We Need a New Public Access Site on the North Fork Shenandoah

Photo by Tusik Only

Our rivers are such a source of pleasure as well as giving us our sustaining drinking water. In addition to the latter, though, we strive to increase our access for recreation. Those of us who have the luxury of working on and near the water understand that and those of you who can and do find yourself on the river, either paddling or fishing, you know what I mean.

Here in the Shenandoah Valley, the North Fork Shenandoah River is an exceptional recreational resource in western Virginia. The river is ideal for a canoe or kayak float and offers great fishing and wildlife watching opportunities. The North Fork Shenandoah River is navigable from Timberville to the confluence with the South Fork Shenandoah River near Front Royal (98 miles).  However, public access to the river is limited. Currently, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) maintains or assists with maintenance at six public river access sites on the North Fork Shenandoah River (Meem’s Bottom, Chapman’s, Deer Rapids, Strasburg Town Park, Catlett’s, and Riverton). But they are having a public hearing on September 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Shenandoah County Government Complex, 9925 Main St., Woodstock, VA 22664, to discuss and consider a proposed new access site at Route 600 (Heasley Road) on the North Fork Shenandoah River.

I strongly support VDGIF’s proposal for this new public access site. Member engagement is critical to its success, so join me at the public hearing.