Lake Shenandoah

Tucked under the arm of one of Harrisonburg’s tonier neighborhoods is a small outdoor experience called Lake Shenandoah, a 36-acre waterway run by the Department of Wildlife Resources.

I’ll admit, the 1.3 mile walk around this small jewel of a lake made me homesick for my former Connecticut home that abuts a similar small waterway called Crescent Beach Lake. However, unlike that small neighborhood lake, Shenandoah offers a well-maintained path that encircles the entire lake, offering a great perspective from any vantage point.

The website for the lake is a bit confusing as it mentions a nominal fee, but since I was not sure if that only applied to fishing, I took a chance and so just showed up (forgiveness vs permission?) and had a delightful 30-minute walk.

The lake is not deep – at three to 25-feet, but offers a variety of fish such as crappie, large mouth bass, and channel catfish.

Wildflowers abound, along with milkweed to encourage a Monarch butterfly population along the pollinator trail. Placards along the way outline the various points of interest and natural wonders. A few lucky stiffs have homes which abut one side of the lake and lighthearted banter was faintly heard from duffers playing on a nearby golf course.

Tip: avoid the highways and take the back roads to this lake, passing through Cross Keys with its many wineries that could give Afton a run for its money!

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