Home River access at Crimora Park closed for 60 days for improvements to recreation area

River access at Crimora Park closed for 60 days for improvements to recreation area

crimora park river access closure Augusta County is looking to improve recreational access to the South River at Crimora Park. Construction at the park started today and will close the lower level of the park for approximately 60 days.

The upper level of the park including playgrounds, shelters and walking trails, will remain open during construction.

The project covers improvements to the existing lower parking area and includes efforts to upgrade storm drainage, replace guard rails and provide new paving and striping for visitor parking.

Several picnic tables and trash receptacles will also be added between the parking area and the river.

Additionally, a hardened canoe launch will be installed and the existing access path to the river will be widened to allow for vehicular access for put-in and take-out of water craft.

“The improvements at Crimora Park will address an expressed need for more recreational river access,” said Augusta County’s Director of Community Development Doug Wolfe. “More and more people are enjoying and using the river, and river enthusiasts and groups have advocated for more defined put-ins for some time now.”

Results from a public interest survey in September 2019 showed respondents as being overwhelmingly in favor of access points in Augusta County.

The Crimora Park river access project is part of a planned initiative of Augusta County’s Parks and Recreation department to improve offerings for recreation, fishing, tubing and boating.

The county’s engineering office has been part of this long-term, ongoing improvement effort and has coordinated the use of grant funding for river restoration and recreational access as well as the collaboration necessary between federal and state agencies.

The opening of the river access point at Dooms Crossing, Augusta County’s first river access point, in April 2022, was the first project of the initiative to be completed.

Crimora Park constitutes the second and final project.

Both the Dooms and Crimora projects are fully funded by grants as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration process. NRDAR is the result of a settlement agreement between the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commonwealth of Virginia and DuPont for restoration of wildlife habitats that were impacted by the release of mercury from the former Dupont facility in Waynesboro between 1929 – 1950. Mercury in the South River, the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, and the habitat next to the rivers impacted the fish and wildlife as well as the recreational use of the rivers for many years.

The grant funding for Crimora Park’s river access project is $100,000.

During construction, the Parks and Recreation department encourages the use of nearby, local river access points, parks and boat launches including:

For more information about the river access initiatives, visit the county’s website.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.