Get Out on the Water!
The small mountain city of Waynesboro is located just three miles from the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, and Appalachian Trail. In addition, the spring-fed South River flows through downtown, drawing anglers from all over the country looking to catch trophy-sized trout, and providing fun on the water for kids of all ages.
Day 1: Fly Fishing
Kick off your adventure by trying your hand at one of Waynesboro’s specialties: fly fishing. The South River Fly Shop on Main Street offers full-service guiding and instructing for every skill level, as well as a wide selection of gear. In addition to full-day excursions along the Shenandoah, James, and Jackson rivers, they also offer guided trips into Shenandoah National Park. For today you’ll want to schedule a half-day excursion on the South River, which runs through downtown Waynesboro and is one of only two urban trout fisheries in the state. Once Tommy or Kevin lead you to the sweet spots along the river, we think you’ll agree that its stocked waters make it an angler’s playground!
After spending your afternoon on the river, it’s only appropriate to cap off your day with dinner downtown at The River Burger Bar for an elevated burger experience, or a tasty salad or wrap. Pair your meal with your choice of a craft beer or fun cocktail.
Day 2: Discover New Trails
The Waynesboro Water Trail is the newest addition to the city's park system and allows visitors the chance to see the city from the vantage point of the water. Put in your canoe or kayak at Ridgeview Park and paddle the scenic four-mile stretch of the South River to the convenient take-out at Basic Park. Shorter trips can be taken, if desired, by utilizing other river accesses along the water trail. This stretch of the river is perfect for beginners or those looking for an easy paddle. You’ll encounter class I and class II rapids along the way and glimpse some of the historic homes and bygone industries of the city. If you need gear, talk to the folks at Rockfish Gap Outfitters. Be sure to check the water table of the South River before planning your paddle. A PDF version of the Waynesboro Water Trail, along with maps of popular hiking trails and historical walking tours, is available on our Maps page.
Following your float, you’ll need to refuel and a massive "Virginia Slice" of delicious pizza from Benny Stivale’s is just the ticket! Eat in, or take your lunch to Constitution Park for a delightful picnic.
After lunch, head to Sherando Lake for swimming, hiking, biking, picnicking, pretty much any outdoor activity you can think of! Relax on the shandy beach of the 25-acre sprind-fed lake, or enjoy a day hike from one of multiple trail heads. Sherando Lake, is, indeed, the Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as it is known to the locals!
Day 3: One More Adventure
After you've visited Weasie's, a local favorite for diner-style breakfast, wrap up your time in Waynesboro for a quick visit to the War Memorial pool at Ridgeview Park. For just $5 for ages 16 and up and $3 for kids under 15, the pool is open everyday during the summer. Bring a picnic lunch or head over to Kline's Dairy Bar to cool off.