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George Washington & Jefferson National Forests, VIRGINIA

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Camping Virginia George Washington & Jefferson National Forests
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Nice little place in a great area

This was a nice little campground, and my friends and I had a great time here. Originally I picked this place because most of the other campgrounds in the area were already booked up. We went in the middle of October when the leaves were changing in Virginia. It was a good place to stay overall. We stayed in one of the "primitive" campsites with no water or electric hook ups. For these you park at a small parking lot and walk a few hundred feet or so to the campsites.  The sites in this area were pretty close together, some closer than others. We stayed at site 7, which was a little closer to some other campers than I would have liked. It was flat and grassy and the woods were very nice though.  There were also some rv sites in the campground, which also seemed a little close together. 

I wold say the best thing about this place is how close it is to stuff. Crab tree falls and spy rock are both really nice hikes right in the area.  Bold rock hard cidery is about 40 minutes from the campground. All around a really awesome area with plenty to do.  I would recommend it.

Peaceful

Very nice quiet and peaceful campground, Loved falling asleep to the sound of the creek. Campground was very clean and well kept. Just what we were looking for.

Peak Bagging Coolness!

Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak and on a clear day offers breathtaking 360 degree views from the Observation Tower.      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mnf/recarea/?recid=7053

Because of the thick conifer growth, long mountain views don't occur till nearly to the top and that only along the western roadway…but once you climb the observation tower…(as mentioned, on a clear day) you are rewarded with wonderful views of WV and VA mountains.  Watching storm clouds or simple clouds roll in and envelope the Knob offers a wonderful experience.

I've taken the opportunity to camp on Spruce Knob on several occasions, once to the NE of the parking lot just into the pines, once a couple hundred yards down the Seneca Backcountry trail to the right and once directly south of the Tower in the pines.  Each offered a differ experience.  There is no cost, which is a huge plus!

In the pines, just below the summit, it is eerily quiet and muffled.  I've never seen another camper when I've stayed, so the solitude is glorious.

If you want shelter and a picnic table for cooking/eating…they are available, but only along the parking lot.  Pit latrines are nearly on the summit in the parking lot near the trailhead for the Observation Tower.  So practice leave no trace when camping and hiking!! No water, so bring enough with you. There are waste receptacles but be wise and take trash with you. 

There are two levels to the concrete Observation Tower…and best views are from the upper level. I've often though about cowboy camping on the second level after the last sightseer has left for the night, but haven't seen, heard or read if its forbidden or permitted…so I haven't…yet.

Obviously, on a clear night, star gazing is incredible as there no ambient light. It is much cooler at this elevation, even in the summer…and the winds on the summit cut through like a knife. 

Note: utilize good camping practices and set camp on a previous location where there is an established fire ring. Again, use caution with campfires because of the wind.

If you desire a more established campground, Spruce Knob Lake Campground is not too far away…down the mountain.

Spruce Knob summit camping is a family highlight!

Huge Sites At A Remote, Primitive Campground

The Spruce Knob Lake Campground offers extra-large camp sites with lots of shade and so much undergrowth I only saw my neighbors when I took a walk to check out the campground. There are 45 campsites, with pit toilets and a solar-powered pump house for drinking water. No electric or sewer hook-ups, but you’ll find free apples growing at some of the sites. Sites#31 through 41 are walk-in sites for extra privacy if you’re tent camping. 

This is bear country, so don’t leave any food sitting out. Dogs are allowed as long as they’re kept on a leash. 

Spruce Knob Lake is less than a mile away and a great spot to kayak, fish, and star gaze because you won't have any city lights to interfere and trees won’t block your view. There’s a boat dock and wheelchair accessible fishing pier with the lake stocked with trout several times a year. Electric motors only; No swimming allowed. 

There are at least 60-miles of trails in the surrounding Monongahela National Forest, including the very pleasant, 1-mile, Big Bend River Trail accessible from the campground.

If you’re up for a hardy hike, you can walk 8-miles east to Spruce Knob, the highest place in the State of West Virginia at 4,863-feet. There’s a cool lookout tower at Spruce Knob where you can get a good view of the rugged mountain ridges where the red spruce get so hammered by the wind and rough weather, one side of the tree is missing. The plant life is pretty unique too, with reindeer moss visible along the Whispering Spruce Trail. 

The drive to the Spruce Knob Lake Campground is on a combination of narrow, winding, mostly unpaved roads. Go slow because there are plenty of blind curves. My A/C was out on the day I arrived, so I ate a fair amount of dust with my window partially open… Lol…. 

Directions from the Recreation.gov website: 

From Riverton, WV, take U.S. Route 33 south 2 miles to Briery Gap Road(County Road 33/4). Turn right onto Briery Gap Road. Go 2 miles to Forest Road 112, turn right and continue for 13.5 miles. Turn right on Forest Road 1. The campground is 1/2 mile on the right. From Elkins, WV, take U.S. Route 33 to State Route 29, which is 1 mile west of Harman. Turn right onto SR 29, go south 18.6 miles and tum left onto Forest Road 1. Follow FR 1 for 2.5 miles.

Note:  Seneca Rocks is less than an hour away and well-worth a visit!

Small but amazing

Love this small little place!

Cute Family Campground

Great little campground, close to local breweries. The camp store has sports equipment you can check out (badminton!), and has everything you didn’t know you forgot. They have a pool and VERY clean restrooms. Pet-friendly, sometimes have live music or karaoke. We always enjoyed our stay here. Very nice owners.

Beautiful

Sitting on top of a mountain with the Appalachian Trail wrapped around you, cant go wrong. Full service amenities available.

Great stay!

Friendly staff got us in on a very busy weekend! We had a great site on the river. Spaces were small but big enough for all our equipment. They had an awesome pool that was heated, hot tubs, mini golf and good playgrounds. My kids were in heaven. Would recommend to others and stay again if we were in the area.

Great Campground

Plenty of room at each site, great lake for fishing even has a beach in the mountains, clean bathrooms both wooded and open lots. Only negative was no Wifi.

Cabins are nice, tent camping not so much

We’ve been here twice. Once for our anniversary and we stayed in one of the cabins with our dog, and once tent camping. The cabin was reasonably priced and comfortable. They are all grouped together and could be fun for a family reunion or some larger gathering with friends. The tent camping experience was with our kids, and it was a little hard to keep them entertained. The hiking trails were a short distraction, but not long or difficult enough to wear them out.

Book in Advance

I’ve been to loft mountain a few times over the years. The overall area is great. It’s right off the AT so there a bunch of trails and it’s not too far away from Big Meadow if you wanted to take a short drive. I would recommend booking in advance to get the best sites right off the trail. A lot of the sites can be close to on another, but if you can get 10-13, those are the most secluded.

Small number of sites

Nice, first come, first served campground. Toilets were very clean, but just covered a hope in the ground. Beautiful morning, but seems to stay chillier than the surrounding area. It's in a valley and two sites back up to the lake. There is access to the lake for canoes/kayaks.

Nice campground.

Good spot. Nice sized sites. Could be better patrolled. There was a group of people that brought a drum and just beat on it until about midnight. The lower sites were a little closer to the road. There is a water pump, but currently broken.

Great Summer Location

We recently stayed in one of the cottages. The cottage had a basic kitchen with sink, plenty of counter space, mini fridge, and some utensils and dishes. Perfect for the simple life! There were multiple picnic tables out back of the unit with a fire ring and of course lake front not even a stones throw away. The campground has plenty of activities from multiple playgrounds to activities every weekend. They rent golf carts which it great because the place is huge. There is also a very small fishing pond in the campground.

Great Campground

RV section is typical style in a large field. Back in sites for smaller trailers such as our teardrop were plenty big enough but still on the outskirts of the field. Bath house was very clean and very well thought out. Electric sites have 20a, 30a, and 50a hookups so small trailers can use a normal extension cord.

Shenandoah National Park

We did not have a reservation and were lucky to get a site. It is a large campground with 200 sites for RV's & tent campers. The site we had was primitive, no water or electric, but had a picnic table, fire ring, & a bear box. Although the sites were close, they were situated to maximize privacy. The campgrounds had plenty of restrooms with flush toilets & sinks. The camp store has laundry facilities and showers that you must pay for, $1.75 for 5 minutes. The grounds and facilities are very clean. An added bonus, you can access the Appalachian Trail right from the campgrounds that provides amazing views

paradise

wonderful lil campground nestled away in the woods. quiet, peaceful and serene. pit toilet's and trash bins on site. lampposts, fire rings and picnic tables on each site. level gravel pads on most sites. wildlife galore. truly wonderful small campground.

Wonderful Trip

Our site was RIGHT on the river. It was peaceful and private. No water, no electricity available. Not for RVs. There is a railroad track that runs along the James River near the sites, but it never bothered us. Great fishing.

A little additional info from the internet:

BREEDEN BOTTOM CAMPGROUND is located on the James River about 1/4 mile down stream of the Arcadia bridge about 5 mile drive from our canoe livery in Buchanan, VA. It is situated about 6 river miles downstream of our Buchanan based canoe livery location near river mile marker 19. This campground can accommodate both paddle in and drive in campers. Each site is numbered and include a fire ring, picnic table, parking area, and level tent pad. Portable toilets and a dumpster are conveniently located in the center of the campground. Guests will need to bring their own water as no potable water source is provided. $36.00 per site for up to 4 campers.

Another great trip to Sherando Lake!

We had another great trip to Sherando Lake! This is our 4th year camping here and we always look forward to the trip. This year the weather was cooler than it usually is, so we got to enjoy some of the other aspects of the park since it was too cold to swim. We love the hiking here! The trails around the Upper Lake and Lower Lake are favorites. Lookout Rock and Torry Ridge Trails are fun too! The kids enjoyed playing on the playground, skipping rocks, and fishing as well.

The campsites are clean and well kept up. The site we usually get (A-13) is well situated near the bathrooms and showers. Campsite A-12 makes a great buddy site! Such a family-friendly campground.

Coming in the middle of the week is the best time if you like to have peace and quiet and the place all to yourself. Can't wait till next year!

Good and Basic

Beautiful and Basic. Tent pads looked like cement or sand in the photos but they are soft dirt based. Exceptional Park Service and Camp Guide. Water and toilets were available and clean. The Otter Creek Trail was challenging but definitely doable. Highly recommended for outdoor youth groups that want to unplug and get back to basics.

Favorite in SNP

Loft is my favorite out of the campgrounds I’ve visited in the Shenandoah National Park. I’ve been Big Meadows and Lewis, but never to Matthew’s Arm. No reservations here, so you have to get lucky. But if you do and get a good site, it’s so going to be worth it. We had a site where you park at the top of a hill and hike down a slightly steepish hill to the site. It was shady, wooded, private, and quiet. There were a few sites beside us, but spaced nicely apart. The best tent views are the ones with no cars and bathhouses and this campground definitely gives you that. This one also provides bear boxes for food.

Favorite mini-hike nearby: Black Rock Summit (see photos). Beautiful views of the park, easy (the whole loop is less than a mile with just 175ft. of elevation gain), kid-friendly, and pet-friendly.

Nice Trip

Camped at Douthat State Park. Great area for swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, etc. Nice Lake Moomaw views ☀️ ⛵️🛶

Fishing right next to your tent

Camping along the river at the Canoe Landing Campground is great in the slower seasons. The sites are pretty close together so I’m sure it would be much more cramped when it’s busy but it’s a beautiful place. And you can fish right off the bank less than 50yards from your tent.

Fishing right next to your tent

Camping along the river is great in the slower seasons. The sites are pretty close together so I’m sure it would be much more cramped when it’s busy but it’s a beautiful place. And you can fish right off the bank less than 50yards from your tent.

Best lake camp trip eva

For car camping. It wasn’t too glamorous. It is primitive. But damn she beautiful. No neighbors. Maybe we just got lucky. I encourage.

tent in the clouds

Slept at this camping spot passing through on the AT. Site just below the summit. Plenty of soft and level ground to set up your tent. Wish I was able to see the view at sunrise but it was cloudy all morning.

Tent Stay

Definitely recommend!! Used as base camp to sleep and eat. Great vista hike(Humpback Rocks, Spy Rock, Three Ridges) are less than half hour drive. Plenty of other breweries, wineries, distilleries on the Craft Beverage Trail(Route 151).

Great location!

The river sites are the best. This campground has a music festival yearly that highlights local bands and artisans. They also have cornhole tournaments from what I’ve heard. Grounds, pool, bathhouses, laundry, restrooms all well-maintained. Store also has hot coffee and sometimes donuts for those crisp mornings. 💙

The group site, at the top of the hill, is secluded and private. Awesome for a big get-together.

LOCAL TIP: “Smoked” and “Crozet Pizza” and “Fardowners” - all in nearby Crozet, and all amazing.

The owners and staff at the campground and the pizzeria are wonderful 💫

Very peaceful and nice!

Watoga State Park near Marlinton, WV will in no way disappoint! Located right on the beautiful Greenbrier River, the camping is perfect for bringing your kayaks! Watoga offers primitive and electric only sites, but there is water to fill up with throughout the park and a dumping station. My family and I have loved camping at Watoga over the years and will go for years to come!!!

Great Find

Beautiful, out of the way campground. Very quiet and relaxing, which is a huge plus for us. Not noisy or a million golf carts flying around. Lots of older people, that obviously come here a lot or even stay here permanently. You can tell there is definitely a “family” vibe. Super friendly and helpful. More than willing to pitch in if you need it, or if you don’t, lol. Staff is super nice and helpful as well. Have some things to do, this weekend was karaoke on Friday and a band on Saturday. Other activities dispersed as well. Nice pool. Most spaces are roomy, mostly level and well spaced. I’ve seen some though, that make we wonder how someone would be able to get in OR out of there, lol. We once again lucked out with a great semi private, shaded spot. Would definitely and will definitely, come back.