The place where the first permanent British colony in mainland North America was founded in 1607, Virginia is a state with an exceptional history and abundant natural attractions. From colonial towns and Revolutionary and Civil War battlefields to various Presidential Homes, including one that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, history is never far away when camping in Virginia. Nature, too, is an intricate part of Virginia’s state identity.
On the coast, you’ll find several state parks and wildlife refuges. Additionally, there are significant historic sites such as Colonial National Historical Park, which includes Historic Jamestown and the Yorktown Battlefield. Across Chesapeake Bay, a calm wave-less bay, lie popular Cape Charles and glorious Assateague Island National Seashore with its feral horses galloping along the beaches. All around Chesapeake Bay, extensive sand beaches and shallow water attract huge crowds of sunbathers and families camping in Virginia over Summer break.
More inland, rolling vineyards and horse farms characterize the Monticello American Viticultural Area, while the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains to the west has been praised in many a country song. It’s in this region, with its undulating forested hills, rocky outcrops, countless waterfalls and rich biodiversity, that you’ll want to go camping in Virginia.
Shenandoah National Park, protecting a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains’ crest, is an outdoor playground for hikers, cyclists, wildlife watchers and road trippers alike. The only road through the park is Skyline Drive, a world-class mountain road lined with trails, campgrounds, a couple of historic lodges, and more than 70 overlooks.
At the park’s southern entrance, Skyline Drive links up with the equally scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. Connecting Shenandoah with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, its 469 miles make it the longest linear park in America. From historic homesteads and the Blue Ridge Music Center to viewpoints, hiking trails and waterfalls like Crabtree Falls, its numerous attractions, combined with free access, make this the most visited unit in the entire National Park Service system.
Other great destinations for camping in Virginia are the Allegheny Highlands, home to natural hot springs, and Grayson Highlands State Park featuring rock-strewn mountain meadows, panoramic vistas and wild ponies.
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This was our 1st stay in our brand new RV, and the staff was great with all our questions. The section we stayed in was winterized so we had a spot in the woods all to ourselves, which was magical. The bath house was clean and the showers were hot. One fun surprise, Ashland is referred to as "the center of the universe" by its residents. Being big astronomy buffs, we felt we pick the perfect place for our first experience 🌌
From the road you wouldn’t guess there’s a giant park beyond the entrance. The rangers at the entrance were super friendly, but they patrol a lot, so often no one is actually at the gate house. When we first arrived we wandered over to the picnic spots along a beautiful stream. A very large blue heron was in the water at let us take many photos. Later he strutted downstream right by our picnic spot.
After lunch I walked the entire campground and chose our spot. It was October and there were maybe 8-10 spots taken in the entire park. Many spots have a good amount of space between them. Pretty much all are shady. Some were on pretty uneven ground and quite a few had big drop offs on the sides or back. Overall, clean, quiet, park surrounded by lots of trees.
Pros: Very friendly and accommodating staff. We camped in October and we had pretty much the entire place to ourselves. Beautiful lake and overall picturesque setting. Free range, friendly goats wander around, which is kinda fun. Cons: WiFi signal weak and intermittent, even close to router. We camped in sites with hookups near office and entrance and the toilets are really far. The showers are even farther-like a 15-20 minute walk with bad signage directing to. The view from the showers were breathtaking, but the showers themselves left much to be desired. We had told they had just been cleaned, but they were so old and rust stained that it still felt kinda gross. Cobwebs along ceiling, dim lighting and worn paint added to the overall dinginess. There are no hooks to hang a towel and no shower curtain, wall or door so the bench with my clothes and towel got wet as did the floor, so you step out of shower into a puddle.
We camped here late in the season and had the park to ourselves! We had a great time here (even though it snowed!!), but I can only imagine how nice this park is in the summer. There are trails throughout the park and the lake is really pretty. Again, it was cold when we were there so we didn’t check out the lake that much, but we still had a great time. The bathrooms were nice and the camp host was helpful too. I definitely recommend this park if you are in the area.
The main attraction for this campground is, obviously, the lake. It is a place where people can fish, boat, canoe/kayak, etc. My favorite thing to do is put my kayak in the water and paddle around no matter what season it is. I have stayed at this campground numerous times with my son, grandson, and/or his family. The sites are fairly level, although some do have a slight slope. There is no water or electricity at any of the sites, but there are fire rings. Some of the sites have a standing grill and a picnic table. There is plenty of shade, and many of the trees are close enough that I can stretch out my hammock for an afternoon siesta. The sites are grassy, and the road is gravel. Depending on where you choose your site, the bath house is a short distance away. My grandson loves camping there because of the playground, and for dog lovers, there is a fenced dog walk. Sometimes, you can find wood where the local residents cut their trees and shrubbery and drop it off adjacent to the campground. Otherwise, you need to take your own wood for a fire. However, every time I have been there, including this time, we were able to find plenty of wood for a campfire. Since the campground closes during the winter, the bath house is not heated, but the showers do have hot water. There are electrical outlets as well in case you need to plug in a blow dryer or electric razor. The last time we stayed here, only my son and grandson were with me, and we sat around the campfire just enjoying the occasional sounds of geese and the regular sounds of tree frogs and crickets. The only other distractions are a few cars passing by along the road, but that diminishes significantly after about ten or eleven o’clock. For children, another fun thing to do is to play in the spillway, which is also part of the road. The embankment dam and spillway are only a few steps from the campground, and there is a place to launch your canoe or kayak. The boat ramp is farther away into the neighborhood. This campground has ten sites and is by reservation only for its over 4,200 residents and their friends and family. Overall, I enjoy staying at this campground because it is a quiet setting when you just want to get outdoors.