Read below for a park update from Tom Stevens, Chief Ranger.
With COVID-19 still looming, people continue to seek outdoor recreation as an escape from modern problems. While weekdays are relatively quiet, on weekends we are expending most of our resources just keeping visitors from driving their vehicles on trails and parking in the picnic areas. We have seen the shift of visitor usage from a majority of hikers and bikers in the spring and early summer, to a majority of river floaters and waders as the temperatures are starting to peak. We expect to see a small decrease in visitation now that Independence Day has passed, record high temperatures have set in, and river depth continues to drop.
Some recent and ongoing improvements you can see, when you swing by are: the addition of two picnic pads on the Lupton side (provided as an Eagle Scout project by Blake Trump) painting and repairs to the Camp Lupton horse barn siding, and restoration of Camp Lupton monuments. Projects we look forward to seeing in the near future include: improvements to riverside trail and access points with DuPont-Waynesboro Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Funds, and groundbreaking on River’s Way Natural Playground and Outdoor Classroom.
River’s Way Natural Playground and Outdoor Classroom, with grounbreaking set to begin this summer, has been partially funded with a Garden Club of Virginia grant and has garnered support from Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners and Valley Engineering. It has also drawn interest from the Lion’s Club and Rotary organizations. We are excited to begin this project and to soon bring a unique outdoor play and learning environment for the community. This special project can always use your added support. Please be sure to contact us if you are interested in assisting with River’s Way Natural Playground and Outdoor Classroom.
See you outside! Ranger Tom