Mallory D.
Fort Mill, SC
Joined July 2018
Lots of Wildlife

Visited back in 2011 & 2014. We tent camped on both occasions. Took the boat tour & saw more alligators than we could count. Lots of armadillos around the campsites at night/in the evenings. Being from further North, armadillo are a pretty exciting animal to spot. The park has lots to do, & they've actually got 3 separate campgrounds. I can't recall which we stayed in, but they were decent for all your tent camping needs (can't attest to RV camping though).

The park is really lovely and being that your in FL your still close to beautiful beaches too.

Great for Tent Camping

Can't speak for RV camping, but this is a great campground for tent campers. Sites aren't to close together, they've got all the basic amenities, and the park has tons to keep you busy. It does look like the prices have been going up….we camped here years ago & the cave tours ranged from $8-$15, which seems to be about half of what they run these days. A little sad to see that, but the caves are of course completely worth it.

Review of the Group Cabin Rentals

I've visited twice now when a church group was having an event in the park. Our group rents out a group cabin area, complete with its own bathhouse & kitchen-lodge.

The cabins themselves are rustic - one-room, with bunkbeds or cot-like beds, depending on your cabin. They've obviously been being used for years for school and scout groups, as they are covered in kids graffiti (mostly just names & dates). I like the rustic cabin idea, but the screens in the cabin windows have badly needed repairs on both of my trips, so aside from mosquitos you end up contending with wasps too. The bathhouse is not well taken care of, & the bathroom attached to the lodge/kitchen is disgusting. I suppose for the church's purposes, the price is good & the area works. For a big group it's nice to have the whole area to ourselves.

Most popular of Shenandoah National Parks Campgrounds

Big Meadows is definitely the most popular of this national parks campgrounds. Sites fill up fast, and they always seems to be a little busy, but the sites aren't too on-top of each other, so it didn't feel over-crowded, and you can make reservations online (in fact, its recommended).

Restrooms and bathhouses are pretty standard for national parks - relatively up to date & well-kept. Showers are quarter operated.

The park itself is amazing, beautiful and offers tons of activities (lots of trails & ranger led programs). Wildlife is everywhere, neither the bear nor the deer are camera shy! Camp store has all the necessities, and they've got a nice souvenir shop as well. Campers can partake in the activities at the lodge, and stop-in at their restaurant too.

Rustic Cabin Camping Experience

My family is usually tent campers, but we decided this year we didn't want to deal with the hassle of setting up & breaking down camp. We chose this campground because of the rustic camping cabins they offer. The price is right, and the experience felt just like our usual camping trips without the set-up (& no worries about leaking tents during rain!).

Cabins are VERY rustic (perfect for us), one-room, with a handful of bunk beds & electricity. Ours had 3 bunk beds, so slept all 6 of us easily. You bring your own bed linens, and use the same shower-house/restrooms as tent campers would. Your site has a picnic table & fire ring. I believe they asked us to keep food out of the cabin. Not a big deal, since the cabins are basically just enough room to sleep anyway. We did breakfast most mornings of our week-long stay at our own campsite, as well as a few easy dinners (hotdogs), but for our bigger dinners we used their picnic shelter (which has a decent grill & a lot more space). If the park had been very busy, it might have been a little difficult to do so, since they only have the one picnic shelter, but we honestly didn't see more than a handful of other guests during our stay.

The grounds themselves are nicely kept. They come around every morning & pick up your trash from your campsite. They do have a pool, playground, park store, bathhouse. All the essentials. Did notice that the pool & bathhouse were often closed for cleaning mid-day. The bathhouse had a sign stating cleaning took place between 1-2pm, but it seemed like that block of time always ran over quite a bit. Not too big a deal, since most days we were out doing things off-site for the bulk of mid-day, but if you were tent camping & stay on the campground all day I could see that being a lot more annoying. The bathhouse is pretty typical of most state and national parks - maybe even a bit nicer. Kept well cleaned.

For the price, & the number of additional amenities, this place was perfect! Lots of waterfalls, hikes, & opportunities for outdoor activities in the area. Cherokee's not far away, and definitely worth a visit.