Shenandoah River - Main Stem
Notice: Until an estimated finish of June 2018, the Route 624 bridge over the Shenandoah River will be demolished and rebuilt. For safety reasons, the Morgans Ford access area will be closed to the public during this time. Unless you are entering the river from private property downstream of Morgans Ford, the next downstream public access location is at Berrys Ferry at the Route 17/50 bridge. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
The Main Stem Shenandoah River is formed when the North Fork and South Fork converge at Front Royal, Virginia. The Shenandoah flows for 57 miles until it empties into the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The section of the Shenandoah which will be discussed is the 35 miles of river that lies within the state of Virginia. The section of the Shenandoah flowing through Clarke County is designated as a state scenic river. The Main Stem Shenandoah is a sixth order stream and averages around 150 feet in width.
The Shenandoah is typically a low gradient river, but there are some class I rapids produced at riffle areas. The substrate of the river varies from bedrock and boulders to cobble and gravel. Several species of rooted aquatic vegetation are found in the shallower regions of the river. This vegetation can become quite dense during the summer months. There is one dam located on the Main Stem Shenandoah River. Warren Dam, which is located immediately downstream of Front Royal, Virginia, is operated as a hydroelectric facility by Allegheny Power. Except for four access points, owned by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), the riparian area along the entire Shenandoah River is privately owned.