While looking at a map of the Shenandoah Valley, I noticed a relatively new state park that we hadn’t been to. Seven Bends State Park, near Woodstock, VA, is located on the North Fork Shenandoah River. We always enjoy being near rivers, so we decided to take advantage of a beautiful late winter day to check out this new-to-us park.
Of course for us, getting there (wherever “there” might be) is part of the adventure, so we chose a route consisting of all secondary roads, starting with Rt. 250 West over Afton Mountain.
Once in Waynesboro, VA, we turned onto Rt. 340 North and followed it through the little towns of Grottos, Elkton, and Shenandoah until we were just southwest of Luray, VA.
We turned west on Rt. 211, and this took us over a mountain into the town of New Market. From there we drove north on Rt. 11 until we reached Woodstock.
As we followed the signs towards Seven Bends State Park, we were surprised to see that there were two sections–one on Lupton Road, and the other on Hollingsworth Road. We were even more surprised to find that Hollingsworth turned into a dirt road that went down a very narrow, curvy, steep hill–with no guardrails. Yikes!
The next surprise was that we had to go across a one-lane concrete bridge that was just a couple of feet above the North Fork Shenandoah River!
So what wasn’t a surprise was realizing why this is a day use only park. Due to the access roads and the very real potential for flooding, I’m not sure there would ever be a way to build a campground at Seven Bends…. Still, it would be a great place to kayak!
After walking a short distance along the river on the “Bass Bight Trail,” we went back to the car and drove to the other section of the park on Lupton Road. Once again we had to cross a low concrete bridge to gain access to the park.
We didn’t walk on any of the trails in this section, but we spent more time along the river.
When we left the park to start the drive home, we passed though Edinburg, Mt. Jackson, and others little towns on Rt. 11 before taking even more “secondary” secondary roads across the Valley.
Virginia has 39 state parks. We’ve visited some of them numerous times, but so far we’ve been to less than half of them! We’ll work on this; it’s good to have goals. 🙂
Until next time,
Sharon & Wayne