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.
We are enjoying our winterize trip now and have made reservations for 4 weeks next year already. April clam roast will kick off the 2019 season. Might be before that if I get to antsy with cabin fever.
Pros: this campground is fairly quiet (at least when I visited in fall), and has nice amenities including free hot showers.
Cons: they definitely cater to RVs. They have a primitive tent area, but it only has a vault toilet. The bathhouses (with showers and flush toilets) are all located in the loops with full hook up sites; I would expect if you had to choose to put facilities in one area over another, the tent area would make more sense since RVs have their own toilets and showers on board.
Given the chance, I probably wouldn't stay here again unless I was passing through.
Beautiful and clean state park! Firewood was on the honor system, so always be honest! Located close to the beautiful town of Chesterfield, which had a huge grocery store, which allowed us to pick up some fresh items for the fire. Already plan on revisiting this park some day.
An inexpensive place to sleep within walking distance to restaurant and brewery. New very nice and clean bathhouse. But I can't see how it can handle the amount of campsites. About 25 tent sites, maybe another 22 no hookup RV sites, 24 full hook up. Mens room has 2 toilets 3 sinks and 2 showers. Not a problem on a weekday in November. Water saver in the shower, water warm enough but never had to turn on the cold. No bench or chair to dry feet and put on sox and shoes. No wifi at site. AT&T cell service. Tent sites are close together, maybe 25 feet from table to table with little to no privacy between them. Many of the sites are illuminated by the LED floods from the bathhouse. Found myself hiding my eyes in the shadow of the trees. No trash cans. Hammock campers be aware. Most sites are so small with so few trees you may have trouble finding 2 trees within your own site. So if you want to eat, drink, camp and not have to drive, this will work. Just don't plan on getting up in the middle of the night and pee in the woods because you will probably pee on your neighbor's tent.
Sherando Lake is a well-maintained, popular campground located in the George Washington National Forest near Lyndhurst, VA. Convenient to both Richmond and Charlottesville, it brings people in for camping and day-use alike.
There are three camping loops here; a standard non-electric loop (loop A/White Oak Loop), and two RV loops (B and C). Both of the RV loops are very flat and open, with little shade or privacy between sites. They have electric hookups and drinking water available, but do not have water hookups. The tent loop is the oldest loop in this campground, and is heavily wooded, with sites along both meadow and backing up to the mountain. These sites do not have any hookups, but most have driveways large enough for campers and RVs 28' in length or under. All tent sites have fire rings, utility poles, and large picnic tables, and tent pads that are raked clear by campground hosts between guests.
The biggest benefits of this campground are its location, and the recreation area. It's about an hour and a half west of Richmond and only thirty minutes from Charlottesville, making it a great weekend trip without having to take time away from work. And as for recreation, it's wonderful. There are two lakes--the lower lake is the largest at 25 acres, and and while the beach can get crowded during peak season, it's an easy walk from the campground, with a large swimming area roped off. Canoeing is available at the lake, and there are several hiking trails, ranging from the easy lakeside trail, to more difficult trails that connect to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and other trails in George Washington National Forest. Fishing is available at both lakes with the proper licensing. There are several large picnic areas right on the lower lake, and a few smaller creekside spaces with picnic table and grills.
All that said; for RV campers this is an excellent campsite. While the loops with hookups are lacking in shade and privacy, having an RV or camper will afford you what the site itself lacks, and the location and activities make this a great basecamp.
For tent camping, it's good if you live in one of the nearby cities and want the shorter drive time, or if you like tent camping but still want all the benefits of front-country camping. As a place to set up camp and enjoy spending time near your tent, Sherando is exceptionally maintained. There is not a lot of opportunities for foraging for firewood, which means purchasing heat-treated wood nearby, and while the sites are very shady, there is little underbrush between sites to offer a privacy barrier. Many of the sites are staggered, with one or more levels of steps leading from the driveways. Because of all there is to do this is a great site for older kids, but we learned that, especially with toddlers, the steps around the campsites can turn a relaxing trip into one of constant vigilance.
Enjoyment of this campground will largely depend on what type of camper you are. If you are mainly looking for a place to get outside of the city, where you can set up for the night and have easy access to hiking, fishing, swimming, or boating, this is a great campground. This is where we typically chose to take friends if they were new to camping, as the bathrooms are well-lit, the road is paved, and the sites are so well-maintained. Plus at $20 a night, while it's more expensive than its neighbors in Shenandoah National Park or Cave Mountain Lake, it's a shorter drive from the neighboring cities, and doesn't have the additional NPS fee. However, if you want something that feels more rugged, or with campsites that offer a greater feeling of privacy, it would be better to skip this one.
This is a pretty neat little camping area in George Washington National Forest. Some friends and I stayed here for a couple of nights when we wanted to get away from school for the weekend. The campground is really cute. You can swim in the nearby lake, there is a little beach, bathrooms are nice with showers, and there's fresh water. It was the perfect place to take my less outdoorsy friends who had never camped before.
Also, nearby is one of my favorite hikes in the area, Humpback Rocks. This hike is super short, only about a mile, but there is a lot of elevation gain, so it can still be pretty strenuous. The view from the top is awesome though. It's also the perfect place to see a sunrise. I highly recommend this hike, and the area in general.
If you get bored with camping, you can always visit Charlottesville, which isn't too far of a drive away. The city has tons of history (go TJ!), great sports at UVA, and amazing food. I never miss a chance to talk it up.
Really amazing area!
This is a huge campground it has 137 sites that is right in between two mountains. Each site has picnic tables, lantern poles, tent pads, food storage lockers, and campfire rings. 63 of their sites are available for advanced reservation and then 79 first come-first serve basis. The bath house has flush toilets, water spigots, but no showers. There is also no electric, water, or sewer hook-ups.
Lots of hiking trails, but make sure you look at the map because we unfortunately did not look at it well enough and thought that the trail was a loop when it led to the opposite side of the mountain and we had to hitch hike back to the campsite. The trails are well marked and lead to awesome views. Rate is $20 a night.
With camping just a moderate day hike away from Mount Rogers, the highest point in Virginia, this campground is a hiker's paradise.
There is little to no cell signal here, so coming to Grayson Highlands is one of the few state parks in Virginia where you can truly go "off the grid" during the length of your stay--and you won't miss technology, because there is so much to do at this park. From the aforementioned Mount Rogers--an 8.5 mile out-and-back, to the 1.5 mile but difficult Cabin Trail that takes you to a waterfall, to the wild ponies who will approach hikers along the Rhododendron Trail, any fitness level will find hiking they can enjoy. When we stayed the outer bands of Hurricane Michael brought so much fog and rain that we were not able to see any of the ponies, but we did hear one a couple of times, very near Massie's Gap!
As for camping there are two frontcountry campgrounds. All sites have picnic tables and fire rings, and bathrooms with electricity and flush toilets*
Chestnut Hollow Campground:
-There are 23 sites here with water and electric hook-ups May-October, and this loop is available as primitive camping March, April, and November. *During this time bathrooms are pit toilets only
-Horse-friendly; there are stables located adjacent to this loop
-These sites are very small; if you are in a tent I recommend no larger than a 4 person.
-Not a lot of privacy between sites, especially near the back of the loop. Most sites are right agains the road and have little space to move around; I would not recommend this loop if you have small children who are going to want space to run and play
Hickory Ridge Campground
-This is the larger of the loops at GHSP; there are 64 campsites ranging from standard tent sites without water or electric, to full service sites with water and electric hookups.
-Tent sites 1-18 are the furthest from hookup sites and will therefore be the quietest; they are mostly small sites and very close to the road. Sites 10, 12, 13, and 14 are set back furthest from the road. There is a path behind sites 2-14 leading to the bathhouse behind site 14. Site 13 is easily the most private--and arguably the only truly private--tent site in this campground, with the driveway going behind a cluster of trees that shields the site from the road. We stayed in site 12 which easily fit our 6 person tent.
-Sites 31 and 32 are on a meadow the campsite loops around; they have no privacy and little shade, but ample room for kids to run around, and there is a set of swings near these sites. They are however right on the road so it may be easier to just walk to the swings and keep littles in a site without as much traffic. There is water right across from both of these sites.
-Even-numbered hookup sites 60-70 are also right on the meadow with very little shade
-All other sites are heavily shaded, although you'll be close to your neighbors
The camp store near the Hickory Ridge Loop sells ice, firewood, and just about anything you may possibly have forgotten to pack--firestarters, first aid supplies, marshmallows, and has as a gift shop with blankets, outerwear, and kitschy souvenirs.
Normally I would take off a star for lack of privacy of tent sites, however there is so much hiking here that your campsite can really be more of a basecamp than a place you want to sit and hang out all day long!
The name of this place is a bit deceiving if you find it on one of the many brochures "Americamps RV Resort". I was at first completely discouraged by itself name in fact but went ahead while passing through the area on the way to one of my blog sites to check it out.
Pulling into the location the grounds were very well manicured and looked like a lot of work is regularly being put into the facility. The office was very nice and going inside they were very friendly in telling me a bit about the sites and area. I was then taken on a tour of the park and told a bit more. While they do offer RV sites for both overnight and weekly or monthly stay, they have a constant flow of tent campers, although weekly and monthly rates are not offered for this service.
The tent sites they took me to were padded with lush grass and had very nice picnic tables which looked well maintained. They also had grills which were around waist height. Something which set this tent location apart from others was they have a valet trash service at the park which applies to each site. With this you can place your items out for pick up in the morning and they will do so instead of you having to find a place to discard items.
But the sites were not the only thing that impressed me. The grounds themselves have a fitness facility and pool which are nice, a group gathering area and also a very substantial store. There is a shared grill garden for grilling with a propane grill, a basketball court and dog run area as well. Basically it is a resort without staying in a hotel style room.
Pricing was very fair depending on which amenities you wanted at your site. There were some tent sites with electricity and they were a bit more but base rate for dry camping was $25.
I would definitely return to this site if I was staying here instead of passing though. It is close to so many things and makes a great place for a day or a weekend away. I found it to be only about 10 minutes from the site I was going to and only a short distance from dozens of other exciting things in Richmond.
- If you are wanting to stay make sure to call in advance for this one. It is to nice to pass up on making a smart reservation.
This is by no means the biggest campground or the most modern but something which can be said for this campground is it feels like it was designed with family fun in mind. From the bouncing blob to the oversized chess set, from the lakeside beach to the swimming pool, it seems as though plenty of thought has been placed on how to keep a family entertained when in this area of Virginia.
The sites themselves are not just average tent and RV sites. Instead they have various types of cabins which you can rent in addition to these. The tent sites are grouped in the same area and while there are only a handful of them, they are well shaded, nicely spaced and pretty even. The rolling hills of the area do not seem to effect the layout of these spaces.
My site was equipped with a picnic table however I did not have a fire ring or lantern post. They do have some upgraded sites for tents which include these or even have electricity. I enjoyed the location and when I was visiting there were not many people staying in this area.
I do wish I hadn't been traveling alone because it would have been a bit more fun with all the activities had I have had a travel companion. This is one of those places where it pays to have a buddy!!
If you will be staying on a weekend call in advance to book because of limited tent sites.
During summertime this place is like one of those dream summer camps with lake toys including blobs and inflatable obstacles. Try to visit during this time of year to fully take advantage.
When I was passing though Richmond I found Pocahontas State Park and decided I liked it so much I had to find out a bit more. There were so many things to do at this park and while there were only around 5 miles of dedicated hiking trails there were nearly 50 miles of bike trails, swimming and paddling on the water, horseback rides and monthly programs.
While I was here I checked out some hiking trails and also the camping which was $35 for a site which included water and electricity in addition to the standard picnic table and fire ring. Sites were nice and wide all built to accommodate tents or RVs.
There are two loops for camping. I stayed in the first loop in site 59 which was pretty close to the bathrooms but still fully secluded by the tall trees around me. I found this site to be absolutely perfect for my needs and I was able to set up right off the pull in on a nice flat section of ground. I was shaded from the harsh sun of midday by the trees around me but it did make it a bit less bright for waking up the next morning.
Another nice feature of my campsite was it was close to the firewood station and the camp host. I enjoyed socializing with the host and them telling me a bit more about the things to do in the area as well as at other state parks for which they had worked. Such a great host!!
Check in at this campground is not until 4 p.m. so if you arrive before this you are not guaranteed to be able to get your site.
Enjoy free boat launch or swimming here if you are camping. If you are not there is a day use fee for using this amenities at the park.
If you are in an RV this place makes sense completely with a standard rate of $44 for a basic water and electric site or $46 to add sewer. But if you are a tent camper like myself the price point of $44 is a bit to much just to lay my head on the ground with a few amenities. There are far more locations in the area at a much more reasonable rate for tents.
With that being said, this campground is quaint and nice. With a catch and release pond, a nice pool, a rec center and an additional catfish pond there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. Not to mention, this place looks like a story book location early in the morning with the rolling of the fog across the hills.
I did notice a few other negatives however at this camp. There are two bathhouses but they are kind of small considering the volume of people which stay here. I would recommend showering during somewhat off hours to avoid the influx of people. Also the WIFI here was a bit weak if you were not near the office.
All in all this place is nice I will say and should I travel back through this area in an RV it would be worth the price point in going back. As I was in a tent however I feel it was a bit much to give it a higher rating.
Powhatan State Park is a relatively new addition to the VA State Parks system; the park itself has only been open since 2003. The primitive, canoe-in campground opened with the park, and the loop with electric and water hookups opened in 2016.
**Canoe-In Campground: **
When we stayed, we stayed in the canoe-in campground, although we hiked in the approximate 1/4 mile from the parking lot, rather than coming in by boat. This is a quiet, beautiful loop, with 8 sites, each with a picnic table and fire ring. There are composting toilets here and no potable water, so you will need to bring enough water for your trip or purification methods. Proper food storage is also essential back here; while this section of Virginia does not have the bear activity you’d find in the mountains, there are still raccoons and other wildlife who should not have access to human food. There are no bear boxes, so treat food storage as you would in the backcountry.
-Sites 7 and 8 are closes to the toilets, and back up to the woods leading towards the Turkey Trail; hikers are visible from site 8 and audible from site 7.
-Sites 4 and 5 back up to a very wooded area, and are further back from the gravel loop. Site 4 is closest to the boat ramp and is visible; site 5 is probably the most private in the loop.
-Sites 1,2, and 6 are in the center loop, but have more space between them than inner-loop sites usually have. Sites 1 and 2 are right against the River Trail however, so will have hikers walking directly past during the day.
The canoe-in loop sits against the James River; there is a rack to stow your canoe/kayak overnight, and a pay by honor-system pile of firewood. Due to the thick foliage there is no actual river-view during the warmer months, but it’s easily accessbile. When we stayed in early spring there were a lot of vines that served as “natural playground” for our kids; they used them as swings, monkey bars, and enjoyed getting their feet wet at the base of the canoe ramp, so much that they declined hiking or driving to the park’s man-made playground. This loop makes a great “trial run” site for anyone considering a future backcountry trip; the walk to the parking lot is short enough to make multiple trips if you need to, and you still have access to the park amenities if you don’t mind a walk/drive to get there.
River Bend Loop
The River Bend Loop has 29 sites with water and electric hook-ups, though very little privacy between sites. The surrounding trees give all but the first three sites decent shade and a wooded atmosphere, and this is a great loop for RVs or tent campers who enjoy being close to other sites. If you are looking for a feeling of isolation however, you would be better off minimizing your gear and walking to the primitive sites, or going to a different park altogether. The bathrooms here have electricity, flush toilets, and showers with hot water. Sites 1-14 are available for advance reservation, and sites 15-29 are first-come first-served. Site 25 offers the most privacy for tent campers, and it’s very large, but if the campground is at full occupancy all sites are going to have a crowded feel.
There are several hiking trails at this park ranging from very easy to moderate, and a couple of them are horse-friendly; our kids enjoy seeing horses on the trail with them, but be mindful if you have kids/dogs who may be afraid of the horses. The park also has a playground, picnic shelters, and ranger activities on the weekends, and there are three yurts available to book.
This is a very open, well-maintained park, and the camping options should appeal to a wide spectrum of campers, and my only reason for giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the lack of privacy in the drive-up campsites. It feels a lot like a hidden gem; the hookup campground fills up during warmer weather, but all of our visits here have been very quiet and peaceful. If you are looking for camping options near Richmond, I highly recommend this park!
Overall, it's a decent campground. There are a few trails encompassing and leading out from the campground, and it's nice to have a central location from which you can out on small hikes. It is also more central to the northern region of the park and is a good stopping place in that aspect.
A few things that left me wanting was the large line of cars at the entrance to the campground, as I did not have a reservation, and a bit of inefficiency in getting campers set up in this aspect. I think I waited around 30-45 minutes to get a spot when I went on a Friday in early October. Also, the bathrooms at the campground that I used only have one stall and one urinal, so it was hectic when multiple people needed to go.
Otherwise, the long slab of pavement at each campsite and especially the food storage locker were very positive aspects of the campground.
I stayed at this AT shelter when I was doing a section hike with some friends. It's not bad as far as shelters on the AT go. There is not a water source too close to the shelter. The closest one is about 3 miles North. The sites aren't bad though, pretty flat. There is also a wooden shelter maintained by the AT, but those aren't my favorite to sleep in. Seemed nice as far as they go though.
I was hiking a little section that includes Mcafee Knob, one of the most photographed spots on the AT. This spot is really awesome. It can also just be done as a day hike, so I recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind a 8ish mile hike. Another cool thing about this area is that there's some fairly nice bouldering to be found near the top. Some of the routes are a little under maintained and mossy, but there are some fun ones. Lugging a crash pad all the way to the top isn't the most fun, but worth it if you want to get some cool bouldering in.
Though Shenandoah national park itself is underwhelming. The campground was a great spot to sleep. There are walk in site and drive through sites available. The stars can be seen though definitely a bit of light pollution. The campsite connects to hiking trials to bring you to the sights of the national park easily, including the dark hollow falls and big meadow
Arrived after 8 pm on a Friday evening, and was pleasantly surprised that park rangers were still manning check-in process as it was close to filling up. He gave us his best option left for a small tent. Site was quite open to HC accessible adjacent sites and had a bit of light trespass from the restrooms. Can't complain for a last minute trip!
This is hands-down my favorite campground in Virginia.
To start--it's very well maintained, but has a lot of personality. The bathrooms are simple but clean, there is potable water convenient to all sites, and most sites you can park you car right at your site, but the absence of a paved road or sectioned off tent sites, and the creek that runs through the entire campground, gives a feeling of peace and wilderness that can be hard to find in front country camping. None of the sites at this campground have electric or water hookups, but all sites have picnic tables and fire rings.
Sites 1-27 are in the main loop. The creek winds through this loop providing the sound of water and a place to splash in. The inner ring is still fairly wooded but has less privacy, and the outer ring on the eastern side has long driveways to accommodate larger campers/RVs.
Sites 28-35 are on a spur off the main loop, and have a higher degree of privacy. These sites are slightly more rugged, and best for smaller tents; site 35 however is both large, flat, and private, and is next to the trailhead to one of the campground's hiking trails. The bathroom in this leg has multiple stalls, electricity, and flush toilets.
Sites 36-38 are walk-in only, though the walk is very short, and crosses a lovely bridge over the creek. Sites 37 and 38 are very small; a 1-4 person tent should be fine, but anything larger than that is unlikely to fit. The sites are bordered by a small meadow on one side, and a hill on the other. Site 36 is arguably the best site in the entire campground if you are comfortable carrying your gear a few dozen yards from the parking lot. This site has a high degree of privacy, especially from late spring to early fall when the trees have their leaves, it can accommodate 6+ person tents, and is right beside the creek which gives you a wonderful sound to fall asleep to. This one is especially great for kids!
Sites 39 and 40 also border the meadow at the back of the campground but you can park directly at the site so they work for campers, and sites 41 & 42 form a double site; because it is a double site it is more expensive to book, but you are set back from the remainder of the campground, as well as being beside both the creek and next to a trailhead. Group campsites are available closer to the day-use area.
The hosts at this campground are some of the nicest we have ever encountered, and we have been going here for years. They also frequently pile logs from downed trees next to the dumpsters in early spring, providing ample firewood if you have the means to split it yourself.
There is a lake and picnic grounds for day-use, along with a few hiking trails, however the day use areas are not regularly monitored; the lake is swim-at-your-own-risk, and there are no boat or fishing gear rentals. There is no camp store to purchase firewood or provisions, but there is a privately owned way-station a few miles before the entrance of the campground. Plan on bringing in everything you will need for your trip, unless you want to add time driving on the winding roads leading to the campground to and from the local stores.
This campground has some spots that are reservable and some that are first come first serve. There are walk up and drive up sites, all including a fire pit with a grate and a picnic table. The bathrooms were clean and there was a campstore down the road. Great place to stay!
Hungry Mother State Park, just a short drive off I-81 in southwestern Virginia, is an easily accessible gem offering modern cabins, yurts, and campgrounds equipped for tents or RVs, with limitless activities.
We stayed in one of the cabins after Hurricane Michael rained out our plans for tent camping. This was our first time in one of the VSP cabins, and will not be our last. There are three types of cabins; log exteriors, part of the original Civilian Conservation Corps structures; wooden frame cabins with wooden interiors, and cinderblock exteriors with tile floors. Cabins range from economy to three bedroom, and all have a kitchen with microwave, stove, and refrigerator/freezer, a bathroom with a shower, and a fireplace, as well as heating and air conditioning. Most cabins also have covered porches, exterior picnic tables, and exterior fire rings.
The Creekside Campground loop has water and electric hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings. The layout is similar to most water/electric sites in state and national parks in Virginia; not much privacy between the sites, but fairly shaded, and a quiet atmosphere. This loop is true to its name, and right on the creek running through the park. We were there during the rains from Hurricane Michael and the creek was running so high that sites 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, and 19 looked like they were in danger of flooding.
The Royal Oak campground has platforms for tents set into the mountain rather than dirt or gravel tent pads, however as there are hooks in each of the pads to anchor your tent they can only accommodate tents with a 20x20 footprint. These sites have picnic tables and fire rings on the dirt beside the platforms. The two VSP Yurts at Hungry Mother are in the Royal Oak loop, along the entrance that are set up from the road. This loop overall offers a lot more privacy for each site that I have typically seen in state parks due to the platforms, though you will still see/hear your neighbors. Both camping loops have bathrooms with electricity, flush toilets, and showers with warm water.
Amenities in the park include a lake with a swimming area, boat/canoe rentals, fishing (with license), a restaurant, hiking, biking, and ranger programs. The park office also has several cool displays of local wildlife and history of the area, as well as backpacks you can check out with books and gear for tree, wildflower, and animal identification. Hiking varies from short and easy trails with minimal elevation gain, to the difficult Molly’s Knob trail with one of the most epic sunset views I’ve ever hiked in Virginia.
I love Virginia State Parks, and this is definitely a new favorite. I’m skeptical of the comfort of the wooden platforms for future tent camping trips, but the cabins will definitely be a future stay for us, particularly during the winter months, and there is so much to do in this park even the most reluctant adventurer will find fun.
**Product Review **
As as Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time — on this trip I tested the RōM pack, from RōM Outdoors.
I was skeptical about this pack when I first received it—it felt extremely heavy for a day pack, particularly as it doesn’t have a hip belt, and while I was impressed with the removable pockets, it didn’t seem like the pack itself had a lot of cargo capacity.
After using this pack on our trip, I am a convert. We used it to pack clothes for my husband and I, knowing we would be able to leave our clothes at camp when we went hiking. This freed up space in the car that would normally go to a larger backpack, and we got to take advantage of the pack’s ability to convert to both a poncho and a blanket, not just for review purposes, but out of necessity.
The poncho’s rain resistance held up well, considering we were hiking in the outer bands of a hurricane. The first hike we took this on we started in the rain, and my husband wore the poncho—he stayed dry for the first half mile of our hike, but by end of our mile the water had started leaking through so he did get a little wet—though mostly around the the seams/openings. On our second hike he wore it as a backpack. Because it was raining when we set out and we anticipated needing the poncho feature again, we elected not to bring the detachable pockets, but the interior of the pack was enough to hold our 5 year old’s day pack once she got tired of carrying it.
It stopped raining by the time we got to the summit of our hike, and we tested the blanket feature of the pack for a picnic. It unfolds to a size that was perfect for our family of four. The canvas is thick enough to make a great picnic blanket—it protects from damp ground and sharp rocks, and the lining makes for a very soft surface to sit on. On the way back I took advantage of the poncho. By this point it had gotten extremely windy and was getting dark quickly, and the poncho was excellent at keeping me warm. It’s very heavy, which was welcome in the strong wind, though it did make it hard to hear with the hood over my ears.
Pros to this pack:
-Versatility. In one trip we used the backpack, poncho, and blanket feature, and were grateful for all three.
-Durability. This is definitely a well-constructed pack, with heavy materials that seem like they will last for a long time.
-User-friendly. The pack looks intimidating at first, but it unfolds/folds from pack to poncho/blanket very easily. Combined with the drawstring inner pack and detachable pockets it’s easy to convert while still keeping track of your gear.
Cons to this pack:
-Space. This is great to bring on a camping trip where you can bring additional packs/bags for your gear, but it doesn’t hold much on its own.
-Weight. It only weighs in at 4.6lbs, which is less than a lot of backpacking packs, but as the pack doesn’t have the hip belt it’s a high starting weight.
-Thin straps. The width of the straps is comfortable, but they could use a little more padding.
Honesty this campground is nothing to write home about. The sites are ok, but not that nice. There is a little pond nearby that you can swim in, but if you're camping in this town, you might as well camp near lake anna instead. Christopher Run Campground or Lake Anna State Park would be a much better choice.
It was nice enough, just not really my favorite place to go. The amenities aren't lacking though. There is a pool, the little pond, mini golf, and hiking trails, so you can definitely find something fun to do!
As I've mentioned in other reviews, I grew up on Lake Anna. Much of my childhood was spent on the lake, so maybe I'm a little biased, but I love it here. Lake Anna State Park is small, but very nice with a lot of amenities. There are a relatively small number of campsites, so plan you trip in advance, especially during holiday weekends.
The place has plenty to offer though. Fishing, hiking trials, horseback trails, an old gold mine, the lake, a gift shop, biking trails, picnic tables, and probably anything else you need. There are cabins that you can rent as well.
As far as the lake goes, definitely try out some water sports while you're visiting. There are also some really good fishing spots.
Be sure to check out Lake Anna Winery and Coyote Hole Ciderworks. The latter of the two is my favorite place to grab an adult drink in the area. If you're looking for some sea food, you can drive your boat (if you have one) right up to Tim's On The Lake and grab a bite to eat. After your meal you can walk along the small boardwalk and grab some ice cream from one of the shops below the restaurant.
Be warned, once you visit, you're going to want to buy a house on Lake Anna.
Very nice, as all Virginia State Parks are, but crowded, noisy, and lit up like an amusement park. Not a place to “get back to nature” but a place to camp, meet new people, and a place to stay for the great activities the park has to offer and visit Cape Charles.
There are several rustic campsites located on the Southfork of the Shenandoah River, as well as modern electric sites, RV sites, and cabins. Park and campgrounds are clean and well maintained. Tons of trails, wildlife and activities in and near the park. This state park is adjacent to Shenandoah National Park and is just as beautiful and rich in history!