Shenandoah National park

I have yet to see one in the wild, but I do occasionally see these common watersnakes, which might be mistaken for a copperhead at a glance:

I hear there are a few timber rattlers up on the mountain ridges near Luray.

see Copperheads around these parts …
… every now and then . Almost stepped on one once . It was coiled and ready to strike .

Timber Rattlers are there in Va. in the Shenandoah , the Blue Ridge . They will be giving birth in Sept. and going to hibernation in early Oct. They’ll be in the high grounds gathering to rock bluffs and dens , many in and around the same den .

It’s rare for me to see one because I’m not there , but it’s a guarantee they are .

can rise quickly …

– Last Updated: Jul-12-13 11:32 PM EST –

...... notice today July 12 ... the Shenandoah went from a very safe level to very dangerous level in 3 hours . That's optimum paddling green level ... to dangerously high red level .

About 1'-8" to 5'-8" and rising on the Front Royal gage .

Just wanted you to have these links for your future Sept. trip . This is just the kind of thing I had mentioned to you earlier ... can happen very fast there . From your back yard access , the river is even narrower where you'll be , the rise will be more extreme ... Front Royal gage is the only one you'll have , and it is just down river from you , there are no others up river from you ... and whatever Front Royal's reading , you can likely guess it's higher (relatively) up river where you'll be cause the water flows down hill .

see "Shenadoah River Basin - 01631000 , SF Shenandoah River at Front Royal VA"


ps., .. can't help myself , the Shenandoah brings back so many memories , got to tell a quick short story ... "we set out downriver on a beautiful Sept. day , tee shirt weather , bivacked a camp site and went to sleep content as one could be ... woke up the next morning to natures call and when I climbed out of the bag and stepped out of the tent I thought I had been time travel transported to the Artic , everything was frozen solid as a rock , and it was extremely cold ... moral to the story , temp. change in Sept. can happen just that fast , so be prepared for it just in case " .

Also , check those water temps. cause I've seen it very comfortable water temps. in Sept. , and also teeth chatering cold water in Sept. . Who knows what this Sept. will be like for you ??

Pilotwingz,can never be…
…too careful or over-prepared. Did ya’ll get a lot of rain at once to cause such a rise? Here in Jersey,the torrential downpours have been frequent and intense! Very wet summer so far. We will definitely pay close attention to the water levels everyday and weather temps. Thanks!

2 more USGS SF Shenandoah gages …

– Last Updated: Jul-13-13 11:15 PM EST –

...... wasn't aware these existed above Front Royal but they do , so here they are .

01628500 , Lynnwood


01629500 , Luray

wow , the Shen. really rose up ... what's neat is you see how it all makes it way down to Milville (dam) gage about 24-36 hrs. after Front Royal .

Yes , lots of rain through the region last few days ... same here (MD) as you all , a pretty wet year so far , rather unusual . Another unusual thing is the 8 tornandos in MD over the past month .

Very interesting…
Must admit,we have never been to the area and knew nothing about the Shenandoah. Thanks to friendly folks like you and sapien, learning a lot of useful,needed information. I sure am hoping for favorable, safe river conditions for our 5 days there. My boyfriend will be fishing sunrise and sunset everyday. Don’t need him in a risky situation, for sure!

Shenandoah River Map
Here is the map I’ve been working on in Google Earth format, showing access points, gauges, dams, significant rapids and a few other points of interest. Still a work in progress; combination of info I’ve collected over the past few years from paddling various sections, reading guidebooks and researching online. There are still plenty parts of the river I need to experience firsthand.

Google Earth KMZ file (click the down arrow at top left to download):

viewed in Google Maps:

the KMZ file has the POI’s organized by South Fork, North Fork, and main river, and they are in order from upstream to downstream.

lake in Luray
I’m sure you’ve already come across this but the town of Luray has a recreational lake and beach, Lake Arrowhead. Small at just 39 acres but sure to offer an awesome view of the Blue Ridge mountains.

Most “lakes” and reservoirs along the mountain ridges are little more than watering holes. You could drive over the mountain to Culpeper and check out Lake Pelham – at 250+ acres it’s probably the largest lake within an hour of where you’ll be staying. I don’t believe power boats are allowed there. Not certain if permits are required for canoes/kayaks; call the town office at 540-829-8220 and ask.

Good work!!!
Very cool map.Love the photos. Thanks.

Checked out Lake Pelham
Nice size reservoir.Good fishing. Permits are required,but if the Shenandoah is not “hospitable” during our visit,this is def an alternative. Thanks!

I’m sure everything is going to be …

– Last Updated: Jul-15-13 10:26 PM EST –

..... a wonderful time for you two !!

It would be nice if you would come back and tell us all a bit about your Shenandoah visit when you return .

Glad sapien was able to offer some of his experience around there , he's a real explorer and gets around paddling alot . He once helped me solve an old mystery I encountered on the Shenandoah one year .

The least I can do is
give ya’ll a recap of our adventures! We had a delightful paddle yesterday on Lake Lenape in Mays Landing,NJ. We crossed the lake and went upstream on the Great Egg Harbor river for over 2 miles. Mike caught a large,fiesty pickerel that looked to be 6 lbs! Cant wait to explore the Shenandoah…