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Most Recent Amherst Camping Reviews
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.

A secret hidden gem

What a fabulous park. Camping on the creek , walk to lakes. Beautiful and serene

May 2 camping

We had a great time camping for 5 days. Facilities where well maintained and clean.

Wonderful staff

We stopped here after a failed hitch caused damage to the truck and trailer. They were very accommodating and treated us like family. Great place for kids.

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!

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.

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

Tent stay

Stayed over the weekend, had an amazing time! We had stopped by once (didn’t stay but said we had to come back!) Beautiful scenery, clean facilities and great staff!

Great Price and Great Service

For the past four or five years I have come to this campground each year in the offseason, April or October, to visit while the temps in Virginia are cooler and less humid. This KOA offers free wifi and cable TV with no connection problems. If ever you have a problem, stay is ready to help. My last visit I had to replace a kitchen faucet, which was leaking due to poor winterization by CW. A staff person spent an hour or more replacing the faucet, android not want to be paid, but only asked that we donate to the kids and camping charity he supported. The showers and bathroom facilities have been remodeled and were both clean and quite efficient. The campground itself is just 10 minutes from the city of Charlottesville and a few minutes from Monticello as well as many fine Virginia wineries. It's the perfect area to be in to visit The Blue Ridge Mountains, historic Fredricksburg, or Appomattox (all 50 to 90 minutes away). Campsites are not on top of each other, and both pull-through and back-in spots are available. The pool area looks like a nice place to be, with shaded areas and many places to sit (though I have never had the opportunity to use it, because of the season I visit).

Very nice site

Stayed in a tent in early April. Very nice facilities at a good price. The big attraction of course is the brewery which is a short walk away. Their food and beer were both very good. Staff was very nice. We also took advantage of shuttle to the AT trailhead.

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

Seriously bad planning

We were excited for our first camping trip to Devils Backbone but have to admit that we were REALLY disappointed when we pulled up. The campground backs up to a wood heap with large grey disposal containers (not pretty) and the sites were total lackluster. But .. the biggest issue is that the park was clearly developed by someone who has never stepped foot in an rv! In an effort to save money they only installed electrical/water pedestals on every other site which means that you are tether in one direction (40 feet) to a sewage outlet and another direction ((30 feet) to electric. Fortunately, a camping neighbor let us borrow additional sewage tubing so we could have hookups. Because You are so tightly tethered you can’t line up to the picnic tables. Everyone we have talked to (including locals at wineries/breweries/cideries) have told us they repeatedly hear complaints about the lack of planning at the rv sites. We love Devils Backbone but won’t come back here to camp until this issue is fixed. By the way — if you do chose to visit ONLY accept an even numbered site!

Awesome location

Misty mountain is a awesome family oriented location with lots to do. It great for Wine and Brewery lovers as well.

Nice new campground walking distance to Devils Backbone Brewery

Lots of sites, brand new warm and clean bath house. Sites available with and without hookups. You get a 10% discount on food and merch at the brewery…and their beer is amazing! There was only a few rvs camped when we were there. Nice place! A bit muddy because of new construction but will be great when it warms up and the new grass comes in.

Hidden gem only 3 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway

This is about a free campground I stay at last April . If you're into any camping, fishing, hunting, hiking or just relaxing this is a place you should check out. I did a short video on it.

Quiet campground and nice amenities

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.

Ok for what it is.

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.

Great Recreation Area, Mid-Grade Tent Camping

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.

love the blue ridge

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!

Great Trails

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.

Premium Virginia Camping

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.

one of the best waterfalls

Hands down, one of the best waterfall hikes in the southeast. Great views, beautiful in the fall time, one of the best waterfalls I've seen, and an all around great hike. Just be sure to be careful not to climb out into the falls. Plenty of people have died from doing just that.

This is a great hike to do with the family, as its not too strenuous. Also, the lower falls can be seen after only about .1 miles of walking on a paved path, so that part is wheel chair friendly. You have to go an additional 2-3 miles to get to the top. On the way up, there are tons of viewpoints of the waterfall. It's a very long, continuous waterfall, which is why it's one of the longest on the east coast.

Great hike, worth the views.

If you're looking to camp, there is a campground not too far from the hike. There are also tons of other great hikes in the area.

fun times in the cold

So I wouldn't even necessarily call this place a campground, more like a spot to camp. Spy Rock is this awesome hike about an hour away from Charlottesville, Va. It is a great hike with a small rock scramble at the top for an extra bit of fun. Not only that, but the top has almost 360 degree views of the Shenandoah Valley.

Basically, at the top before you do the rock scramble, there is a little clearing meant for camping. Sure you have to cart all of your crap to the top with you, but TOTALLY worth it once you catch that sunrise from the top of the mountain. Plus the clearing is an awesome spot to camp. Flat, open, space for a fire. What more could you ask for?

This is one of my favorite hikes in the Shenandoah Valley.

Also, as long as you're close, might as well hit up Charlottesville. I went to college at the university of virginia, so I know the area well. There is no better city than cville. Amazing food, concerts, great hiking, sports, history, and beautiful scenery. If you're looking for something to do in the area, go visit Monticello (TJ's house), go to a winery, see UVA's campus and take a historical tour. There are so many options. Not to mention the Sky Line Drive which is only a short drive away.

Do this hike, stay on the mountain, and go visit cville. I promise you won't regret it.

FREE Camping In The National Forest!! Can't Beat That

I was recommended this spot by a fellow Youtube travel blogger which also focuses on budget friendly camping. They do car camping in a midsize truck and can sometimes get to places I cannot, but I went ahead and tried this one out and I was NOT disappointed.

The road out to this location is a little bumpy in places but traveling in my small car I just drove slowly in some areas and it was no big deal. The site is used often by hunters in National Forest so seasonally it can get pretty busy, but when I was traveling through it was before the season kicked off so I had only one neighbor and tons of beautiful deer to look at along the way.

When I arrived the area seemed pretty spacious and though it had a lot of trees around the spaces themselves were cleared enough that an RV could easily navigate into the bounds without issue. The campground itself is pretty primitive, pit toilets and nothing more. There are some fire rings built by stones found around camp but not all the areas have them so you might be stuck looking for more stones if you are here on a more busy weekday or weekend.

I set up on a little cove not far from the restroom area and had a few small downed limbs to move which I ended up using as firewood. Since there were no picnic tables my small gas grill wasn't in the ideal location for my liking on the dry ground so I opted to instead use the campfire to prepare my food, which made me feel a bit safer considering.

At night because there were only two campers it was dark early and eerily quiet. I could hear everything around me which after I really got comfortable was quite peaceful with the water in the distance, the tress blowing in the wind and owls.

The next morning a sprinkle of leaves falling were everywhere and damp just showcasing that fall in this area was indeed coming soon. I can only imagine the vibrant colors as it nears taking over more and more in this wooded area. It could be quite beautiful especially near the falls area, which was one of my favorite things about this location.


  • On the kiosk as you enter camp there are a lot of pieces of information about the area and the regulations, I would recommend checking that out before settling in. Especially as hunting season nears there are things you will want to know before roaming around.
  • Bring everything with you there are no stores in the area and no tables to set up at your camp so you will need literally EVERYTHING.
Great place!

First, middle of summer, no big issue! Was a stopover trip on our way to Pigeon Forge. nice canmpground and pool. Very close to Natural Bridge.

Homey, clean and great access to local venues

Great access, 30, 50, primitive, pull in, back in, cabin, pretty much full gamut. Quickly becoming a favorite

Something for everyone!

Jrsp has activities and camping to accommodate everyone. Primitive camping loop, r.v.. loop, equestrian loop, cabin loop, and riverside camping and group available. Several shelters avail for use also. Several miles of trails in the sprawling park can be used by hikers , bikers, and horseback. Canoe livery rents tubes and kayaks for use. Boat launch and pick up service avail at end of float. No motors. Fishing opportunities include James river and a few ponds. Breathtaking views are plenty in this beauty of a park. Very nice quiet area at night. You can hear and see trains that parallel the river on the other side and can see a river crossing as goes over the tye river where it enters the james from the tye river overlook. Offers an amazing view of area from an elevated platform that can be accessed by hike bike or wagon ride! In any case much to see and do at James river state park!

Family Favorite

Been going to this campground for over 40 years. Love that it is right beside a clean water supply with lots of trout