Sherando Lake Recreation Area's Family Campground provides an ideal camping destination. It is situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is known locally as the jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where visitors enjoy hiking, picnicking in the shade, fishing in the lakes, or swimming and relaxing on the sandy beach.
The 25 acre Lower Lake offers opportunities for swimming in a designated area with a sand beach, accessible ramp to the water's edge, and a beach bathhouse with changing and shower facilities. Fishing and boating are also available outside the designated swimming area of the lake. Fishing is in stocked trout waters during the spring and fall seasons. Visitors will need to have the appropriate Virginia fishing license, National Forest stamp, and trout stamp. Boats with gasoline motors are not permitted on the lower lake - electric troll motors, canoes, kayaks, or similar boats only. A hand-carry ramp is available for access to the lake adjacent to the parking area. Fishing only is available at the 7 acre Upper Lake. This lake is also stocked during the spring and fall seasons and the appropriate licenses are required. Boats are allowed, but there is no launch access - hand carry only. Parking is available at a small area below the group camp area and a walking trail will lead you to the lake. Swimming is not allowed in the upper lake. Hiking trails surround the area offering everything from a short walk around the lake on the Lakeside and Cliff Trails to a day hike up the mountain on the White Rock Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway. For the more adventurous hiker, more challenging day hikes and backpacking trips are available by heading up the Blue Loop Trail to the Torry Ridge Trail to Bald Mountain and beyond.
The campground is divided into three loops: Meadow Loop (Loop C) has campsites with electric hookups which are suitable for larger camping units and RV's; White Oak Loop (Loop A) has non-electric campsites, suitable for tents and camping units less than 28 feet in length; River Bend Loop (Loop B) and the upper part of White Oak have first-come, first-serve sites not available for reservation. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table, serving table, lantern post, and campfire ring with grill. The designated tent pads are covered with a fine brown sandy gravel. Showers, flush toilets and drinking water hydrants are located in each loop. The water hydrants are not threaded for hose hook-ups. Most campsites are equipped with a food storage locker for securing your food due to bear activity. It is mandatory that all food be either stored in a food storage locker or secured in a locked vehicle. Violators are subject to a fine. You are camping in the mountains with unlevel ground. Please be prepared. A trailer dump station is located along the main road between the entrance station and the road to the lower lake parking. A potable water station with threaded hose is located on the left at the bathroom facility near the Williams Branch picnic area.
The campground sits between Lower Sherando Lake and Upper Sherando Lake at an elevation of about 1,800 feet in the shadows of Torry Ridge. The Upper Lake is 7 acres and is fed by the waters of the North Fork of Back Creek. The Lower Lake is 25 acres and is fed by springs, the North Fork of Back Creek, and Williams Branch, so the water stays refreshingly cool all summer long.
There are opportunities for gas, groceries, and firewood at convenience stores and local vendors along the state road to Sherando Lake. Ice can be purchased at the Sherando Lake Visitor Center during operating hours, which vary seasonally. Additional supplies can be obtained in Stuarts Draft, about a 15 minute drive away. The Blue Ridge Parkway with its scenic overlooks and ridgetop views is a short 3 mile drive up State Route 664 from the Sherando Lake entrance. The Wintergreen Resort offers a golf course and ski area within 10 miles of Sherando Lake. Cabin rentals are available near Sherando Lake from local private vendors.
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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.
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!
A perfect place for family small rv and tent camping. The area is located in the George Washington National forest, has a small swimming, kayaking and fishing lake and log pavillion that was created as a CCC project. The tent only loop dates to this time. Two additional loops have been added with electric sites. All the sites are well spaced, essentially level and have large pads with better than average fire pits and tables that can seat a family reunion. The shower houses are at the center of each loop and have been rebuilt to ACA standard with in the last five years. There are family friendly hiking paths around the lake and upper fishing pond. There are also some kickass trails that climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway and intersect with the AT. While it is close to Waynesboro, Charlottesville and Roanoke, it is sufficiently remote to require a car ride to find cell and internet access. Half the sites are first come-first serve and half can be reserved. The only drawback is that many people love this park and it is difficult to get reservations. The window opens six months out and are usually booked for the high season summer months.
This campground is a little jewel hidden in the Shenandoah Valley. Sites offered have electrical hook-up's in Loops B & C, but there are no water hook-up's. You can fill your RV fresh water tank on the way in, and can dump on the way. Wonderful little lake for swimming, nice beach, nice hiking trails around the lake. They even take reservations (something they didn't do before). This is a US Forest Service Campground located in the George Washington & Thomas Jefferson National Forest District. Sometimes there is a Ranger there at the entry, but mostly it's an honor system for payment (and trust me, the Ranger will eventually come around to check on all new arrivals). US Government Senior Access Card discounts apply here as well.
This campground was a little hard to find with google maps. We were on the Blue Ridge Parkway and ended up back tracking. I would recommend calling ahead for directions from the parkway because it is very close. Nice quiet campground, nice neighbors, nice showers. The lake was good for small kids to swim but the bath houses there were in usable as they were so nastu
I have mixed feelings about this campground. It’s fantastic for families with lots to do but if you’re looking for solitude, this isn’t the place for you. I was camping alone and I found the campground too noisy and busy. My campsite was huge, it would be great for a large family or a gathering site/kitchen area for groups using neighboring sites. Each site has its own food locker which is really important because bears actually frequent the area. A young bear was repeatedly visiting site A9 up the road from me and I had to chase him off when he came near my site!
I have to give this campground 4 stars because 1) it’s noisy and busy; and 2) the staff was very nonchalant about the bears.
Lake Sherando campground was clean and easy to access just off of the BRP. The sites were level and everything looked recently upgraded. We didn't get in the water, but we saw the beach and it looked perfect for kids.
Pulled in late on a Friday afternoon and there were only two first-come, first serve campsites left, and the rest of the campground was full. Great tent pads with a picnic table, fire ring and lantern hanger. Camp host warned that there had been a lot of bear activity lately and to make sure to keep food stored inside vehicle. Very nice showers at bath house by the lake.
Very well maintained campsite, hiking trails were in good shape around the area. Lake itself was beautiful with a great beach for kids and families. Only downside was firewood was not available for sale when we stayed at the campsite and we had to gather ours in the dark!