SHENANDOAH RIVER ADVENTURES
The Shenandoah River is ideal to float by canoe, kayak or tube and the surrounding mountains offer the perfect backdrop to relax or enjoy paddleboarding and other boating and swimming at Lake Laura near Bryce Resort.
Bedrock ledges within the North Fork of the Shenandoah River create a unique habitat for fish where angling can be very productive. The North Fork is a relatively narrow, shallow river and is easily accessible for wade angling. In addition, Shenandoah County has over 31 miles of trout areas including Passage Creek, Peters Mill Creek, Tomahawk Pond and Trout Pond as well as a trout farm open to the public for fishing.
A list of public river access, local outfitters and fishing resources are listed below.
Mid-April through Mid-November are prime time for Smallmount Bass fly fishing on the Shenandoah River. The Virginia Fly Fishing Report for Smallmouth Bass on the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River is updated several times per week throughout the season so be sure to check for the latest conditions.
Lake Laura is a 45-acre private lake with a grassy beach area. Activities include swimming, boating, fishing, and a 3-mile hiking trail around the lake. Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. For additional information including hours of operation and admission prices, fishing permits and more, call 800-821-1444 or 540-856-2121 or visit the website.
1982 Fairway Dr., Mt Jackson, VA 22842 | 540-856-2121 ext 253
Murray’s Fly Shop is one of the largest and most complete angling shops on the East Coast. Stop in and talk to Harry Murray, author of “Trout Fishing on the Shenandoah National Park” and numerous other fishing books. Murray’s Fly Shop also offers maps and information on trout and bass streams throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Ask about their fly fishing schools and complete guide services as well.
121 Main St., Edinburg, VA 22824 | 540-984-4212
The Shenandoah River is one of the few rivers that flow from south to north and the North Fork, in Shenandoah County, is ideal to float by canoe. Clear water, pleasant scenery, and abundant wildlife make the North Fork a paddler’s dream. However, low flows during the summer months often require canoeists to walk their boats through shallow areas. The scenery is excellent for the entirety of the river’s course, including great views of Massanutten Mountain.
PLEASE NOTE: Most of the land adjacent to the North Fork of the Shenandoah River is privately-owned. You may enter and exit the river ONLY at public access sites.
Trout Pond Recreation Area boasts two beautiful lakes: Rock Cliff Lake and Trout Pond. Relax on a sandy mountain beach or fish for stocked trout while the kids splash in the cool waters of Rock Cliff Lake. Trout Pond, home to native Brook trout, is the only natural lake in West Virginia. A designated swimming area, easy lakeside trails, and a children’s playground make this a perfect family destination.
Fish hatchery, farm raised trout. Fee fishing paid by the pound. No license required. Open seasonally March – September. Saturdays and Sundays 8am – 5pm.
54140 Zepp Road, Maurertown, VA 22644
BLUE HOLE [BLUZ] This is a traditional “Blue Hole”, even marked as such on USGS and other maps. To get here, on RT 678, about 2 miles south of the RT 55 intersection, there is a small dirt pull-off on the east (left) side of the road. If you look toward the creek, you will probably see a long swinging rope hanging from a tree on the far side of the creek. Park and walk to a deep place in the creek.
BUZZARD ROCK HOLE [BUZZ] (Also known as the “Red Hole”) This is a great little swimming hole in Passage Creek. Continue south on RT 678 and park at the SECOND paved parking area on the right (about 2.5 miles from RT 55 or 1.3 miles from RT 619, the fish hatchery road.) Walk back along the road (north) until you get around the bend in the road (about .25 mile). Here, in Passage Creek, you will see a very large, flat rock sloping down to the creek. There is a deep swimming hole and small rapids to play in. THERE ARE HIDDEN ROCKS IN THIS HOLE, DO NOT JUMP unless you can see clearly.
ELIZABETH FURNACE [ELIZ] Further south on RT 678 you will see signs for the Elizabeth Furnace Rec. Area. If you are camping, there is a short path to a swimming hole from the back of the family campground. This path begins in the rear of campsite #16 by the green water fountain. Take this path, you may have to clamber over a couple of fallen logs and watch out for poison ivy. If not camping, turn into the area signed “Day Use Picnic Area”. There is a place to play in the creek right at the bridge to the picnic area but not quite deep enough to swim. Go all the way to the rear of the lot, right hand side (south) and follow a path that roughly follows the creek south until you get to a clear place on the river bank that is across the creek from the campgrounds. There is a small deep place at the bottom of a gentle rapid that is just big enough and deep enough to swim.
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