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A tributary of the Potomac River, the Shenandoah etches a scenic path through the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains through the Shenandoah Valley via two major forks, beginning in Rockingham County and flowing north-easterly until it meets the Potomac in Maryland.
Winding its way through forest, mountain, and lush farmland, it offers visitors an incredible tourist excursion.
A Relic of Days Past
Early Native American buildings and camps found along the shores of the Shenandoah are some of the oldest establishments in North America. Realizing its fertile grounds, they began farming the region as early as 900 AD.
Not until 1669 would European settlers discover the region, and landowner Lord Fairfax had the region surveyed upon hearing of its natural beauty. Before long, the river became an important trade route—given the challenge of transporting goods through the mountains—providing an abundant food supply which provided the trade for luxuries like sugar and rum from the Caribbean.
Escaping the Bustle of City Life
Due to the inland location between mountain ranges, population growth throughout the Shenandoah Valley and along the river has been quite slow. Those seeking a getaway will be right at home, and the river’s quiet waters offer rewarding canoeing and tubing.
The majestic maintains flanking the waters offer rugged hiking opportunities. The native fish are plentiful—enough so that the river’s South Fork is known for the best small mouth bass fishing in the state.
A Flow of Inspiration
The scenic, gently beauty of the Shenandoah River nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a source of inspiration for several artists. John Denver sings of it in “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and a number of painters have immortalized the peaceful waters.
Visiting its shores will surely provide ample peace and reflection time—and perhaps the draw to settle and call it home.