Conni B.
Herndon, VA
Joined May 2019
Outdoor Enthusiast
Great for Car Camping

We stayed in the Bear Branch Loop of the William Houch Camping Area.  This is a lovely area if you're a beginner camper or just looking for the glamping experience.  The sites are small and not very private but are well defined.  It's very clear where to park, set up the tent etc.  The park itself is very scenic with nice hiking trails and a lake to enjoy.  I was there in the fall so didn't go out on the water but can imagine it would be popular during the warmer months.

Hiking Lovers Retreat

Oak Ridge is our favorite local go-to campground.  This site meets all of our expectations with exceptionally clean bathrooms to boot.  It's a short jaunt away with miles of hiking trails.  The sites are generously sized, wooded and private.  If you're going with a group there are also sites that connect.  C Loop is the most private with several sites being walk-in.  B Loop is mostly shaded and also the only loop with showers (my preference).  A Loop is first to come, first served whereas Loops B and C are reservation only. Firewood is available but they do not provide much so I recommend bringing what you need if you plan on having a fire for more than one night.  There are a few trailheads accessible from the camping loops but many you'll need to drive to.  Parking is limited but I've never had trouble finding a spot.  If you want a quick getaway without driving hours outside of the metro area this is your place!

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.