RL

Pro

VA

Joined May 2019

⛺️🌲⛰✨🍂🍀🔥🛶☀️🌊🍳🌅

Cabin 24

Cabin 24 is a 2BR/1BA cinderblock cabin with waterfront views and large yard space. One room has two bunk beds, dresser, shelving, a lamp, and two night stands. Other room has a queen bed, shelving, a lamp, night stand, and dresser. Fireplace and screened in porch are lovely. There’s a fire pit and picnic table, and plenty of parking space.

More details on the cabin to follow!

Lovely November Trip 🔥

Camped on a Friday night, had site 106. It was a really nice site: set back a bit from the road, fairly wooded, not a long walk to the bathhouse water/electric hook-ups, and a long back-in driveway. Nice fire ring with grill (that had been cleaned), lantern/trash pole, picnic table. Pea gravel tent pad. Honor pay wood.

After a neighboring camper left we noticed they were disinfecting the campsites very well. Picnic tables, electric/water areas, fire pit areas, poles, etc. were all getting sprayed down between campers.

Walked around the trails on Saturday. The trail around Beaver Lake was a really nice 2.5 mile loop. Gorgeous in November. Like most weekends, a bit busy on a Saturday. Everything’s open right now, and masks are required in common areas, bath houses, etc.

Lovely Trails

Nice trails, decent campsites, cabins! The paved handicapped-accessible trail and fishing platforms are a really nice addition 💜

Beautiful Plantation

Awesome things to see here! It’s been a working farm since 1619 with beautiful gardens and livestock. The mansion and outbuildings are pretty cool as well.

Restrooms were not very clean. Each time I went to the ladies room, the door was propped wide open, and when I went to brush my teeth in the morning the counters were covered in moths and bugs and gnats. Yuck. The showers were ok.

Ice is $3 and you can grab that from the camp host if it’s after 4pm which is when the store closes. It’s cash only, exactly change. Wood is $6 and there’s a metal box - pay on your honor.

The beaches were very nice. You’re on the Cobham Bay vs. right on the river and in the dead of the summer, the water is sooo unpleasantly warm. You can wade out at the very least 100 yards and still be less than knee-deep, water still hot. The access to the little beaches are short but moderately steep, especially with lots of beach gear or strollers. It also seems to get washed out so watch your steps.

The little visitor center near the water access has cold drinks, souvenirs, ice cream, etc. They obv. accept credit cards. You can bring your dog into this area. There’s also a little wildlife info center and restrooms in the same buildings. There are also areas for day use and a good sized parking lot near the water access.

Straight across the river is Jamestown and Williamsburg, which is cool. I think I was told it’s about four miles across. That being said… those are your closest grocery stores and you have to take the Jamestown Ferry to get there. There is a Dollar General near the park, for odds and ends. Just make sure to stop in advance for what you need because you won’t find much in Surry.

Stopped at the Surry Seafood Co. for lunch and it was ok. Food and service was mediocre, but there was a nice water view from the deck. Was looking forward to stopping for some shrimp to cook that night from Colonial Seafood market but after walking in, I walked right back out. It was so unclean and didn’t smell fresh at all.

We took a beautiful drive around the plantation. The cabins look great and we’ll definitely try those out next time. There were corn fields and soybeans for miles. Such a great park due to its history.

Campsites themselves were pretty nice; not too close together. Our site had the tent pad down away from the picnic table and fire ring which was kind of nice. It was really shady, too. Room for hammocks.

Each site has a picnic table, fire pit, tent pad, lantern pole. Verizon service was great.

Nice Trails

The campground was nearly empty on a Sunday night and my simple request to drive around the campground before choosing a site was denied. I ended up blindly choosing a site from the map, and it wasn’t awful but it wouldn’t have been my first choice. Considering the empty campground, it just didn't make sense that I couldn't select a site. 

The River Trail was a nice walk. I did the Turkey, River, and Gold Dust Trails loop which is an easy 2.5 miles with some river views and meadow + wooded paths. I walked around the primitive hike-in/canoe-in campground which is nice and tucked away.

Biggest State Park

Largest State Park in Virginia - nearly 8,000 acres. We stayed two nights and paddled around Swift Creek Lake on Sunday. The staff was amazing. Camp store has ice, drinks, snacks, souvenirs, and wood is $5 a bucket (honor system). Bathhouses (showers separate of restrooms) were very clean. The first campground you come to definitely has more shade than the second loop so if you're looking to hammock camp, pick the first campground. In both campgrounds, some sites are a bit close together and/or close to the road. Tons of trails, some for mixed use and other for mountain bikers, some for horses, and some for hiking only. Great location! Will definitely be back!

Trail Hut

This is a shelter in the SNP (on the AT) for long-distance hikers. Spring nearby.

Lovely River Sites - Great CG!

I really love this campground. The river sites are worth the few extra bucks, but they book up fast. You have to call in your reservations - can’t book online. The campground itself is laid out nicely with several waterfront sites (some on the banks with no way to get into the river, others with acceptable river access). There are also overflow sites and those really aren’t bad (I’d avoid overflow #3 due to the proximity of portapotties). Most, if not all, sites have a fire ring and picnic table.

If I wasn’t camping on a weekend, I’d definitely choose site 15. The site is large, shaded, private, and has nice river access for putting in boats; however, because of the river access and the fact that it’s the northernmost stop before passing the campground from the river, there is a good chance you will have people hopping off at your campsite (consider that this might happen at any of the riverside sites that have even the slightest bit of river access). It seems like it could be pretty annoying, considering there’s a designated spot to put in and take out at the campground between sites 32 and 33.

This visit we stayed at site 42 which was waterfront but on a high bank, so we didn’t have river access - but that wasn’t an issue for us. There is a big tree blocking a bit of the river view, but still a beautiful site. My neighbors at site #43 had people getting off the river at their site constantly. They were visibly annoyed.

Site #40 is one that I would not recommend. It only rained for a couple of hours and the little creek flooded…. and this site is right on the creek. It seems like it stayed pretty wet the whole weekend, which during summer months can be miserable with the bugs and humidity. Also, it’s directly across the street from the portapotties.

Site 41 is nice and has a somewhat steep river access. It was roped off for social distancing the weekend we went, so we took advantage of the river access since no one would be camping at this site. The current can be strong, so be mindful of the river level.

There is a designated boat launch at the campground (really steep when you get to the river so I wouldn’t back a vehicle all the way to the river). 37a is river access as well. Sites 31 and 32 (despite being near the campground’s public river access) look large and private. Both riverside.

There is a designated footpath from the campground to the public boat launch next door. It’s fenced off, so despite how it looks, you aren’t walking through anyone’s campsite. That’s the best place to put in with tubes and kayaks/canoes because you aren’t trying to launch from a riverbank as you would at your campsite. It’s also significantly calmer water-wise. Lots of parking.

The campground sells ice, wood, and a handful of miscellaneous camp supplies in their office (fire starters, bug spray, sunscreen, graham crackers, candy…. the basics). There are portajohns throughout the campground and 6 private showers w/hot water, sinks, and toilets; these are located directly behind the camp store (same building). The bathhouses were all very clean when I went. The portapotty by our site got significantly worse throughout the weekend and by Sunday morning we stopped using it. The toilet paper ran out and the handwashing station ran out of soap and water which was disappointing, esp. due to the pandemic. Random note: the restrooms (by the office) do have electrical outlets if you need a quick cell phone charge.

Note: There is absolutely no Verizon service here (ATT seems to work pretty well). You’ll have to drive 10-15 in either direction on Rt. 211 before you can catch a signal.

The campground offers cabins, RV sites, and primitive tent camping. No yurts. Elec/water sites available. Trash goes in the back of a dump truck near the office/camp store. There’s a dump station for RVs and non-potable water. Slop sink near the restrooms by the office. Staff was amazing and super helpful. Police patrol at night to enforce quiet hours. Definitely coming back to stay at site 15, 31, 32, and plan to do another 7-8 mile paddle.

🛶🛶 Paddling/Floating the Shenandoah 🛶🛶

At the time we visited, there were no shuttles (nor rentals) for kayaking/canoeing/tubing, so we brought our own boats and floats. You obviously will need two cars or someone to drop you off before or pick you up after your float. A nice chill float would be from the campground to Shenandoah River State Park (around three miles - amount of time of float is dependent on how high the river is). There, you’d hop out at the park’s canoe launch where your 2nd vehicle is waiting in a nearby lot 👍🏻 *The only downfall to this is: you have to pay for park entry per vehicle at $10/car. *REI members can use a store receipt as a free day pass. 

A longer (7-8 mile), less expensive float would entail driving about 7.5 miles north to Gooney Creek (take a left off 211) and parking your boat pick-up vehicle at the boat ramp (if no luck there, ask the folks at Gooney Greek Campground if you can pay to park for the day (it’s an 8 minute walk or so from the public boat ramp).

*We had some locals tell us of a boat ramp down a nearby windy dirt road (which would have put us south of the campground paddling north so you exit at the campground) but that particular boat ramp has NO PARKING so you’d need to be dropped off. It’s also very steep and incredibly dangerous after a heavy rain, as the ditches wash out and make it nearly impossible to pass other vehicles coming the opposite direction. We had a bit of a scare when one of our tires slipped off the road when trying to pass someone coming from the other direction.

Beautiful Park!

Beautiful park with over 1,600 acres and 5.6 miles of river frontage. Lots of areas to access the river throughout, several picnic shelters, riverside picnic area, canoe launch with a good amount of parking, group campground, visitor center/store, bathhouses with hot showers, and cool trails (24 miles, hiking/biking/horses). Tent + RV sites (with water/electric options), cabins, and yurts available. There is nowhere to dump your trash here so you’ll have to pack it out.

Primitive Camping

Small family-run campground. No frills, very country. Location is good if you’re putting in on the river. Pam helped us out and was very kind. There’s a swingset and basketball hoop for the kids, a small camp store, and a bathhouse with hot showers. The creekside sites are primitive and have fire rings and picnic tables. There are also electric/water sites. Swim and fish in the creek. Pet-friendly.

The campground sits on Gooney Creek which flows into the Shenandoah River. You’re not far from the public boat launch if you need to put in (it’s walkable). We couldn’t get a parking spot at the boat launch because it was packed (plus there was limited parking due to rain, so it was very muddy). We put in on the river upstream/south of the campground and after our float we hopped out at the launch and walked to get our car to come pick up the boats.

Closed

This campground has been closed since 2018.

Huge park, great sites!

What a beautiful park! Over 1500 acres with 40 sites, this trip was the start of the camping season for me- the opening weekend for camping in State Parks in VA(COVID-19). The park and grounds are extremely well-maintained. I was very happy to see such a clean bathhouse, especially during the current pandemic. Each staff member I encountered was extremely helpful and polite. The park has lots of trails, miles of open meadows, and James River access. Great park for bicycling. The sites in the River Bend Campground(main campground) are private and wooded, especially this time of year when the trees are so full. The map makes it look like they’re really close together so I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived to my site, which was the las time available for booking(#16). There are 29 tent/RV sites and three yurts. The sites are gravel and include a picnic table, lantern/trash pole, and a fire pit with grill gate. Theres also a group site for 24 or so, bit that’s not open at the moment due to state restrictions. There’s overflow parking for the campground, dumpsters, and a dump station. Some are pull-through for RVSs and many have water/electric. Wood is for sale at the park but no ice or refreshments. Pet-friendly. There are also laundry facilities at the main bathhouse, nice hot/cold showers. Many picnic areas and a playground. There’s also a canoe-in site with 8 primitive sites: no water, electricity, or facilities(there’s a pit toilet). Depending on the time of the year they might be in the flood zone if the river is high, which it was during this trip. Some of those sites can also be booked for hiking into- it’s only a 0.2 walk from the parking lot. Tabb Monument State Park is nearby if you’re working your way through the parks as I am (no overnight facilities there). You’re also about 10-15 minutes from the town of Powhatan so if you need groceries or gas, you’re not far from Sheetz, Food Lion, etc. Loved this park so much and will definitely be returning!!!

3 Different Campgrounds

There are four different campgrounds in this state park, one being paddle-in. The park is a linear park that is known for its flat-ish trails and bike/horse paths. Of the 57 miles of this park, about 39 are on the New River. All campgrounds are primitive; no RV sites, no bathhouses (pit toilets only), but potable water is available.

Millrace Campground is right on the river and near Foster Falls; you can rent canoes and bikes here. Reservations required.

Cliffview Campground is in Galax and has 13 sites on the Chestnut Creek. Reservations required. There are a few equestrian sites here (room for your trailer).

Double Shoals Campground: first-come, first-served.

The paddle-in sites are located at Baker Island Campground.

Riverside!

Really cool campground located right on the New River, located at Foster Falls. The river sounds amazing at night. You have to walk everything into the campground from the parking area, but it's not a long walk so you can still bring all of your "car camping" luxuries. There are no RV sites and there are no bathhouses, only pit toilets which can be a little funky, but it is what it is. Just a short walk from the campground, you can explore the area which includes stables, a wildlife center, visitor center with local artisan goods (we got some local teas, stevia, and handmade jewelry/ornaments as gifts), an abandoned hotel/grounds (you can check them out from the outside), an old train car, and much more. Pet-friendly. 

Sites 2, 6, and 9 would be my personal picks for next time. If you have a large group, G17 is HUGE. You can also use this campground for day-use, picnicking, etc.

Shot Tower State Park isn't far from here either, so definitely check that out while you're in the area. Millrace Campground is located within the New River State Park. We went in October and the colors were really starting to change.

Beautiful Lake 🛶

Stayed for three nights in October. We had site B9 which was near a group site - so be mindful of this! During our trip it was full of loud and unsupervised kids.

We paddled around the lake on Sunday; there are a couple of different boat launches in the park. The cliffs are freaking amazing from the launch closest to the park entrance. It’s so beautiful on the water, especially this time of year.

There’s also a camp store/visitor center. Our site included a fire ring, two lantern posts, and a picnic table. Firewood and ice are available at the entrance station (can use credit card), and wood is available from the camp host (cash only). Lots of hiking and bike trails throughout. Very clean restrooms and showers. We had a really great time and will totally be back in the spring 🍂🍁

Cute Family Campground

Great little campground, close to local breweries. The camp store has sports equipment you can check out (badminton!), and has everything you didn’t know you forgot. They have a pool and VERY clean restrooms. Pet-friendly, sometimes have live music or karaoke. We always enjoyed our stay here. Very nice owners.

Simple Campground

$25 + tax per night for a tent site, $2 more per person. Showers and bathhouses avail. RV accommodations. About 6 miles from the town of Culpeper.

Wonderful Trip

Our site was RIGHT on the river. It was peaceful and private. No water, no electricity available. Not for RVs. There is a railroad track that runs along the James River near the sites, but it never bothered us. Great fishing.

A little additional info from the internet:

BREEDEN BOTTOM CAMPGROUND is located on the James River about 1/4 mile down stream of the Arcadia bridge about 5 mile drive from our canoe livery in Buchanan, VA. It is situated about 6 river miles downstream of our Buchanan based canoe livery location near river mile marker 19. This campground can accommodate both paddle in and drive in campers. Each site is numbered and include a fire ring, picnic table, parking area, and level tent pad. Portable toilets and a dumpster are conveniently located in the center of the campground. Guests will need to bring their own water as no potable water source is provided. $36.00 per site for up to 4 campers.

Overnight

We came here because it’s about an hour-and-a-half from home, perfect for an overnight. The photo on the website of our particular site was very deceptive. It looked way more secluded and wooded than it actually was, but it was decent.

Acorn Loop has lake-front sites that I would highly recommend. Sites 4-12 are the best, with #11 being the best best: it’s right on the water but also kind of tucked away a bit. #13 is smack in the middle of the loop, I personally wouldn’t want that site. The sites at the top of the hill, A1, A2, A3, and A15 are right on the road, but there wasn’t much traffic in this particular loop, so it didn’t bother us. A1, A2, and A3 will have people walking by a lot for the bathhouses. I don’t think every loop has one.

The lake itself is very pretty, 40 acres and manmade. We brought innertubes and just floated but we saw people fishing, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, and paddle boating. There were lots of people fishing, and someone got a catfish and kept it for dinner. 🎣

We drove around and checked out the cabin sites. These cabins are HUGE and really beautiful. They look like they could accommodate over 12 people. There’s also a meeting space/hall that you can book…. would be a great place for reunions, receptions, etc.

Favorite in SNP

Loft is my favorite out of the campgrounds I’ve visited in the Shenandoah National Park. I’ve been Big Meadows and Lewis, but never to Matthew’s Arm. No reservations here, so you have to get lucky. But if you do and get a good site, it’s so going to be worth it. We had a site where you park at the top of a hill and hike down a slightly steepish hill to the site. It was shady, wooded, private, and quiet. There were a few sites beside us, but spaced nicely apart. The best tent views are the ones with no cars and bathhouses and this campground definitely gives you that. This one also provides bear boxes for food.

Favorite mini-hike nearby: Black Rock Summit (see photos). Beautiful views of the park, easy (the whole loop is less than a mile with just 175ft. of elevation gain), kid-friendly, and pet-friendly.