Front Royal Virginia
“Canoe Capital of Virginia”
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Town of Front Royal VA
Front Royal is located at the northern gateway to the Shenandoah Valley and Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive in Warren County and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Front Royal is known as the Canoe Capital of Virginia where the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River join here to form the main body of the Shenandoah River.
The mountain ridges dominate the landscape, ranging from 1,000 to 2,900 feet in elevation. These mountain ridges include steep-walled valleys with fast flowing streams and wooded slopes. Front Royal is the crown jewel for outdoor recreation in the northern region of Virginia.
Front Royal offers many exciting things to do when you come visit the area such as the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, the Shenandoah River State Park, and the George Washington National Forest.Visitors can back-country hike, mountain bike, paddle a canoe, ride a zip line, kayak the rivers, golfing, horseback riding, balloon and airplane rides.
Visit Front Royal’s historic downtown area with many restaurants, art galleries, and unique shopping. During the summer months at the gazebo there are many events in the downtown area. Front royal has something to offer everyone when it comes to food; fresh farm-to-table experiences, or a more classic dining experience. From Thai to Italian to Burgers and specialty desserts, Front Royal can delight many palettes.
In the Town of Front Royal, we have something to meet everyone’s lodging needs. From luxurious Bed and Breakfast, to a rustic cabin, or a family friendly hotel, Front Royal can provide you with it all.
History of Front Royal VA
The entire Shenandoah Valley including the area to become Front Royal was annexed and claimed for hunting by the Iroquois Confederation during the later Beaver Wars, by 1672. Some bands of the Shawnee settled in the area as client groups to the Iroquois and alternately to the Cherokee after 1721. The Iroquois formally sold their entire claim east of the Alleghenies to the Virginia Colony at the Treaty of Lancaster in 1744. Front Royal, originally settled in 1754 under the name LeHewtown, had been known to European explorers as early as the 1670s, and the nearby settlement of Chester’s Ferry was in existence by 1736. The town also had a well-known nickname by the 1790s, “Helltown,” due to the many livestock wranglers and boatmen on the Shenandoah coming through the area, who came into town looking for alcohol. It was incorporated as “Front Royal” in 1788.
Rail service was established in 1854 with the construction of the Alexandria, Orange and Manassas Gap Railroad between Manassas and Riverton. This line was soon extended to Strasburg in time to become a factor in the Battle of Front Royal on May 23, 1862 and throughout the Civil War. Lumber, agriculture, manufacturing and grain mills provided employment in the region for decades after the Civil War.