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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.
Our family stayed here in a cabin on a long weekend trip to DC. This campground was full of stuff to do and we didn't even get to do a lot of it. We stayed in a cabin for 2 nights and had a great time. The campground had a climbing wall on one afternoon. There are miles of trails and my gkids enjoyed the nature scavenger hunt. You even get a prize when you finish. This park has too many amenities to list. They had a campfire complete with s'mores followed by hayrides. Great family friendly campground. We will definitely be going back.
We stayed at Bull Run Regional Campground on our visit to Washington DC. It was fall and the colors were gorgeous. The sites are all pull-through off the roads through the campground. So your camper faces the woods and you feel like you're all alone. Bath houses are clean and well maintained. Our site was very level, but I could see that some others were not so much, so you might want to ask about that. The staff was very friendly and helpful.
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.
They have a handful of sites that are more secluded and not right on the driveway loop. I've only camped in loop C and find it more quiet and less crowded than loop B. Probably because this loop only has toilets in the restroom. Showers are in loop B, which is a 5-7 minute walk. During holiday weekends the sites closest to the shower facilities are fully booked and have less privacy. They are usually reserved by larger groups. Plenty of beautiful walking and hiking trails in the park to enjoy. This campground is well maintained and routinely monitored by park rangers. There's a $20 National Park entrance fee that's in addition to the site reservation.