George Washington National Forest

Shenandoah County, VA, is your gateway to the George Washington National Forest. Easily reached from any of our charming towns, this Appalachian forest immerses you in unspoiled natural beauty. Explore serene, wooded pathways, revel in the melodies of mountain streams, and experience the tranquility of the outdoors.

Primarily in Virginia and extending into parts of West Virginia and Kentucky, the combined George Washington and Jefferson national forests encompass a remarkable expanse of more than 1.8 million acres. These vast forests are organized into districts, and for those in Shenandoah County, the Lee Ranger District stands as the closest access point to this expansive natural wonderland.

Whether you're up for a quick day escape or an immersive camping adventure with your favorite crew, you’ll find plenty to explore at George Washington National Forest.

Trails & Activities

Start your journey on the trails. You’ll find over 178 miles of easy to challenging hiking paths within Shenandoah County, from open forest roads to wooded trails. Washington’s Lee Ranger District has plenty of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. And campgrounds, scenic overlooks, and recreation areas for every activity you can think of, from hunting to picnicking offer.

Explore the Peters Mill Run/Taskers Gap OHV trail system, boasting an impressive 36-mile network of trails tailor-made for UTVs, ATVs, motorcycles, and even e-mountain bikes. And if you're all about catching big air, you're in luck–the district has two hand-gliding sites for the ultimate adrenaline rush.

On The Water

Extend your adventure to the water, making it a fantastic outing for family and friends. 

In the Lee Ranger District of the George Washington National Forest, you'll find a range of recreation spots nestled around lakes, offering ideal settings for swimming, boating, and fishing. You can also enjoy access to the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, featuring designated canoeing, kayaking, and tubing launch points. The district also has launches for motorized boats.

Forest Camping

Camping in George Washington National Forest is an immersive escape into nature's embrace. Set up camp amidst towering trees and beside babbling streams, creating cherished memories under starlit skies. With a range of campgrounds and recreation areas with access to the water and trail, it's a haven for both solitude seekers and families. 

For further information on George Washington National Forest maps, passes, permits, and beyond, visit the Forest Service website. You can dive into the offerings of the Lee Ranger District and beyond, tailoring your exploration based on how much time you have. 

Once you've wrapped up your adventures in the George Washington National Forest, come back to Shenandoah County, VA, to enjoy our attractions, restaurants, and accommodations that are sure to elevate your experience in our region.

  • (540)265-5100

Camp Roosevelt Campground is the site of the first Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in the Nation. Follow the path through the CCC camp and view the foundations where the actual buildings once stood. Proud and lofty oak trees create the perfect atmosphere for enjoying a simple…

  • Fort Valley
  • (540)984-4101

Known for its family friendly atmosphere, Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area is a must do trip. Enjoy hiking the Pig Iron and Charcoal trail and learn how iron was made. Spend the day fishing from a stocked trout stream, grilling out at one of our picnic spots, or taking a stroll…

  • Forest Rd

Known as the largest OHV trail system in the state of Virginia, Peters Mill Run and Taskers Gap OHV Trail System provides 36 miles of rugged adventure. Advanced riders will find challenges in steep, rocky, and narrow trails, while others can enjoy trails that were once forest…

  • 2111 S. Hollingsworth Rd
  • 800-933-7275

Seven Bends State Park is a day-use park located in the geographically unique Seven Bends area of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. Seven Bends State Park provides public access to the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and features two hand-carry boat launches, picnic…

  • Wolf Gap Rd
  • (540)984-4101

Wolf Gap Recreation Area was once the site of a 1930's African American Civilian Conservation Corps Camp. This recreation area has many hiking opportunities nearby. From here begin your hike to the popular Big Schloss Overlook with scenic views of Virginia and West Virginia…