Join the FriFirst Day Hikeends of Shenandoah River State Park for this annual tradition. We will start the new year off right by taking a hike down the Overlook Trail. This is a one mile, easy walk that takes us to the Culler’s Overlook for gorgeous views of the river. This trail is mostly flat and composed of compacted dirt. Children and leashed dogs are welcome. Meet at the Visitor’s Center at 1 PM, January 1. After the hike, light refreshments will be served at the visitor center.

2016 First Day Hikers
2016 First Day Hikers

Jan. 1 is a free park entrance day. Receive a special bumper sticker for participating. Find out about the New Year Challenge and Annual First Day Hikes Photo Contest here: http://bit.ly/vspfdh2017.



Do you like to enjoy the outdoors while improving the environment?

Do you believe it is important that there is no last child in the woods?

Do you enjoy sharing history with others?

Do you want to be part of a year-long outdoor fitness challenge?

Do you enjoy outdoor photography?

Do you like writing articles and putting together a newspaper?

You can do one or more of these activities – and many others – at Andy Guest, Shenandoah River State Park. Come and learn about the possibilities at 11 AM on Saturday, December 3. Park staff and members of the Park Friends group will be on hand to share ideas. This short meeting is for our existing Friends and all members of the community who would like to volunteer a little bit – or a lot – of time to sharing and preserving our natural environment. There are opportunities for all ages.

Andy Guest, Shenandoah River State Park is on Rte. 340 about half way between Front Royal and Luray. The 1600 plus acre park supports an ecologically diverse habitat along the majestic South Fork of the Shenandoah River. It offers 6 miles of water for canoeing, kayaking and fishing and 24 miles of trails, many of which are multi-use. Tent and RV camping, as well as 11 beautifully designed cabins, are available for overnight visitors.

If you can’t make it then but would like to know more about your opportunities please contact Friends members Dick Fox (540-636-4982) or Brian Bennett (540-635-5926).



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.


2016 Tubing 1 copy
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.

2016JRW2 copy
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.


Charles PriceBring your binoculars and join Virginia Master Naturalist Charles Price for this exciting Park program. The program will begin with a talk about the classification of birds, the various ecosystems in the Park and the types of birds that can be found in each system. In the second half of the program, participants will take a wagon ride to the River Trail where they will observe and identify the birds discussed. If you wish to participate in the wagon ride, please call the visitor’s center (540-622-6840) to register as wagon space is limited to 10 people. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a pro! Meet at the Shenandoah River State Park visitor’s center at 9:30 AM on Saturday, May 28.

Rafting on the River

Gundalow, circa 1880. (The Shenandoah River Atlas)
Gundalow. (The Shenandoah River Atlas)

At a special February meeting of the Friends Patrick Farris, Director of the Warren Heritage Society, spoke about commercial boating on the Shenandoahs in the 1800s. Remarkable rafts, called gundalows, were used to transport goods on the river for many years before the railroad was built. Patrick’s presentation was informative and filled with his special humor. Visit the Heritage Society, 101 Chester St., Front Royal, to learn more about our great Valley.