South River Recreation

The South River is a great place for recreation like trout fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, picnicking, and family events. Visit the Events & Meetings page for upcoming events along the South River.


Swimming, boating, or wading in any natural water body poses some risk, generally from possible bacterial contamination. Mercury levels in the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River do not pose a significant health concern to people participating in these activities. The South River Science Team participates in community events such as Riverfest and the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival to inform the public about safe recreation along the river. For more information, click here.

Float trips are a great way to enjoy the South River. For more information on float trips and access points, visit our interactive map. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries also provides maps and driving directions for a number of float trips here.


If fishing is your passion, Waynesboro is the perfect place for you, with the South River cutting right through the city. Home to Virginia’s Fly Fishing Festival, the South River is only one of two urban fisheries in the state. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries provides information about fishing in the area. For more information about fishing in the South River, click here. For information about South Fork Shenandoah fishing, click here.

The Science Team does not endorse specific businesses.

The South River Fly Shop specializes in the South River’s special regulation areas. The shop’s owners Kevin Little and Tommy Lawhorne provide expert advice on fishing local waters and also provide full guide service and instruction on fly casting and tying. Click here for more information.


Waynesboro is located in the Shenandoah Valley less than five miles away from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, and the Appalachian Trail. The city boasts a Greenway Trail and the Ridgeview Park Botanical Garden, which recently won a Landscape Excellence Award from Keep Virginia Beautiful. To plan a visit, click here.