Find Sites

Find your spot

Find other facilities on map

For more information on Forest
Safety click here



Sherando Lake Group Picnic  Shelter
Status: Open through Fri Oct 30 2015   Season Dates


Sherando Lake Group Picnic Shelter, also known as the William Branch Group Picnic Area, is a very popular facility in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sherando Lake Recreation Area is known locally as the jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where families enjoy picnicking in the shade and relaxing on the sandy beach.

Natural Features:

The picnic area is located just above the 25 acre lower lake with the beach area and beach bathhouse within walking distance. Situated between the South Fork of Back Creek and the foot of the mountain, the area offers shade and cooling breezes all season.


The lower 25 acre lake offers a sand beach and accessible ramp for swimming, fishing and boating. Fishing licenses are required to fish the upper or lower lakes at Sherando Lake Recreation Area.

Many hiking opportunities abound, including the Blue Loop Trail, the Lakeside Trail and the Torry Ridge Trail that heads to Bald Knob.

Fun weekend campfire programs take place at the amphitheater in summertime.


The shelter can be accessed by vehicle using a short service road.

The parking area holds up to 40 cars and the picnic area can accommodate 50 guests. Drinking water and flush toilets are adjacent to the shelter. Ice and vending machines are available at the beach bathhouse pavilion.

Nearby Attractions:

The nearest groceries and fuel are located in Stuarts Draft, Virginia, about 15 minutes from the recreation area.

A golf course and ski resort with wonderful scenic overlooks are within 10 miles of Sherando Lake.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Swimming
  • Amphitheater
  • Beach Access
  • Boating
  • Campfire Programs
  • Canoeing
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Entrance Station
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Host
  • Ice Machine
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Area
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Playground
  • Trash Collection
  • Visitor Center
Within 10 Miles
  • Mountain Biking
Know Before You Go
  • No electric hookups available
  • Shelter closes at sunset and gate is locked at 10 p.m.
  • No alcohol allowed
  • Cell phone coverage is unreliable
  • Toilets do not support accessibility standards
  • No boat ramp available
  • Gasoline engines not permitted on the lake
  • Click here for more information on George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
  • Don't Move Firewood: Help protect our forests! Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. Moving firewood is illegal in some states. Visit dontmovefirewood.org to learn more.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
37.92972, -78.97972
37°55'47"N, 78°58'47"W

From I-64, take Exit 96 just east of Stuarts Draft. Go south on State Route 624, which becomes State Route 664 at Lyndhurst. Continue south on State Route 664 approximately 8 miles to the entrance to the Sherando Lake Recreation Area on the right. The gatehouse is approximately 0.5 miles ahead. If the gatehouse is closed, continue through the recreation area toward the lower lake. The service road entrance to the group picnic shelter is to the left in the sharp curve before you reach the beach parking area.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

26 Sherando Lake Road
Lyndhurst  VA  22952

Phone Number:

Information:  (540)942-5965
Discover and reserve camping, lodging, permits, tours and more at America's parks, forests, monuments and other public lands with Recreation.gov. Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration