Every fisherman knows that as the weather (and the water) warms up, fish become more active . . . and easier to catch! As spring arrives, the sight of anglers becomes much more common on the many waterways of the Front Royal area.
Today we’re gearing up for the fishing season by shining the spotlight on fly fishing in the Front Royal area. Fly fishing is a specific fishing technique. Instead of using live bait or weighted lures, the fly fisherman uses light weight lures, known as “flies” to attract fish. Some flies are designed to sink below the surface of the water, mimicking small fish or insect larvae, but many float on the surface. The goal? To fool a hungry fish into mistaking them for one of the many flies that enjoy the river’s surface in the warmer months. Because the fly fishing “flies” are so light, the casting technique in fly fishing differs significantly from that used in spin cast fishing.
If this special form of fishing has piqued your interest, Front Royal is a great place to give it a try. Whether you’re a beginning fly-fisher, or an old hand, the Front Royal area has fishing opportunities for all skill levels. Read on for some suggestions of where to go fly fishing in the Front Royal area.
Why Fly Fish?
In certain situations, fly fishing can be more effective than using a spin cast technique. It’s also exciting; if you’re using a surface fly, you’ll often get the thrill of watching the fish come up to tand take it. Many practitioners of fly fishing would also argue that their techniques are more refined and sophisticated than those used in spin casting. But we’ll leave that question for the fishing enthusiasts to debate . . . (preferably in the bar after a day on the river).
Fly Fishing the Shenandoah River in the Front Royal Area
The Shenandoah River is an obvious place to start if you’re looking for a place to fish in the Front Royal area. This scenic river is rightly sought after as a destination for all kinds of water sports, and fishing is no exception. If small mouth bass are your prey of choice, you can’t go wrong planning a day of fly fishing on the Shenandoah.
The Front Royal area has multiple access points to the river. Fishermen can fish from the banks, or plan a river trip from one landing to the next. See here for a map of river access points in Warren County. Looking for a watercraft rental? Peruse our list of local river outfitters here.
Stocked Trout Streams around Front Royal
Smallmouth bass are fun to catch, but the classic target of the fly fisherman is the trout. Finding a stocked trout stream is a great way to “get your feet wet” trout fishing. If you’re lucky enough to time your outing soon after a visit from the stocking truck, you’ll have a high chance of success.
For a family-friendly, easily accessible option, try the Gertrude E. Miller Community Park in Front Royal. A stocked section of Happy Creek runs through the park. There’s also a playground and picnic shelter close by. So the non-fishers, or “short-attention-span-fishers” can have a great time too. This park is a popular location for Front Royal fishing, so expect to see other anglers here.
A more secluded option for stocked trout fishing is Passage Creek in the George Washington National Forest. Here, you’ll find beautiful scenery, peace and quiet, and a classic fly fishing stream experience. To access Passage Creek, head out of Front Royal on VA-55 towards Strasburg, and after 5 miles, take a left onto State Route 678/Fort Valley Road. Passage Creek runs beside this road for a significant distance, and you’ll find several parking spots where you can pull off and access the creek.
(Note that due to construction at the Front Royal fish hatchery, Passage Creek will not be stocked in spring 202.1)
Native Trout Fishing in the Front Royal Area
But while stocked trout fishing is a great way to get started, many experts agree that catching native (not stocked) brook trout in a mountain stream is one of the best ways to experience fly fishing. If you’re in search of a fly fishing adventure along these lines, Front Royal can be your destination too.
The Shenandoah National Park, with its northern entrance located in Front Royal is a great place to fly fish. It’s one of the few coveted spots in the D.C. area where you can find native brook trout. The Rapidan River is one of the most famous native trout habitats in the park. It’s off the beaten track, though, so if you’re planning a fishing trip there, a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. For the adventurous, there are also several native trout streams in the park that are accessible from hiking trails.
Enjoy your fly fishing adventure in the Front Royal area! Before you head out, don’t forget to purchase all appropriate fishing licenses. And if you’re hoping to bring your catch home, be sure to read up on all the harvesting regulations wherever you plan to fish.
Camping. It’s the crackling of the campfire, and the stickiness of the s’mores. It’s the renewal that comes from totally unplugging. It’s a chance to connect with loved ones, or to enjoy some alone time. It’s the unparalleled taste of breakfast cooked on a camp stove (or better yet, an open fire).
Camping offers a host of benefits for your physical and mental health. As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, it’s time to start looking forward to warm weather activities, and camping should definitely be on the list. If you’re a veteran camper, don’t forget to make time for this special activity, and if you’re a newbie, don’t worry. It’s never too late to go on your first camping trip.
Of course, camping can mean different things to different people. But Front Royal has a camping option to suit just about anybody. Whether you’re looking for a wilderness adventure, a comfortable cabin in the woods, or a riverside camping vacation, you can find it in the Front Royal area. Here’s our guide to the camping opportunities in the Front Royal area. Read on to find the perfect setting for your next camping adventure.
Note: Please check carefully to ensure you are fully updated with the most recent COVID policies at these campsites. Some facilities (such as bathhouses) may be temporarily closed. As these restrictions change frequently, it is best to check directly with the campsite, and to do so close to the time of your stay.
Camping by the Shenandoah River
Camping by the side of a river is a great recipe for a fun getaway that the whole family can enjoy. As the picturesque Shenandoah River wends its way through Front Royal, there are several campgrounds right on its banks. It’s a great river for recreation, so pick one of these campgrounds, and you can add swimming, fishing, or boating to your “camp-out to-do list!”
Low Water Bridge Campground is a riverside campground in Bentonville (just south of Front Royal). This campground makes it easy for campers to enjoy the river by offering a river rental service. You choose: tube, kayak, or canoe. They’ll shuttle you to an upriver drop off location. Take your boat or tube down the river, and you can land right back at the campground (just in time to cook up some burgers on the campfire!).
North Fork Resort is a Front Royal riverside option that offers RV and tent camping in a resort-style setting. The resort hosts a variety of family friendly events and programs, and has activities including tennis, mini golf, horseshoes, shuffleboard, volleyball, and more. There’s river access for fishing, and an outdoor stage for programs such as live bands and dancing.
Finally, Twin Rivers RV Campground in Front Royal lies close to where the two forks of the Shenandoah River meet. All the sites have river frontage, and full RV hookup, so no matter where you are in the campsite, you can enjoy watching the river go by.
Elizabeth’s Furnace Campground
If exploring woods and mountains is more to your taste than swimming in the river, Elizabeth’s Furnace Campgroundmight be your perfect match. Located in the George Washington National Forest, this campground features RV and tent sites. It’s first come first served, so with no reservations necessary, it’s a great pick for a spontaneous camping trip (although on a busy weekend, you’ll want to get there early). It’s surrounded by some fantastic hiking and it’s right on the banks of picturesque Passage Creek, a stocked trout stream. The fishing is great here too. Fun, hiking, peace and quiet, this campsite has it all.
Embrace the Adventure: Rent a PATC Cabin
For a unique and adventurous experience, consider renting one of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) cabins. You can find them dotted along the Appalachian Trail as it winds down from Maryland through Northern Virginia (including the Shenandoah National Park). Some are primitive, with woodstove heat, spring water, and outdoor privies, while others are more modern, closer to small houses or cottages. Many of the primitive cabins require a significant hike from the nearest parking area, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking for a rugged, backwoods adventure.
Explore the Parks of the Front Royal Area
Last but not least, the fantastic parks that surround Front Royal are also a great option for camping and cabin-type accommodation.
The Shenandoah National Park has several tent and RV campgrounds. Cabin accommodations are also available in throughout the park. This park draws crowds from all over the nation, so reservations well in advance are a must.
Shenandoah River State Park also has a range of camping and cabin options to suit every camping style. Tent campers will find river front sites available here. At the opposite extreme, there’s a six bedroom lodge, perfect for a big family reunion. Additionally are small cabins, yurts, and RV sites.
For the golfing enthusiast, there’s a special pleasure in discovering a golf course that combines well-designed holes and breathtakingly beautiful scenery. If you’re looking to escape the city and lose yourself in golfing paradise, Front Royal may be your perfect destination.
Conveniently located just minutes from I-81 and I-66, Front Royal is easy to reach from the D.C./Northern Virginia Area. Yet this delightful town hasn’t lost any of the quintessential charm of a country town in the Shenandoah Valley. Spend a few days golfing in Front Royal. You’ll find the golf courses enjoyable, the scenery unforgettable, and the atmosphere irresistible!
Read on for help planning your golfing trip to Front Royal. We’ve included recommended lodging, and two golf courses to be sure to check out, as well as some tips to help you enjoy the best of our small town life!
Front Royal’s Most Convenient Golfing Accommodation
Front Royal’s award-winning Holiday Inn and Suites is a natural choice for the golfer in search of a comfortable home away from home. Located just off the I-66 Front Royal exit, the hotel is easy to access and find. It’s also on the grounds of the Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club! You can look out of your window and plan your strategy for the day’s golfing, while enjoying the vista of a perfectly maintained golf course against the jaw-dropping background of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
If you want to roll out of bed and onto the golf course, Front Royal’s Holiday Inn and Suites is the place for you. Be sure to check out their golf packages. You’ll rest easy knowing that you got a great deal on both your stay and your golf!
Go here to explore more options for lodging in Front Royal.
Front Royal Golf Courses for an Unforgettable Round (or Two!)
Whether or not you decide to stay at the Holiday Inn and Suites, you’ll want to put the Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club high on your list of golf courses to enjoy in Front Royal. The name says it all. This classic 18-hole course features engaging challenges and cleverly crafted holes, all set in the shadow of Virginia’s stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. There’s even a sixty foot waterfall just behind the eighteenth green. With a comprehensive practice complex on site as well, you’ll find hours upon hours of enjoyable golf play await you at Blue Ridge Shadows!
Less than five miles from Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club is of Front Royal’s best golf courses. The Shenandoah Valley Golf Club has been voted by the Golf Digest as one of the top ten golf courses in Virginia! The Shenandoah Valley Golf Course boasts 27 holes that stay true to the original design of the course, over fifty years ago. Repeat visitors can enjoy a revered tradition, as well as introducing variety into their game. The whole course is surrounded by stunning scenic views. Want to spend some time tuning-up your game? You can schedule a private lesson at the Shenandoah Valley Golf Club.
Neighboring the Shenandoah Valley Golf Club is Bowling Green Country Club with two 18-hole courses to choose from. With the two clubs so close to each other, you can spend less time driving and more time exploring golf courses on your trip to Front Royal. At Bowling Green Country Club you can enjoy more stunning mountain views while you play. For those looking to spend time practicing, the club also boasts the best driving range in the Winchester area. Private lessons are an option here too.
If you want to experience the Shenandoah River while you golf, your best option is the Front Royal Golf Club. It’s a smaller club, with only nine holes, but four of the holes are located right on the banks of this breathtaking river. That’s more than you’ll find on any other course in Virginia! The Front Royal Golf Club is also incredibly close to Front Royal’s Holiday Inn and Suites. Hop in your car and you can be there in just a few minutes.
Finally, for a relaxed, family-owned small-business feel, don’t forget to stop by Sly Fox Golf Club. This 18-hole course has benefitted from recent renovations, and features exciting water hazards. It’s challenging for experienced players, but accessible for young golfers and seniors too.
Don’t Forget to Discover Front Royal!
With all the good golfing available in Front Royal, you may be tempted never to leave the greens! However, if you can tear yourself away, it’s definitely worth taking a few hours to enjoy the charming town of Front Royal. Explore Front Royal’s quaint Main Street area, or grab a beer at the end of a long day on the course. You’ll find a great choice of fun spots to enjoy a locally brewed craft beer, including the Front Royal Brewing Company, the Virginia Beer Museum, and the Bushel Pub at the Apple House.
Front Royal, Virginia is truly a haven for golfers looking to enjoy a relaxing weekend in the idyllic Shenandoah Valley while playing on top-notch golf courses. Don’t wait to plan your next golfing getaway. Make your reservations today, and look forward to an unforgettable trip as you discover golfing in Front Royal!
A landscape carpeted with delicate wildflowers is a quintessential spring sight. After a long winter, spring wildflowers are a welcome harbinger of the glorious warmer seasons that Mother Nature has in store. Read on to discover the spring wildflowers of the Shenandoah Valley! We’ve included a brief introduction to what you can expect to see, as well as some suggestions for where to find the best wildflower scenery.
Spring Wildflowers in the Front Royal Area
While we often think of wildflowers in vibrant sunny meadows, you’ll find that the earliest flowers of the spring are more commonly shade lovers. Some of spring’s most famous and popular wildflowers are bloodroot, bluebells, trillium, violets, azaleas, and mountain laurel. These stars of the spring wildflower show flourish mostly in forest and on riverbanks. With its forested parks and riverside trails, the Front Royal area is full of places to enjoy these favorite spring wildflowers.
Want to come upon a forest floor carpeted with bluebells or trillium? Or to stroll along a river bank overflowing with delicate blooms? Use our handy guide below to plan your next outdoor adventure, and you’re sure to find some spring wildflowers waiting to greet you.
1. Shenandoah National Park: A Wildflower Lover’s Destination
Front Royal’s famous neighbor, the Shenandoah National Park draws crowds in every season, and spring is no exception. It’s the home of 862 known wildflowers, and its wooded trails provide ample opportunities for wildflower sightings. It’s no surprise that the Shenandoah National Park made this list of the best places in the country to see wildflowers!
If you’re planning a wildflower viewing trip to Shenandoah National Park, check out this handy wildflower calendar first. That way, you’ll know which species you can expect to enjoy when.
2. Blandy Experimental Farm and Virginia State Arboretum: Get a Wildflower Education
Located just thirty minutes from Front Royal, the Virginia State Arboretum is a great place to plan your next spring wildflower stroll. The Arboretum features a variety of native habitats. Check out the woodlands for those early spring favorites.
If you’re looking for a more formal educational experience, check out their programs. You could sign up for a wildflower walk, or join the upcoming wildflower webinar
3. Shenandoah River State Park: Enjoy Riverside Bluebells
Moving our wildflower search from forest floors to river banks, the next destination on the list has to be the Shenandoah River State Park. If you love a woodland scene filled with bluebells, don’t look any further than the Bluebell Trail at this local park. You’ll enjoy a gentle, one mile walk by the famous Shenandoah River. This hike is such a perfect spring stroll that it made this list of recommended wildflower hikes in Virginia.
4. Take Advantage of the NOVA 4-H Center’s Hiker Parking
For a more adventurous hike that’s famous for its wildflowers, park your car at the NOVA 4-H Center, and hike back into Front Royal. This strenuous hike will take you eleven miles, along a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, and then through the Shenandoah National Park. You’ll be ready for that hearty beer and burger when you make it to town!
Bonus: Take a Drive past Flowering Trees
The ground isn’t the only place to look for spring flowers in the Shenandoah Valley! As trees begin to flower, they make for some of the most stunning sights in a spring landscape. And on the scenic byways around Front Royal, you can enjoy them from your car! If you’re looking for a spring drive that features flowering trees, try heading south on US-340 towards Luray. You’ll find yourself enjoying views filled with dogwoods and redbuds, some of Virginia’s favorite spring flower-bearers.
This spring, make a resolution to get out at least once and discover the wildflowers of the Shenandoah Valley. There are plenty of great wildflower destinations in the Front Royal area!
Discover Front Royal