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Me and my boyfriend stayed here during our road trip through VA, we stayed in late January. It was COLD, but I love a camping challenge. We got there in the dark and had no clue what we were walking into. The bathrooms were compostable toilets, the sites were beautifully maintained. On the way we got a personal call that the campground was quite flooded and they recommended different sites. When we woke up it was beautiful! We saw in the early morning a coyote and a great horned owl. We also saw many types of hawks, song birds, and eastern bluebirds! I was amazed by the sheer amount of wildlife. The cabins on the other hand, were breathtaking. They were absolutely beautiful with amazing views. I felt like I was in the midwest! I will 100% return to this campground to just enjoy the park instead of rushing out!
We stayed here on the night of December 11, 2020. No problem finding a spot, campground was about half full when we got there around 4pm. The Primitive Camping spots were all taken however, so arrive early if you want one of those. Water and electrical available at all the spots even though it was winter. Bathrooms and showers were nearby and clean. No cell service but the Visitor’s Center has WiFi available. Lots of hiking and mtb trails, although we only did a bit of walking. Campground is maybe 100 yds from the Shenandoah River and it’s beautiful down there.
We stayed here December 10, 2020. The campground was closed for the winter, but we called ahead and they were fine with us staying in the parking area. No amenities, but we were in a Revel,so didn’t need anything anyway. We were completely alone there, which was pretty cool. The area closes completely (entrance gate is locked) from Dec 21 - May 1. The site was super clean and well maintained. Lots of hiking trails and a very easy one that loops around the Rockcliff Lake. Also be sure to take the short walk to the Trout Pond. More crystal clear water, and the pond is an active sinkhole, so that’s pretty cool. And the Lake is socked with trout (license required) during the regular season for those who want to fish.
We have stayed here a couple of times and our family loves it! We have stayed in the cabins here and they are awesome. We stayed in the 2 bedroom cabin. It has a beautiful deck with a picnic table and rocking chairs. The park is part of the Dark Sky Parks Association and if you are into astronomy and stars this is the place to stay. They have miles of trails, a playground, marshland, and it is right on the James River with multiple river access points. The rangers here are very interactive and very helpful. We enjoyed a fire making class followed by s'mores on Friday night and then an owl searching hike on Saturday night. We hiked many miles while here and had a great weekend. I highly recommend this park and can't wait to stay here again.
Big Meadows Campgrounds is largely unchanged from the way the CCC designed it in the 1930s. There are two sections of the campground the ABC loops and the more RV oriented upper letter loops. The other reviews are right when they say it is big and crowded. We were staying in the B loop Tuesday through Friday the last week of the season in 2020, and Thursday night was a pretty much a constant stream of new arrivals.
The RV loops were full throughout the week. There was availability during the week for all the lodges. Although during Covid, the lodges seemed like an unnecessary risk considering the volume of park goers. We had planned to tent camp and stuck with that plan.
Couple big differences between the upper loops and the ABC loops. The upper loops are wooded and offer some shade. The ABC loops have partial shade walk in sites along the A loop and B and C and D are very much meadow offering very little shade or protection from wind and it does get quite windy.
When we set out to choose our site, we walked the loop to get the best sense of each site. B was a no generator loop so we stuck with these sites. We were followed closely by a family of four deer who really didn’t care about our presence. When we found our site it had a little tent clearing surrounded by tall grass. Chipmunks and birds flitting about. It was kinda like a Disney film tbh.
We had neighbors the whole time and you are so close it is good to introduce yourselves. The bonus of that is trading ideas and rec’s about good hikes, what to try at the wayside, and what to avoid crowd wise. During our four days we did a longer version of hawksbill and dark hallow falls and a few nature trails including the deer trails in the Big Meadow. We also made time each day to explore via car the skyline drive.
It is important to understand this park was designed to be experienced with a car where you can drove from hike to hike, overlook to overlook, stopping for picnics and taking in the protected wilderness. Whatever the season this design works to an astonishing degree towards inspiring awe and peace. You always feel like a guest in this space and that humbling relationship offers plenty to contemplate on the long slow drives through the park.
Our final morning was spent meandering through the deer trails of the big meadow at sunrise. The deer grazing mere feet from you. Three nights was too short, we will be back to experience another season.
We legit loved this park! I took my grandkids tent camping and we had a wonderful experience. We brought our bikes and hit the trails. It was some great times. We had electricity and water and the bathrooms were close to our site. The park is on the Shenandoah River and there are multiple spots to put in and take out. There is primitive tent camping down by the river which looks fantastic. We definitely loved the trails with hiking and biking options. We will definitely go here again.