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Due to exceptionally dry conditions, the Department of Wildlife Resources has implemented a complete ban on any open burning (e.g., campfires, grills) on all DWR properties west of Interstate 95, effective immediately and lasting until further notice.

Public Boating Access

Find a Boating Access Site

Printable List of All Access Sites
County/CityWaterbodyAccess AreaBarrier FreeTypeRampsCoordinatesMap
RockinghamS. Fork Shenandoah RiverElktonNoBoat Slide038.4094, -78.6350Map
Directions: From Elkton, North on Rt 33 Business (.2)
RockinghamSouth RiverGrottos LandingNoBoat Slide038.2846, -78.8340Map
Directions: From Town of Grottoes, N on Rt825, W on 20th st, follow to Park entrance, road to river
RockinghamS. Fork Shenandoah RiverIsland FordNoShoreline Access038.3548, -78.6956Map
Directions: From Island Ford Rt. 340, W. Rt 649, Left Rt. 642, ramp on right
RockinghamLake ShenandoahLake ShenandoahYesConcrete Ramp138.3816, -78.8392Map

A flood occurred at Lake Shenandoah. During this event the emergency spillway (north side of dam) was damaged, requiring extensive repair. The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) engineering staff inspected the damage and, due to the severity, were required by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Dam Safety Division to lower the lake approximately 5 feet from full pool to reduce the threat of the dam failing during a high water event. In addition, DCR Dam Safety recently updated hazard assessment criteria for all dams in Virginia. In order to bring the Lake Shenandoah Dam into compliance with dam safety requirements, it was determined that the dam would need to be completely reconstructed.

Present Work:

• DWR staff constructed an alternate boat launch area, seeded exposed banks to reduce erosion, repositioned the floating pier, and mowed new bank fishing access areas.

• Contractors completed a culvert replacement in the northern arm of the lake and upgraded the road leading to the dam, so heavy equipment can access the area.

• DWR engineering staff are in ongoing discussions with engineering firms to finalize plans to reconstruct the dam and emergency spillway. There are a variety of options that are being evaluated, all of which are extremely costly. Regardless of which option is chosen, DWR will maintain the pool at a lower level than it had been historically out of concern for flooding impacts to downstream structures and upstream structures due to potential backups from the dam during flood events (even after the dam is repaired). The fishery in the lake is intact even in its current state, and we would expect it to do well after the reconstruction of the dam under the current proposals.
Directions: From Harrisonburg, Southwest on Rt 659 (1.9); L on Rt 689 (.7); R on Rt 687 (.6)
RockinghamS. Fork Shenandoah RiverPort RepublicNoShoreline Access038.2958, -78.8080Map
Directions: From Grottoes, Rt. 340 N.; W. Rt. 659, R. bef. river, Ramp on left.

No Trespassing Except to Fish or Launch Boats

Camping, swimming, or public display of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Violators subject to arrest. Learn more »