Beer, Zip-lining and Camping || Shanandoah River State Park

It all started with a birthday gift. That's what put the wheels in motion for a mini adventure for my friend Richard and me.  My wife likes to find things on GROUPON to give as gifts and so far she has done a good job finding things that are cool to do. For my birthday she gave me two Groupons. One for me and one for a friend to take a zip-line and canopy tour from Virginia Canopy Tour.

Richard wanted to take a week's vacation and do some backpacking. So with that, we figured we would take one of those days and do the zip-line and canopy tour. Since Richard is new to backpacking I was tasked to come up with the plan for the backpacking trip.

 Virginia Canopy Tour is a zip-line adventure company located in one of Virginia's newest parks. Shenandoah River State Park is located on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River just a few miles outside of Front Royal Va.

Our plan developed into driving-up to Shenandoah River State Park to do the zip-line and canopy tour with a night of tent camping in one of the primitive campsites in the park. Then the following day we would drive over to Shenandoah National Park and do a day of backpacking in each of the three districts.

But before all the adventure for the week starts we have to make a detour to pick up the most important provisions.

If you are around the Staunton Virginia area, make your way over to 120 S Lewis Street in the Wharf District of Historic Staunton. There you will find Redbeard Brewing Company. This is my cousin's place and he is the brewer of Small Batches of Big Beers!

We ended up getting Deep Luscious Amber (A Belgian Quad), Irene (seasonal English Dark Mild) and Batch #42 (Experimental Strong Ale).

I had to stop on my way out of town to take a picture of this cool Land Rover 110.

Now on to zip-lining fun!

Sarah and Nicole were our guides on our tour. Very nice and they don't miss a step with hooking you up, they have this down pat. The first thing we do is "ground school" this is to show how things work and what you need to do on the zip-line. As you can see it's only a few feet off the ground.

Now off to the first zip-line

The big white thing on the cable is part of the braking system. It is just part of a big rope and the black ropes you see are also part of that system. But your brake is your gloved hand...

This leg of the zip-line is the highest at 90 feet over the forest floor! 

They call this an "air bridge"

This is looking back at the longest zip-line at 1039 feet. You can reach speeds of 40 mph. On the day that we did this, we had winds and could not get up to that speed.

Two hours later we end our zip-lining adventure with a 30ft rappel.

Back at camp, we take part in some of the Redbeard Brewing Company Deep Luscious and Irene beer. The Deep Luscious is about ~10.65% ABV, 25 IBU, and the Irene is ~4.0% ABV, 20 IBU. I found that the Irene paired up nicely with our grilled buffalo steaks and corn on the cob and baked potato. Both poured with a thick rich head that laced very well in a plastic solo cup!

Sun setting on campsite #4 overlooking the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. You could not ask for a better campsite.

I could not tell you the last time that I camped in a State Park, but it was very nice and I would do it again. Our camping site was just a short walk from where we had to park the car. There were a nice bathhouse and restrooms a very short walk from the campsite.


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