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Golf

Front Royal has more golf courses than any other valley town. Duffers are welcome at the 27-hole Shenandoah Valley Golf Club (tel. 540/635-3588; www.svgcgolf.com), the 36-hole Bowling Green Country Club (tel. 540/635-2095; www.bowlinggreencountryclub.net), the 18-hole Jackson's Chase (tel. 540/635-7814; www.jacksonschase.com), the 18-hole Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club (tel. 866/631-9661 or 540/631-9661; www.blueridgeshadows.com), and the 9-hole Front Royal Country Club (tel. 540/636-9062). Call for directions, starting times, and greens fees.

Horseback Riding

The Front Royal area also offers more horseback riding than anywhere else in the valley. The 4,500-acre Marriott Ranch, 5305 Marriott Lane, Hume, VA 22639 (tel. 877/278-4574 or 540/364-2627; www.marriottranch.com), offers 1 1/2-hour guided trail rides, buggy rides, summer sunset rides, and full-moon rides. Serious equestrians can stay over in The Inn at Fairfield Farm, the ranch's bed-and-breakfast inn (tel. 540/364-3221), which has 10 rooms (7 with bathrooms). Hume is on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge, about 15 minutes from Front Royal via U.S. 522, C.R. 635, and C.R. 726.

Another stable is Highlander Horses, 5297 Reliance Rd., Front Royal (tel. 540/636-4523; www.highlanderhorses.com).

Rafting, Canoeing & Kayaking on the Shenandoah

The streams flowing west down from Shenandoah National Park end up in the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, which winds its way through a narrow valley between the Blue Ridge and Massanutten mountains. The switchbacks between Front Royal and Luray are the region's main center for river rafting, canoeing, and kayaking from mid-March to mid-November. The amount of recent rain will determine whether you go white-water rafting, canoeing, kayaking, or just lazily floating downstream in an inner tube.

About 5 1/2 miles of the river skirts the Raymond R. "Andy" Guest Jr. Shenandoah River State Park, 8 miles south of Front Royal on U.S. 340 (tel. 540/622-6840; www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/andygues.htm). The park has 5 1/2 miles of river frontage, 13 miles of hiking trails, fishing, horseback riding, picnic areas, and a primitive campground (tel. 800/933-PARK [7275] or 804/225-8367 to reserve a site). The park is open daily from 8am to dusk. Admission is $3 per vehicle weekdays, $4 on weekends and holidays.

Several rafting and canoe outfitters are based along U.S. 340, which parallels the river between Front Royal and Luray. All require advance reservations, and all are closed from November through April.

  • Front Royal Canoe Company (tel. 800/270-8808 or 540/635-5440; www.frontroyalcanoe.com) provides equipment and guides from its location on U.S. 340 south of Front Royal.
  • In Bentonville, a small village about 8 miles south of Front Royal, you'll find Downriver Canoe Company (tel. 800/338-1963 or 540/635-5526; www.downriver.com).
  • Near Luray, you can go with Shenandoah River Outfitters (tel. 800/622-6632 or 540/743-4159; www.shenandoah-river.com).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.