Shenandoah River Question

Can anyone tell me if the South Fork of the Shenandoah River between Luray and Front Roayal, Virginia is able to be paddled in both directions?

Or is the current too strong?

Also is it a good place to paddle?

We will be on our way back from the north east in two weeks,with our yaks, and also our C-2 and it looked like it would be a good area to camp overnight, and if the paddling is good we will stay a day or two.

I know years go we used to camp on Skyline Drive with the kids and up there was beautiful.

Thanks in advance,

Cheers, and stay happy,


Andy Guest State Park

Absolutely. I have read that the South Fork is beautiful river to paddle–one of the best around. Andy Guest State Park is a new state park (URL above) that has over 5 miles of river frontage on the South Fork and a car top put-in area.

I haven’t been there yet myself, but friends have and say it is wonderful.

Detailed but touristy float maps of both the South Fork and North Fork can be found at “

Thanks a bunch
That is exactly what we are looking for.

We will probably try to get a camp site in that campground.

Cheers, and thanks again,


Make reservations!
Note that it is a new State Park and right now only has 9 campsites! They plan to develop more campsites and add cabins, but if you are going in two weeks, I’d give them a call.

Also, here is a link to an outfitter on the North Fork in case you need an alternative:

Thanks -good info
This forum is great because of knowlegeable people like yourself helping others.

We can’t make prior reservations since we are not sure of our return dates , but if we can’t get in the new state park site, we will contact the outfitter.



Yes, the river is
navigable in both directions in a Kayak and canoe, but in some sections, the going can be tough. Right now the water is low and river grass is growing rampant in certian sections. The grass tends to be in mid-cahnnel and you can get around either left or right against the banks. Few real rapids on the south fork, Compton’s is one, Karo is another (niether of which is bigger than classII max) and a short chute thru an old crib and stone dam is located just above RT 619 bridge near Front Royal Landing, lots of ledges and short shelves however. Some can be paddled up, some you’ll need to portage around or drag through. Watch for smooth tongues through the ledges, these mark old cuts made for Gundalow (a type of flatboat) traffic during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Shenandoah River Outfitters has it’s own campground as well. Another outfitter: Front Royal Canoe Company may be a good contact as well.

There are 2 decent private campgrounds between Bentonville and Front Royal as well. Low Water Bridge campground is located in Bentonville, with river frontage at Low Water Bridge. The second is Gooney Creek Campground halfway between F.R. and Bentonville and is located directly across RT 340 from the gravel access road to Karo Landing.

Have a safe trip