Largemouth Bass Lineup

Largemouth Bass Lineup

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Review of the Shenandoah River State Park

Recently, the family and I stayed at the Shenandoah River Raymond R. "Andy" Guest, Jr. State Park, in the Shenandoah Valley, VA.  This park is located about eight miles from Front Royal, VA.  We spent a week there and loved it.

The park is roughly 1600 acres with approximately 5 miles of river front property, that river being the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.  It also has 24 miles of trails to walk, bike or ride a horse on.  There is a small Visitor's Center, a campground for RV's, the River Right Campground, the Cottonwood Primitive Campground, and eleven cabins.  Taken right from the VA state park website "The rolling, mountainous land features steep slopes and is mostly wooded. In addition to meandering river frontage, the park offers scenic vistas overlooking Massanutten Mountain to the west and Shenandoah National Park to the east."  Beautiful scenery it is.  The river contains largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, suckers, carp, bluegill, sunfish, musky and other assorted goodies.  

We stayed in cabin 5 which is a three bedroom, 2 bath cabin with a fireplace, living room and kitchen.  This cabin was located at the end of a very quiet court.  It has an L shaped porch which overlooked the river (although the view was blocked by trees), a picnic table, grill and fire pit.  The porch had six nice rocking chairs on them thus negating the need for the chairs we brought.  It was surprisingly clean and well maintained.  The cabin appears to be very new.  As a side note this cabin as well as another one is handicap accessible.  As such, everything is lower.  For me being 6'4 this was a little hard on the back doing dishes.  This isn't a pro or a con, just something to think about.  Also, most of this stuff we knew going in.  Their website was very informative.  We just compiled a list of things we both loved and thought could be improved about the place in an effort to write an accurate, informative and helpful review.

Pros: you can bring dogs for a minimal charge, it was clean, the people were very friendly and helpful, the furniture was comfortable, the view was stunning, the kitchen was well stocked, the entire park was very clean, no key required as the cabin door takes a code (at first we weren't sure about this but grew to love it), very interesting display of animals found at the park at the Visitor's Center, nature and history programs are offered, the weekly list of activities delivered to your door by the park staff, ice maker in the refrigerator, good tasting water, close to several historic places as well as natural wonders to be seen in a day trip, cabins are well spaced from each other allowing you to have a yard so to speak in which the children could play,  like a hotel/motel they provided little baskets near the sinks with soap, mouthwash, and shampoo (dish soap and a scrubby in the kitchen as well), lots of closet space, great cell phone reception (at least for Sprint) and finally it was inexpensive.

Cons: no playground equipment for children, no dishwasher (Melissa did them so it didn't affect me),  trash must be emptied by you and taken to the dumpster located elsewhere in the park, no river access from the cabin (you could get to it but not get into it due to the bank being way to steep), had to drive to the river to fish inside the park (good thing we brought two cars), no Television, no DVD player, no dish or Internet access either, no telephone in the cabins, and we were only provided two trash bags for a week long stay.

Overall the family and I had a great time.  We plan on coming back as soon as we can.  From Maryland it is only an hour and a half trip.  Very close indeed.  Regarding the fishing, since this is a fly fishing and tying blog, I will be doing each trip separately to talk about what I caught.  For now, please enjoy the photos of the cabin.  If anyone has been here, please let us know.  We would love to hear what you thought about the place.  For more information, click VA State Park.


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