Archive for 2011


SCOTTSBURG – Since an EF-2 tornado struck Staunton River State Park on April 16 of this year, the park’s trails have remained closed to the public. Recently, a section of trail that leads from the campground to a popular fishing spot has reopened, thanks to the efforts of a Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps crew.

It took just minutes for this powerful tornado to cut a swath of destruction through the park, with over 100 acres of forest destroyed.

Miraculously, most of the park’s public facilities were spared the tornado’s wrath.

After a herculean clean-up effort by park staff and volunteers, as well as salvage support from H & M Lumber Company, the park’s pool   opened on schedule for Memorial Day weekend. The park’s boat launch area, campground and picnic facilities were also opened.



Unfortunately, sections of the park’s multi-use trail system were left unrecognizable by downed trees and debris, a lasting reminder of nature’s fury. Trails have remained closed because of the potential danger to users.

Visitors to the park earlier this summer might have seen some of the timber salvage operation in action. Now, although the heavy equipment has moved away from the main road, the tornado cleanup is continuing in less public areas of the park.

This YCC crew, consisting of 10 youth and two supervisors, began work July 25. Their first task was to clear debris and restore fencing around the district office building. Once that was done, the all female crew moved on to clearing debris from the trail which connects the campground to the River Bank Trail in the park.

While the main trail will remain closed for now, campers can once again enjoy one of the park’s most popular fishing locations on the bank of the Staunton River. Crew members returned home after graduation August 13, having made a visible difference during their three-week stay.


Each summer, Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps provides an opportunity for youth to live and work in a park. Traveling from around Virginia and beyond, crew members learn about conservation and the environment while completing projects in our parks. They also find time for fun activities, such as canoeing, swimming, and visiting other state parks and area attractions.

For more information about Virginia State Parks’ Youth Conservation Corps, or to make reservations for Virginia State Parks, visit, or call 800-933-PARK.

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