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Registration required:

When the English settled Jamestown in 1607, Indigenous had been in Virginia for 500 generations and at least 15,000 years. For roughly 13,000 of these years, these cultures practiced a way of life based on hunting and gathering. Come travel back in time to begin understanding the heritage of our valley. Join the Friends of Samuels Public Library and the Potomac Riverkeeper Network for this special presentation. Dr. Carole Nash, Associate Professor, School of Integrated Sciences, James Madison University will share with us her research and insights into the history of Native American Communities of the Shenandoah Valley. 

For more information, please call: (540) 635-3153, ext. 105

Ask not what your river can do for you…


Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

6:30pm – 8:00pm

The Shenandoah River and its Valley have long been regarded as among the most beautiful and majestic natural features of America. But for many reasons, the river has suffered over the last few decades. Fish kills and algal outbreaks, associated with manure from unfenced herds of cattle and large poultry operations, make the river unhealthy and unpleasant for those hoping to enjoy it. And so Mark Frondorf, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, is launching the Respect the Shenandoah Campaign.  Join us to learn what you can do!

Please sign up at:

What kind of bird is that?


WHEN:  Saturday, January 16, 2021 10:00 AM

During this presentation, you will be introduced to the different types of birds that spend the winter in the Shenandoah Valley. Tips will be presented on how to identify common bird species along with advice on how to attract feathered friends to your backyard. This presentation is co-sponsored by the Friends of Samuels Public Library and Shenandoah Valley Audubon Society.

Please register at:

Virtual Hiking at Samuels Public Library

WHEN: Thursday, January 14, 2021 6:30 pm

The Friends of the Samuels Public Library hosts a special program showcasing the beauty and advantages of winter hiking. Susan Tschirhart will present tips on how to plan your winter hikes, including a description of winter hiking gear and essential safety items that should be carried. Also, they will cover monitoring weather conditions, checking trail reports, and being prepared for medical emergencies.

Please register at:

First Day Hike 2021


Shenandoah River State Park, 350 Daughter of Stars Dr., Bentonville, VA 22610. Shelter 1.


January 1, 2021. 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Due to current Covid-19 restrictions limiting gatherings to 25 people or less, there will not be a guided 1st day hike this year.

But don’t let that stop you; create your own first day hike. The park has over 24 miles of trails to spread out on. Take it easy on Bluebell or Overlook trail, or challenge yourself and try the Bear Bottom Loop or Allen’s Mountain.

The parking fee is waived on January 1. Don’t forget to bring your mask and practice social distancing.

Other details

Extra fee: No.
Children welcome: Yes.
Phone: 540-622-6840
Email Address:

Carpe Diem!

These unprecedented times have impacted us all in different ways and it is no different for the staff at Shenandoah River State Park.  So, when the river recently flooded the canal located near the brown cabin trapping some river carp, the park staff jumped into action and planned the “COVID-19 Park Employees Carp Challenge”, which took place on Wednesday, May 13th, 2020.

As a morale booster for the team: the catch and release challenge was simple – no rules – just catch the biggest carp.  When it was all said and done – the staff caught 1 carp, 7 crappie, 4 bullhead catfish, 8 bluegills and several trees and rocks.  Afterwards employees had a socially-distant lunch and completed some cabin cleaning training.

The Friends of Shenandoah River State Park donated 1,000 dollars to the Virginia State Parks Employee Benevolence Association in support of the event. The Benevolence Association is a non-profit group that donates money to Virginia State Parks Employees who are in severe financial need, usually due to disease or injury that makes them unable to work. The donation will start to replenish funds depleted by requests during the COVID-19 partial shutdown.