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!

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.


Savannah, Jake, and Jinny take a break. (Photo: Warren Sentinel)
Savannah, Jake, and Jinny take a break. (Photo: Warren Sentinel)

Jinny Fox, Secretary of our Friend’s group, and family dog, Jake, have another life. Jake is a 6-year-old Golden Retriever adopted by Jinny and Dick in 2012. With his gentle temperament and love of people, it became obvious that Jake was suited to becoming a “therapy dog.” After completing training, Jake now visits local elementary schools where children practice their reading skills by reading to him. Once a month he also participates in a youth reading program, Books and Barks, at Samuels Public Library in Front Royal. Children find it easy and fun to read to dogs, and Jake knows how to put them at ease with his goofy smile and relaxed persona. Jake also loves senior citizens who always enjoy his visits. Thanks Jake and Jinny for sharing and caring.


Secretary Harvey, Secretary Layne, Governor McAuliffe, Friends members Brian & Tom
Secretary Harvey, Secretary Layne, Governor McAuliffe, Friends members Brian & Tom

Governor McAuliffe and the members of his Cabinet were guests of our Park in early April. They got to stay in our (almost) new cabins and to enjoy some beautiful weather – high 70s, lots of sun, and no bugs. Park staff, DCR staff, and the Friends worked to make the visit memorable, providing meals, entertainment (well, we didn’t actually provide the March Madness final, but what a game!), and even a campfire and s’mores. There were many comments on the beauty of the Park and we know everyone enjoyed the chance to spend some time relaxing in our Treasure.


If you didn’t get to visit the Park while it was on display at Samuels Library, we also had a display at the Front Royal / Warren County Visitor’s Center on Main Street. [We kept the tube so that we can get back on the river.]IMG_1184

But Spring is really the time to get out to the Park itself. Flowers start to show, the vernal pools are full, and the trails are dry.

Don’t forget our Spring planting for Earth Day – Check the 2017 page for dates this year – see you there.