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When you’ve got a famous river and ancient mountains within walking distance of each other, you have the ingredients for a wonderful array of outdoor activities.

Public parks and natural areas

The area is blessed to have several national, state, and local parks that provide an easy entry to the natural beauty of the Shenandoah Valley:

  • George Washington National Forest (http://www.fs.usda.gov/gwj/) stretches throughout our area with hiking, camping, fishing, and other recreational spots available.

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Water, water everywhere…boating, swimming, fishing

You can get to the water from several spots along both the north and south forks of the Shenandoah River, and commercial services offer canoe, kayak, and tubing equipment if you don’t have your own. The two forks of the Shenandoah River come together at Front Royal.

Town parks up and down the valley offer public swimming pools open during the summer. More water sports information is available at http://shenandoahcountyva.us/tourism/outdoors-recreation/public-river-access/.

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If fly-fishing is your thing, don’t miss Murray’s Fly Shop (http://www.murraysflyshop.com/) in Edinburg. Harry Murray and his son Jeff can get you equipped, and they offer guided trips and fly-fishing or fly-tying lessons. 540-984-4212.

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Hundreds of miles of hiking trails

The Appalachian Trail threads its way through the Shenandoah Valley and the George Washington National Forest. Hiking and backpacking options include:

  • From further south in Shenandoah County, the George Washington National Forest trails include spectacular views of the valley, forests, and river. Click Here (http://shenandoahcountyva.us/tourism/hiking/) for a list of trails grouped by difficulty. An easy and rewarding hike is the one to the Woodstock Tower, built by the Civil Conservation Corps in 1935. From the top, you can see a much-photographed view of the famous seven bends of the Shenandoah River, and if you’re lucky, you might see one of the hang gliders taking off from a ledge just below the tower.

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Llamas anyone?
Twin Creeks Llamas (http://www.twincreeksllamas.com/) in Browntown (near Front Royal) offer guided llama hikes into the Shenandoah Valley. Reservations required. Call 540-631-9175.

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Bikers welcome

For bikers, Shenandoah County offers scenic roads (http://shenandoahcountyva.us/tourism/scenic-drives/), mountain bike and OHV trails (http://shenandoahcountyva.us/tourism/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2013/12/ROG_ohv_trail_loop_lee.pdf), and the Bryce Resort Mountin Bike Park (http://www.bryceresort.com/Summer/Bryce-Mountain-Bike-Park.aspx).

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Enjoy it from the air!

Less known are these unique ways to enjoy the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley from up in the air. How high depends on you:

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Horseback riding

Mountain trail riding, cabins, guided rides from Fort Valley Ranch (http://www.fortvalleystable.com/)
Group rides, therapeutic riding, cavalry school, and more at Secret Passage Ranch (http://www.secretpassageranch.net/)

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Golf

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Winter fun at Bryce Resort (http://www.bryceresort.com)

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Summer fun at Bryce Resort (http://www.bryceresort.com)

  • Euro Bungy

For a longer list of outdoor activities and vendors, visit http://www.visitshenandoah.org/Things-To-Do/Outdoor-Recreation.aspx.