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Altavista, VIRGINIA
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quaint and cute campground near BRPWY

Such a cute campground! We spent the weekend celebrating a birthday. Wanted to find a campground that had it all close to the campground and we lucked out! This place is small but everyone was so friendly and welcoming. The tents sites were all very close together but we made it work. They had a fishing pond, lake to swim in with fun inflatable slides and trampoline and a pool. We made use of all them during our stay. The lake was super fun and such a cool idea to have the slides and trampolines. The pool was a decent size and warm. They had karaoke going on one night which was fun with watch all the local campers dining they’re hearts out. We were able to drive the parkway and get some amazing views definitely worth going out and driving it at least once. The campground also accommodated hikers coming off the Appalachian trail giving them a place to stay and shower. The owners also had a cute little store for all the things you might have forgotten ( that would be me 😂) and made homemade biscuits which were amazing, but you have to be up early to snag one but so worth it. All in all we had a great time !

Awesome place if you have kids!!!

A great place!! Right next to the James River for all of your fishing needs. Have a pool, splash pad, pond/lake with a slide, beach, inflatable obstacle course, have an arcade room, and 2 additional water slides. But what really makes this place is the staff. Rec staff had awesome activities planned and kept the kids entertained all week with kick ball and karaoke and shaving cream wiffle ball and dance parties. Definitely worth your stay if you have kids.

Nice

Great for a quick stop.

Thoroughly Enjoyed Staying at James River State Park!

After visiting the park many times, we finally camped there in July 2019.  Most of the sites were huge and level, and we were able to choose a mostly-shaded site with water and electric near the bathhouse.

Everyone we met (rangers, people in the visitor's center, etc.) was very helpful and friendly.  

We hoped to go tubing, but since the river was running high and fast, they weren't renting tubes, and we asked too late about renting a canoe or kayak.  (They do drop offs and pick ups at certain times and reservations are recommended.)

Cell service is extremely limited, but there's wi-fi available at the visitors center and we used that to check in with our pet sitter.

It was SO HOT when we were there and we really wished there was a designated "beach" area on the river (or in a perfect world, a pool).  Swimming is not advised due to rocks and drop-offs, but people were in the river, anyhow.

We'll definitely go again!

More pictures and information about our experience is on my blog:

http://www.art-rageous.net/artrageousblog/?p=4374

Nice Overnight Stay- Would stay again for longer

We stopped here overnight on a trip from Chicago to Virginia Beach. We had reserved a pull through but were just short in length and had to disconnect the tow vehicle for the night. They had longer sites so if this is important I would discuss when making reservation.  Site size was decent and definitely not on top of our neighbors giving us some space to enjoy. Campsite hosts were very friendly and recommended a swimming hole just a few miles down the road on the Blue Ridge Parkway that locals go swimming. Some nice amenities for the kids included jumping pad, nice park, pool and a few table games. Campground was quiet at night and we enjoyed a nice fire that evening. We found some time to drive the parkway. We did not think we would be able to squeeze it into the visit but it’s hard to pass up and they are literally right next to it. We did not get a chance to check showers or bathhouse as we had full hook ups and showered in our trailer. I would definitely recommend this campground and would stay again

Great overnight stay would have liked to stay longer

Stopped in for a quick overnight stay. Our site was a full hook up pull through which was decent sized and did not feel cramped. We were able to stay connected to our tow vehicle as the site was long enough to do so. The park had a clean pool and very welcoming staff. We wish we were able to stay longer to take in the sights as it is in a great location.

Nice free camping

Nice spot, it’s small but the sites are free and surrounded by clear mountain streams. We originally were only going to stay the night but liked it so much we stayed for three.

We found a BUNCH of trash and cleaned it up, took almost an hour. Not going to rate the camp ground poorly because it’s everyone’s job to keep it clean. The previous campers got kicked out by the ranger and left at night so they was likely the source of the trash. The rest of the campground was cleaner. We pick up a lot of garbage everywhere we go sadly, so if your reading this don’t left other people’s garbage ruin a great site like this and please consider packing out any extra garbage you find.

Great time

Stayed at camp site 17. Near bathrooms and water. The creek was near by and enjoyable. Bathroom and showers were clean.

The host and hostess were amazing. They suggested great places to visit and enjoy. They take family camping seriously! The host had to make several families leave due to an agressive dog, and, loud and disruptive behavior. It definitely makes the camping experience awesome when it could have been ruined.

We got a flat tire and they have a tire pump on campus which was awesome, we thought we'd have to drive a distance before we could fill the tire up.

A definite two thumbs up for our Host "Slick" and Hostess JoAnn.

Well Maintained and Clean

Wonderful KOA with lots of updates. Bathrooms beautiful and clean. Owners on site with great personalities.

Love love love this KOA

My husband and I love this campground. The owners are kind and gracious. Always fun activities year round (they are open year round). Nice little store, gas station at the entrance. Very clean bathroom as and showers. We love our spot “99”! So much to do here in Natural Bridge and Lexington. Go to Pink Cadillac Diner - 4347 S. Lee Highway Natural Bridge VA 24578 United States and Laynes Country Store! Ride through the Virginia Safari! See the Natural Bridge and hear about when George Washington was a young man exploring this are.

Great park with a great location

Very happy with this campground.  Lots of amenities for all ages including a swimming pool.  Small store with the essentials.  Camp hosts knowledgeable   Lots of beautiful area to explore    Went up to Goshen Pass Laing the Maury River.  Hiked Natural Bridge which is a must on your bucket list.   Being a Veteran the highlight was visiting the D Day Museum in nearby Bedford.  Very emotional.

Goose Point = great camping experience

The park rangers and attendants were very friendly, nightly sheriff patrols. If you want some peace and quiet, this is it. Bathrooms and showers were very clean and well maintained, they even had decent TP! Firewood was seasoned and reasonably priced. We were at site 35 which was convenient to the bathrooms and was away from the other campsites in the loop. Clean park, friendly staff, generously sized campsites. Can't wait to go back.

Great owners!

This KOA is one of our favorites. Open year round. Very clean showers. Pool and activities for kids. Close to Lexington with vineyards, restaurants and antique shops. Next door to the drive thru zoo and near Natural Bridge.

I love the James river state park

What a beautiful campground this was . it was wonderful to walk around and they have a fully stocked store. The campsites are clean and well kept and the people are friendly. We will go back to James River sometime

Beautiful, friendly, clean campground!

We were curious about this site - being 5 miles off the road - so we took the ride to inquire for more information and wow were we in for a surprise!  This campground was beautiful!  The ranger explained to us that they have 3 loops, C (for RV's) B (for tent campers only) and A (prime lake front sites).  She said in order for us to get a lake front site, we needed to make reservations 6 months in advance.  

We were feeling lucky - so we asked her for a pass to ride through and see what was available.  She gave us a 15 minute pass and we rode through - and WOW did we see prime camping!  First of all, this lake is BEAUTIFUL!  The color reminds me of Canadian glacier water in areas and you can see the bottom everywhere!  Secondly, the beach was clean, maintained and offered life jackets for kids who needed them.  Thirdly, the sites were well layed out, flat, and gorgeous!  We quickly figured out that if there was a reserved tag on the post, it was reserved - we needed to find an OPEN tag!  Which we did!  In fact, we found 3 of them - which made it hard to decide.  We liked the site on the inside of the loop so kids could play at the playground without crossing the street.  Yet, being so close to this lake, we wanted to be able to sit (or swing) and enjoy the beauty and peace.  

The bathhouse was immaculate - in fact, it had just been cleaned when we walked in for the first time!  Stalls, running water and shower stalls with private changing areas.  This campground lacks for nothing.  We will surely be back!

Fun times

Nice campground. Short walk to the beach. Awesome staff. Awesome kids and learning program for the weekend. Really loved the lights in the water at night and nighttime walk.

Kids loved it!

We stayed at the Natural Bridge KOA for one night on our way further north and loved it!

They opened the pool a week early, and although the water was still ICE COLD (75 degrees?), the kids loved it. There is a game room in the basement of the campground store with some arcade games, pool and ping pong table, and air hockey. Each thing takes quarters so be sure to bring some.

Your site number is assigned at check-in and you are escorted to your site from the front office.

There is a fenced dog park. The playground is a bit dated. However they make up for that with the bathroom and laundry facilities, which were absolutely AMAZING.

The park is a short drive from Natural Bridge State Park (pictures included), the Pink Cadillac Diner (Elvis themed, great food, pictures included), and the Caverns at Natural Bridge (we missed the last tour by 20 minutes, unfortunately!). It’s right off of I-81 and very easy to access.

Our site was a pull through with water and electric. The site was level and had a picnic table and fire ring. Sites are pretty close to each other but not so close that you feel like you’re in someone else’s space.

The whole park was very clean. The bridge going between our area and the bathhouse was damaged but it was still a reasonably short walk around the “long” way. The camp store seemed very well stocked with basics.

This was our first KOA experience. It was a bit more expensive than most state and national parks we’ve camped at but reasonable considering the amenities.

Glamping on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Don's Cab-Inns Campground unique for several reasons. First, it is a private campground located in a public park - in this case, Explore Park in Roanoke, Virginia (milepost 115 on the Blue Ridge Parkway). Explore Park is run by Roanoke County, who partners with different vendors to create a full outdoor experience for folks who want to the gamut of outdoor adventures without having to drive all over the place. Within Explore Park, you can hike, mountain bike, take a trail ride on horseback, paddle the Roanoke River, go tubing, pitch a tent, embark on an aerial adventure course, and more. 

Explore Park is, as far as I know, the only public park and campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway that isn't run by the National Park Service. There are many different camping options at Explore Park. At Don's Cab-Inns, you can stay in a standard RV site with electricity hook-ups, a tiny cabin that sleeps between 4 and 6 people, or a yurt, which has electricity and a bathroom.

Another private company, Blue Mountain Adventures, offers primitive tent camping, and glamping tents, which I'll also review.

I stopped at Explore Park and Don's Cab-Inns Campground while road tripping on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. The campground opened in the fall of 2018, and everything still feels brand new. Of the 18 or so sites available, I think half of them were full during my visit on a weekend in early May.

The little cabins include a full-size bed below and another in the loft, air conditioning, heat, electricity, a microwave, a small refrigerator, and a coffee pot. There is a fire pit, water spigot, and picnic table outside the cabin, as well as a lovely front porch to relax on. 

You do have to bring your own bed linens or a sleeping bag with you. The brand new bathhouse includes private bathrooms with showers, and there is a small store on site for buying ice, firewood, and necessities like bug spray or soap. 

Cost for the small cabins is $75 per night. The yurts, which have their own full bathroom are $100 per night.  

My cabin was delightful. My bed was comfortable, and Don was a delightful host. He even showed me around the other sites so I could see what I was missing. This is definitely a five-star campground, and Roanoke is an awesome town to explore -- breweries, a walkable downtown, and great hiking and mountain biking.

Crystal Clear Oasis

I've been to JRSP several times now and each visit gets better.  Camping on the River edge is very peaceful and convenient if you just want to drop your own tube in and float.  This site isn't very wooded and therefore not much visual privacy but there is lots of space to spread out.  The sites are generously sized and flat.  A few negatives:

1. There is a bit of a walk from your vehicle but it's not bad.

2. The bathroom is just a potty with hand sanitizer, no running water.  

I also stayed in a 2 bdr cabin on a return trip which was very nice.  I was impressed with the accommodations and the A/C which was enjoyed on our hot August nights.  The best part of both trips was the River.  Absolutely clean, crystal clear water and never crowded.  Both of my trips were during the summer and over a weekend and we seldom came across others.  It was if we had the whole park to ourselves.  I'm going back again this summer.  My boys are excited to rent the kayaks again.  This is a great experience for couples and families.

Very nice well kept campground

I must say this place was awful years ago. But now that it’s a KOA it is very nice! Lots to do for the kids and with camp store was nice!

What a wonder place.

It’s so serene and peaceful! A great place to unwind and relax! Wonderful park host… no better place than this!

Flatfooting summer fun!

This campground is closed and has been since I’ve been in the area for overnight use. HOWEVER, over the summer, Sunday evenings it’s open due to an awesome bluegrass jam session! I learned how to flatfoot here, enjoyed a sweet tea while sitting in my camp chair, and much more! The trails are a little overgrown, but still a fun experience!

Great Fun for You and Your Kids

The kids loved the water park! So much for them to do! There were craft nights, build an ice cream sundae night, dance parties! Giant inflatable trampolines were a blast. Nearby is a wonderful park a and natural bring to tour. Really beautiful. Our site was U60. Not bad , easy to back into. Bike ride to the pool and recreation area.

Very nice campground

Nice family owned campground with site by a babbling brook. 4 private bathrooms that are very clean at a centrally located cabin. The RV side is one one half with tent camping on the other. We got in late our first night and went to a super cute restaurant right down the street called meat, fork &cork. Nice owners. Would definitely return. They also give a AAA discount

Family oriented

This place is freaking awesome. If you want cell service stY home that's not camping. You are Safe here and you Will enjoy your stay

Peaceful, secluded

We camped here during Thanksgiving. It's a county run campground so the employees were off during Thanksgiving so they gave us a key to the gate if we needed to leave when no-one was there. The campground is primarily designed for small campers but there are a few spots that would accommodate campers in the 40 foot range. Three are two loops, one for RVs and one for tent campers. The loop for RVs has a one way curvy road to the loop. The bathhouse isn't in the loop it is at the top of the hill. The site that is closest to the bathhouse is site 27 and it will accommodate large campers. The dump station isn't near the RV loop it is near the tent loop.

Ranger Review: Nature's Coffee Kettle at Middle Creek Campground

Campground Review

As a Ranger on The Dyrt, I sometimes receive compensation for reviewing campgrounds like this one. Middle Creek Campground is the perfect place to use as a base camp for all of the outdoor activities in the area. Getting here was a lot easier than expected. The campground is only 6 miles off the I-81 Arcadia exit. We were quickly in the Jefferson National Forest where the road winds through the forest along Jennings Creek. It was absolutely gorgeous. Around every turn we saw fishermen wading into the water or sitting on the banks.

Check-in is at the fully stocked camp store where you'll likely be greeted by the two resident dogs. They mostly lazed around all weekend and watched people coming and going. The RV sites are directly across from the camp store, but the tent sites were tucked back into the woods. The upper tent campground was closed for renovations during our stay, so we chose from the 8 or 9 sites located in the lower tent campground. All of the sites were roomy and featured a small fire pit, picnic table, water, and electricity. Several of them even had a pull-through site and would work well for a small pop-up. Bonus: most of the lower tent sites have direct access to the creek! There were only four other tent sites occupied the whole weekend. It was very quiet and peaceful.

We chose site #76 because the creek wound around the back of the campsite and had a gentle slope leading down to the creek. We knew our dogs would love splashing around in it! Once we got everything set up I realized that the site was bigger than I'd originally thought. There was more than enough room to set up our Kingdom 4 tent, 10' canopy, and camp kitchen to glamp in style. We brought a 15' lead for the 2yo beagle so he could go down to the creek on his own or hang out with us. Even at the end of his lead he was nowhere close to the road. Check out the video below for a 360' view!

The bathhouse was at the back of the camp store. Like the rest of the campground, the facilities aren't fancy, but they are functional and clean. Both men's and women's featured two showers where the water was nice and hot! There are even washers and dryers around the corner.

Firewood is available for purchase onsite. We paid $7 for a bundle at the camp store, and it was delivered to our site just a few minutes later. The bundle was huge! We had more than enough wood for two cooking fires.

Because our visit was so early in the year, we weren't able to access most of the amenities. There is a good-sized pool and pavilion on a hill behind the camp store. Right beside that is the swimming pond with two large slides in the middle, plus a small beach. There is another lake at the front of the campground designated for fishing. There are no trails in this campground, so if you want to hike, you'll need to drive about a mile out to where the Appalachian Trail meets Jennings Creek. Or, drive to one of many trail heads within the National Forest. There are also plenty of pull-off spots along the road if you want to wade into the creek.

During our stay, we observed the staff cleaning, fixing, and getting ready for camping season. The bathrooms got a fresh coat of paint. The roads through the campground were recently groomed with new crushed gravel. All of the picnic tables and sidewalks were being power washed. The game room was also being renovated! Downside: we didn't have water at our site the first day. About half-way through the second day one of the workers came around to let us know they were turning it on and to let it run for a bit since it had been off all winter. That made it much easier to wash dishes in a bucket at camp. There isn't a wash station in the campground for doing dishes, so we had to improvise the first night. The biggest turn-off for us at the campground was the RV section right across from the camp store. It seemed like the sites were really packed in there, one on top of the other. I've never been RV-ing before, so I'm not sure if this setup is typical, but I wanted to point it out.

All of the staff that we came into contact with were super friendly and helpful. We were immediately made to feel welcome. It felt like spending the weekend with friends and neighbors instead of strangers.

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - today I am testing Nature's Coffee Kettle with Colombian Arabica Coffee. I am completely unable to start my day without coffee even when I'm sleeping in the woods. Nature's Coffee Kettle is a packable system that provides you with delicious, pour-over coffee in the backwoods. The "kettle" is a specially designed pouch with two sections. The top section holds the pre-filled coffee filter in place while you slowly pour hot water over the grounds. It features a zip-top so you can close it up while you're waiting for the magic to happen.The bottom section is the reservoir that holds all of that coffee goodness. Coffee refills are also available separately. The entire system packs flat for storage in a camp tote or in your backpack.

The directions on the back of the bag are super clear and even contain pictures. The key to making the perfect brew with Nature's Coffee Kettle is time. Don't rush it. This is not instant coffee. It is the real deal and will be worth every minute. Slowly pour 1 cup of hot water over the filter, zip up the top and let it sit for a minute or two so the grounds can soak up all of that water. This is the most important step. Then, unzip the top, and keep slowly adding the rest of the water. How much water? I used my coffee mugs to measure out the right amount of water into the kettle before boiling. After you've poured all the water into the bag zip it up again and let it sit. Then, just twist off the cap and pour!

The pouch is reusable, so don't toss it out. Dispose of the filter and rinse out the pouch. It will be ready to go the next time you need some caffeine. Nature's Coffee Kettle comes in a variety of coffee flavors as well as orange pekoe black tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate.

First to Review
No longer open to transient guest

This campground is now seasonal only

Traditional, friendly, relaxed, family-owned, repeater, camper-focused

My husband and I just purchased Smith Mountain Campground in December 2018. We are so happy to have found this gem as this has been our dream for many years. I grew up working in a campground; calling Bingo, lifeguarding, working at the concession stand. It was one of the best experiences of my teen years. The seasonals would invite us (bingo workers) over to their sites to sit by the fire and drink beer. Gosh, so many good memories!! That's what I want my new campground to be all about, GOOD MEMORIES for everyone that stays with us!! Please come visit!