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If You Live In Virginia, You Must Visit This Amazing State Park

Virginia’s state parks are undeniably beautiful. With 36 parks in total, there’s truly a park for everyone. From First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach to Grayson Highlands State Park in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, our parks are as diverse and as beautiful as our state itself.

If you don’t already have a favorite state park, or you’re looking to try a new one, narrowing down the choices can be a daunting task. Today, we’re going to give you a closer look at one of Virginia’s top-rated state parks to help you along. And while it’s by no means the only choice, we feel that the Raymond R. “Andy” Guest, Jr. Shenandoah River State Park is the perfect place to start exploring the wonders of Virginia’s award-winning state parks.

Shenandoah River State Park is conveniently located just south of Front Royal and only 15 miles north of Luray on the south fork of the Shenandoah River in Bentonville. With more than 1,600 acres to explore and an impressive 5.2 miles of river shoreline, this park has incredible opportunities for hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

As for scenery, you’ll catch a glimpse of Massanutten Mountain to the west and all of the glory of Shenandoah National Park to the east. But, of course, that’s to say nothing of what you’ll see right in front of you at Shenandoah River State Park. From wildlife, to hardwood forests, to the meandering river, this park is full of natural beauty from top to bottom.

If you’re looking to really get to know the park, Shenandoah River is a premier camping and cabin destination. Recognized with 5-star reviews on sites like Yelp, Shenandoah River State Park offers 10 cabins, one lodge, four “camp” cabins and more than 30 electric and water hookup camping sites, plus one group site and 10 primitive riverfront campsites. And for those of you who don’t consider “no showers” to be an essential part of the camping experience, you’ll be happy to hear that there is a new full-service bathhouse available for the group site and the 10 primitive sites.

For the hikers out there, Shenandoah River State Park is home to more than 24 miles of trails. Seven miles of these trails are multi-use, which means they can be used for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

And if it’s a little bit of adventure that you’re looking for? Try the park’s new  zip line tours. Each tour offers ground school, a UTV trail ride, eight zip lines, one sky bridge, an “Air Stair” bridge, two nature walks and a final rappel. Operated by Virginia Canopy Tours, the zip lines offer the chance to sail at heights of 90 feet through the park’s stunning hardwood forest. With speeds of more than 40 mph, you’ll experience the beauty of the Shenandoah like you never have before.

With so many nearby attractions, the park provides a perfect base camp for winery tours, a visit to Luray Caverns (the largest cavern series in the Eastern U.S.), skiing at Massanutten Resort or treks into the world-famous Shenandoah National Park.

Of course, overnight stays at the park aren’t the only way to enjoy all that this amazing site has to offer. With multiple picnic shelters throughout the park, it’s the perfect place to bring friends and family for a day of exploration and fun. Each shelter can be rented from 8 a.m. until dusk and includes lighting, pedestal grills, a water fountain, and electricity.

No matter what you’re looking for from Virginia’s great outdoors, Shenandoah River State Park is the perfect place to start. Learn more about the park at their website, give them a call at 540-622-6840 or just pack your gear and get the adventure started at 350 Daughter of Stars Drive, Bentonville, VA 22610.

If you’ve spent time at Shenandoah River State Park, we would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. Or, if you have another park in mind that you think deserves a moment in the spotlight, let us know!

Anna Strock
Virginia staff writer for Only in Your State, freelance writer and journalist. Even though Anna has lived other places, somehow Virginia is where she always seems to land.