WOODSTOCK, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin officially opened Seven Bends State Park on June 14, 2022 in Shenandoah County. The park consists of 1,066 acres located in the geographically unique Seven Bends area of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.
“Seven Bends State Park is a wonderful addition to Virginia’s state park system, and it provides much-needed additional public access to the North Fork of the Shenandoah River,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said. “With 41 State Parks across the Commonwealth, our commitment to preserving our unique geological, natural and historic resources continues, and State Parks continue to provide an indispensable place to exercise, relax and come together. with family and friends.”
The park had a soft opening in early 2020. Located near the town of Woodstock, it features two boat launches, picnic areas, a single family picnic shelter, restrooms and over 8 miles of hiking and biking trails. Trails include access to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest Trail System along the Massanutten Mountain Range.
“The purpose of Seven Bends State Park is to provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities on water and on land, while protecting and interpreting the spectacular scenic vista,” said Acting Secretary of Resources. natural and historic, Travis Voyles. “The diversity of habitats provides exceptional opportunities for nature study, outdoor classrooms, and programming.”
The majority of the park was amassed through several land donations. The town of Woodstock donated 85 acres of what was once the site of the town’s reservoir. Dr. James R. Myers donated the largest parcel adjacent to the reservoir, at approximately 674 acres.
The final parcel of land, over 306 acres in size and known as Camp Lupton, was purchased by the state from Massanutten Military Academy.
“As a longtime resident of the area, I am thrilled to see the local community as well as visitors from afar experience the natural beauty and participate in the outdoor recreation opportunities here at Seven Bends State Park,” said the president of the Virginia House of Delegates Todd. Gilbert. “I am committed to our Virginia State Parks and understand the importance of working together to support and advance the mission of these vital Commonwealth assets.”
“Virginians want better access to Commonwealth rivers and public lands and Seven Bends State Parks, with their breathtaking vistas, provide,” said Senator Mark Obenshain. “Adding this park to the tourism assets that already exist in this part of the Shenandoah Valley strengthens this area as a premier East Coast travel destination.”
“There is a strong demand for nearby public access to open space and recreational aquatic resources, and Seven Bends State Park is uniquely positioned to help meet those demands,” said Matt Wells, superintendent of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, which administers Virginia. State Parks. “Developing a park is a partnership, requiring many players at the table – from concerned and interested citizens to our partners in other state agencies. Virginia’s corporate planning process allows everyone to have a seat at the table. The plan adopted for Seven Bends will protect these valuable natural and cultural resources for generations to come.
“The western boundary of the park is the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, where a 4-mile-long shoreline provides exceptional water recreation opportunities,” said Virginia State Parks Superintendent Dr. Melissa Baker. “The park’s eastern boundary is shared with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, providing highly desirable connectivity between public lands and expanding the area’s recreational opportunities.”
“Community partnerships will continue to play such a vital role in the development of Seven Bends State Park and will build on the work already done here,” Baker added.
“We are proud of the close partnership with the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and are grateful for the organization’s continued volunteer support of the park,” said Seven Bends State Park Assistant Superintendent Tom Stevens. . “Community support and local partnerships make the difference between existing and thriving. Together with the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, we created the North Fork Conservation Corps, a summer program for teens that combines community service, exploration and outdoor education. Local partnerships have brought in more than $100,000 in grant-funded projects, including River’s Way Natural Play Space and Outdoor Classroom, and the Dupont Waynesboro Grant, which helped fund the opening and maintenance of Gokotta and Bass Bright Trails.
Outdoor exploration continued to be hugely popular, with nearly 84,000 visitors to the park in 2021. Seven Bends State Park is geographically distinct and offers a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy.
To learn more about Virginia State Parks, visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.