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Abingdon, VIRGINIA
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Awesome hiking, Quiet Campground

This is an amazing park, with a total of 4,822 acres to explore. It's a dream for hikers, allowing you to embark on numerous day hikes and connect with the Appalachian Trail. As many folks have also mentioned, there are feral ponies in the park, and if you hike on the Wilburn Ridge from Massie Gap, you will almost definitely see them. 

During my visit, I camped on a Monday night in early May. I did not make reservations, and there were plenty of sites available, although it was way busier than I expected. I'd say that half of the campsites were taken at Hickory Ridge Campground where I pitched my tent.

There are a few choices available here. If you choose a "primitive" site, which simply means no hook-ups, you pay your fee and choose whichever site is open when you get to the campground. You can not choose a specific site in advance. If you choose a site with full hook-ups, then you can pick the one you want. There are also four yurts available, but you have to book them for at least 2 nights in a row.

Primitive sites are $37 a night for out-of-state residents, which I think is quite pricy. The sites are also quite close together and not very private. Restrooms are clean and firewood is $6 for a bundle. 

I stayed in site #15, and while it wasn't private, I was lucky to have very nice and quiet neighbors. This is an amazing park, and I would definitely return to do some backpacking or to hike up Virginia's highest peak, Mt. Rogers. The four-star-rating is mainly because the sites are close together and because the campsites are expensive.

Breath taking views off cliff 300 ft from camp site

1.2 mile hike each way,in and out site. Plenty of space for large groups and plenty of fallen wood for fires.

The hike has some minor obstacles. Dogs are able to join, be careful near cliffs.

Usually hammock camp here near the cliffs to see the stars. Rumored you can see Brown Mountain lights from the cliffs.

Beautiful Blue Lake in Mountain Valley

Amazing lake front camping. rock bed lake creates a dark blue color instead of the brown many lakes in the area have. Great place to rent a pontoon boat for the day and explore the lake!

Great Campground! Family friendly!

Love this campground. My family has been going here for years. There is a beautiful stream running through the campground that doubles as an amazing playground for the kids. Bathrooms are nice. The office area is nice and stocked with games. It’s in a great location very close to Boone and Blowing Rock. The sites often get booked quickly, so reserve spots well in advance!

Beautiful camping area

This place is absolutely beautiful.

Great views over Burkes Garden

We've made this hike several times with our dogs. It is a great shorter hike with great views over Burkes Garden (nicknamed God's Thumbprint). At the top is a clearing where camping is possible. There is a shelter at the top; this location is located along the Appalachian Trail and has wodden bunks and single platforms for pads and sleeping bags. There is also a fire pit located outside the shelter.

If you want peacefulness and beautiful surroundings, then this is it.

We discovered this park summer of 2018 and went back 4 times. This park is geographically in the middle of no where and squeezed in between two states (hence interstate park). Even though it’s in God’s country it’s worth the drive. It’s a quaint park with amazing and friendly staff who pride their jobs and park. It had full hookups for RVs and decent campsite for tents. Bathhouses are clean, the campground is quite and restaurant is clean. There is a small water park for families, nice trails, play grounds, shelters, basketball court, small lake and access to some of the best views in Appalachia. This truly is a hidden gem if you can get past the road to get there. But on a side note for that- they are building a new road to access the park and hopefully it’ll be done soon.

Happy camping.

Very clean but crowded

Campground is very clean especially the bathrooms. The lake is near the sites and a boundless playground is also nearby. The only issues we had were several of the sites were too small for even our pop up camper, no way an RV can fit. You really need to scout the sites beforehand.

Convenient and Fun, With Amenities Galore

This park is located about 15 minutes off I-81 just south of the VA/TN border, making it extremely convenient, and a great place to stop for anyone traveling that stretch of the country.

There are a total of 134 campsites. 94 are available year round and have electric/water hookups, and the remaining 40 sites are in an overflow section that is only open from Memorial Day-Labor Day. The overflow sites do not have electric or water hookups, and accommodate trailers up to 60 feet (site 106 only; all others sites can only fit smaller RVs). The sites open year round are primarily used for RV camping, accommodating trailers up to 40'. Sites have asphalt driveways and are otherwise gravel, with picnic tables, grills, and fire rings. Sites 94, 73, 57, and 28 are ADA accessible, and site 90 has a pull-off parking spot with the campsite set down from the road (this is an excellent tent site!). Most sites are very shady, and sites on the northern side have a view of the lake from late fall to early spring. The bathrooms have electricity and running water, are single stall and include a shower, and are some of the cleanest campground bathrooms I have ever experienced. And since we were there in late March and it was still fairly chilly, we appreciated the space heaters!

Amenities at this campground include hiking, fishing, boat rental, golf, disc golf, a swimming pool, and the best playground I have ever seen--this campground is worth it for the playground! It is huge, has an interactive story trail based on "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe," a creek that runs through it, and the best part is that it is universally accessible, so children of all abilities can enjoy the park (sensory-friendly areas, and all signs include brail!). There is also a concession stand at the boat house, and two miles of trails are horse-friendly.

My only complaint about this campground is, given the proximity to the town of Kingsport and I-81, there are still a lot of civilization noises at night. This should not be an issue if you are in an RV, but for tent-campers you will still be able to hear distant traffic while falling asleep, instead of just the sounds of nature. But while we may not choose this as a place to "get away from it all," as frequent travelers between eastern TN and central VA, this campground is a perfect place to stop, and beats a hotel any day!

A State Park Campground for Almost Every Type of Camper

I could easily give this campground five stars, but I am the type of tent camper that likes more wilderness. This campground actually a few "campgrounds" within the park and for almost every type of camper. Camp Burson is the first one you see upon entering the state park (as far as I know, since the park is really lonnggg! It is best suited for RVs, but there are gravel spaces for tents. Another campground in the park has pull-through sites, but there were also a couple of tents there. Since we are mainly tent campers, we went to the third camping area, which also had yurts. The yurts have one double bed but not water. The part that I didn't like, but many tent campers would love, is that you have to pitch your tent on a wooden deck. It's great for camping in the rain because the water doesn't have a chance to puddle. However, I'm the type that likes more primitive camping out in the woods, but I'm not holding that against Hungry Mother. Hungry Mother is a great state park, and the sites are wonderful (unless you are strange like me and prefer more primitive camping). As we drove around, we also saw several cabins and at least one or two lodges. I got the feel that it was almost a gated community, which for some people is not a bad thing. Again, there are opportunities for almost every type of "camper."

As far as I know, this is the first state park that had a restaurant. Unfortunately, we were there in April before it opened, so we missed out on that. The bath and shower facilities are modern with tile floors, which I find as a pleasant surprise for a state park. Camping there is April can actually be a good thing. You can avoid the crowds at the beach (although the water is cold) and there are a good number of empty campsites. This state park also has canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals. There is a basketball court and a playground, which is next to the beach. We didn't really stay long enough to enjoy the hiking trails or the fishing, but there are several hiking and biking trails from easy to moderate. The beauty of this park is amazing! With the background of mountains behind the lake, it doesn't get much better. I really would love to go back again and camp for more than just one night to enjoy it all.

Amazing experience

Great campsite with an amazing added bonus- WILD HORSES AND PONIES. (Short hike from the campsite) This campsite had everything we needed- Firewood, fire starters, etc. for purchase right there at the campsite. Spaces are a little close together but it’s nothing out of the ordinary for a state park. Great hikes close by with sweet wild ponies that let you get close for pictures. Bathrooms were clean and there was a nice area for a picnic with swings and other things for kids. (Camped June 2 2018)

Wild Flower Heaven

First thing we were told by the park rangers was to, 'beware of bears"! Seriously! It was a beautiful park with large lake. We hiked to the lake from our site, only 1.2 miles. The lake had a diving platform in the middle, which of course we had to try! The bottom was so deep, I never hit it! Saw many beautiful flowers, and lots of ducks. There was a very clean laundry room.

Mount Rogers

Variety of types of campsites. Amazing sights and wild ponies! The AT provides some great hiking.

Great Place

Polite staff, relaxed vibe, rustic but clean bathrooms. Campsites on the river. Rushing sounds to pull you to sleep. Tons of hiking nearby but also close to shops and restaurants in Boone.

Great place on a Blue Ribbon Trout stream

Small campground .

Delayed Harvest trout stream , well stocked in spring, larger fish stocked in fall, October I think . Probably 2 - 3 miles of good fishable water . Beautiful 100 yr old church across from the camp ground .

Backcountry camping Grayson Highlands along the Appalachian Trail

Scenic trails crossing multiple terrain with wild horses and steer. AT shelter (but it gets a little loud and party like) - Trails also intersect with the Appalachian Trail. Nice outcropping of trees for hammock hang near huge field of wild berries. Just keep in mind that all kinds of animals like berries as well. Showers are available in the state park (for a small fee) so you can un-stink yourself before returning to the real world from the backcountry. Soap and shampoo are way overpriced at the small campground store in the state park.

Amazing

Probably the only campsite in the Carolinas that I cant put words to reveiw on. Amazing people, food, trails. Wow. Stunned.

Relaxing

This is a very small, secluded campground, but easily able to access a ton of must-see destinations!

Quiet Majestic Getaway

Such a fantstic quiet and majestic spot for camping with all the comforts of home. The sites are super clean and layed out thoughfully around the property. The bathrooms and general store are beautiful and have any items you may have forgotten to bring. This is a great place to camp if you dont have gear as they will provide it for you. Emily and Patrick are super friendly and helpful and are great friends to spend the night around a campfire with. I cant recommend this spot highly enough. Go unwind in the wilderness. You wont be sorry.

Beautiful State Park

Friends and I rented a cabin here the 3rd time. It is simply beautiful. The mountains, creeks and nature are breathtaking. There are a lot of hiking trails near by. From easy to moderate… so something for everybody. The cabins are very nice and clean. They have everything you need. I would definitely recommend to stay here and enjoy this gem of nature.

A little slice of heaven on earth

This is by far my family's favorite campground. Spacious sites with plenty of privacy, super-clean bathrooms, even a place to wash dishes with hot water. Patrick and Emily are the nicest people you can ever hope to meet and treat all their campers like family. If you're looking for a place to relax, reconnect with nature and unplug from the craziness, this is the place.

Little piece of heaven!

Love this little piece of heaven! Kept secret cuz it’s so peaceful and the owners are so amazing and friendly! Great environment and actually staying here right now with my husband and kids! Plan to stay!

Clean and well-maintained

Friendly and helpful office staff, clean bathrooms, washer and dryer available.

Hiking on the AT

We hiked on the Appalachian Trail. We did not have to hike far to see amazing 360 views! Not very crowded. This was one of my favorite places to camp.

Beautiful Long Hikes

The profile trail is a great hike but it is 3.6 miles of mostly uphill on rugged terrain. Permits are required on this trail. They are free and available at the trailhead. We also visited the swinging bridge which was a very short and windy hike with great views.

great campground, better hiking!

Came to stay at this campground because we wanted to do some hiking nearby that we haven't done in FOREVER! We really loved this campground, and was surprised to find that it was super busy when we were there. People love this place, especially in the summer time. I also think people had the same thing in mind that we did, because the hiking trails were super busy too! The campground was fairly big, not sure how many campsites there were but seemed to be about 25ish. The restroom was fairly clean, and there was a water spigot as well which was nice. We brought plenty of water because we knew we would be hiking, but nice to know that you could use that if you ran out of water. The campground was easy to locate, and the road leading to the campground was in great shape. I read some reviews online that the road was super bumpy, but didn't seem to notice that. We did have a truck, though so maybe that's why. There is a picnic table and fire ring within the campsite which was nice. We used the fire ring during the evenings to make smores! Bring your own firewood :) We had to let some people borrow ours that we brought. Awesome hiking nearby, definitely put that on your to do list!

A beautiful basecamp for hikers and horseback riders

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!

Great park along the Blue Ridge Parkway

You can’t beat the location of this campground, located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stayed in Loop D which has a brand new bath/shower house with six individual stalls with a bath/shower combo. The only thing missing was soap dispensers (I had to remember to bring soap every time I used the bathroom). Very nice and large dishwashing sink. Loop D is for tents so the driveways were small. We were able to fit our 17’ camper van but anything larger might not fit. Park personnel were very friendly and helpful. Wish firewood was available to purchase at the park as we didn’t buy any ahead of time. (You are permitted to pick up downed branches which was new to us). No electric sites and spotty internet but great hiking trails. Recommend the Boone Fork Trail but be prepared for many stream crossings!

Great Stop on the Parkway

The Doughton Park campground off of the Blue Ridge Parkway is a great place to spend the night without if you are driving along the Parkway and don't want to venture too far off course. The campground is much larger than I expected. There's an RV section on one side of the Parkway and a tent section that is on the other side. I only explored the tent side.

Although a little bit confusing, with concentric loops, there are many sites to choose from. Some loops and sites are more wooded and further from roads and amenities while others are more central and along a field. I opted for a more central site and ended up being the only person camping in that loop. At the end of October there were only three other campers in the whole tent side of the campground.

The hosts were friendly and helpful in choosing a site. The bathrooms are small but clean and there are easily accessible water sources about. There has been a young bear hanging about in the campground so they, very reasonably, ask that you keep all scent sources in your car.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is an incredible drive, my favorite section is south of this campground in North Carolina. Just along the VA-NC border the Blue Ridge Music Center is well worth the stop. There is free music there daily from 12-4!

Lovely Stop on the Parkway

The Doughton Park campground off of the Blue Ridge Parkway is a great place to spend the night without if you are driving along the Parkway and don't want to venture too far off course. The campground is much larger than I expected. There's an RV section on one side of the Parkway and a tent section that is on the other side. I only explored the tent side.

Although a little bit confusing, with concentric loops, there are many sites to choose from. Some loops and sites are more wooded and further from roads and amenities while others are more central and along a field. I opted for a more central site and ended up being the only person camping in that loop. At the end of October there were only three other campers in the whole tent side of the campground.

The hosts were friendly and helpful in choosing a site. The bathrooms are small but clean and there are easily accessible water sources about. There has been a young bear hanging about in the campground so they, very reasonably, ask that you keep all scent sources in your car.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is an incredible drive, my favorite section is south of this campground in North Carolina. Just along the VA-NC border the Blue Ridge Music Center is well worth the stop. There is free music there daily from 12-4!