Virginia encapsulates a number of the greatest landscapes on the East Coast. You’ll be able to expertise the Appalachian Mountains on one aspect of the state and the glittering Atlantic Ocean on the opposite!
With tenting season in full swing, there are a variety of well-known and hidden gems to discover in Virginia. From getting on the market and visiting locations like the biggest caverns on this aspect of the USA or an island the place wild horses roam free, tenting lets you immerse in the state’s uninhibited magnificence.
Listed below are a number of the better of what Virginia has to supply:
Shenandoah Nationwide Park
Shenandoah is arguably probably the most well-known park in Virginia. It’s a protracted sliver of land that sizes as much as round 200,000 acres on Virginia’s northern aspect. Whereas admission to the park and its well-known valley prices $30 for a single car, the payment covers limitless entry for seven consecutive days. An annual Nationwide Parks cross ($80) additionally covers entry.
What to Do: Many of the pure sights listed here are alongside the park’s Skyline Drive. The drive takes you 105 miles throughout the size of the park and on a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You’ll discover a lot of the waterfalls and predominant hikes in the park alongside this highway. The Skyline Drive is the one public highway on the park, and is open 24/7 (until there’s dangerous climate). Take a look at the Nationwide Park Service’s webpage for extra data.
Along with the 500+ miles of path right here, 1 / 4 of the Appalachian Path runs via the park. A few of its extra well-known excursions are the Darkish Hole Falls and Previous Rag Mountain hikes. There’s a good quantity of foot visitors in the park, various from the informal daytripper to these trying to stroll the entire AT.
Be sure you analysis the hikes beforehand, as a result of a number of the trails right here might be fairly harmful!
Camping Logistics: There are 5 campgrounds and three lodges in the park. The value to remain at one of many campgrounds ranges from $15-$20. Clearly, backcountry tenting is extra fitted to extra skilled campers. You’ll be able to be taught extra about the best way to pack and put together for backcountry tenting right here.
First Touchdown State Park
English colonists first landed right here greater than 400 years in the past, and immediately it’s grown to develop into Virginia’s most visited state park. The park is sort of 3,000 acres, with 1.5 miles of seaside from the Chesapeake Bay to discover. Although Virginia Seaside might be fairly busy, the park’s part of the extra quiet, northern aspect. Admission to the park prices $7 – $10 for normal-sized autos.
What to Do: There are 20 miles price of trails right here that take you thru swamps, lagoons, and forest. The longest of the park’s trails is the Cape Henry path, which takes you thru a number of the park’s extra unusual landscapes. You’ll be able to pay homage to First Touchdown’s historic roots with a go to to the Chesapeake Bay Middle.
Camping Logistics: If you wish to spend the night time on the park, you possibly can select from its primitive tenting websites, cabins, beloved yurts (there are 4 right here!) Lodging on the park prices $30 to $46 relying on the positioning and residency standing; view this chart to seek out out specifics. Click on right here for a map of the campground.
Campsites can be found from from the start of March via early December, however you possibly can hire a cabin year-round. Cabins and yurts require a reservation, however some campsites don’t have to be reserved beforehand.
If you wish to discover the realm on bike, you possibly can solely journey it on the Cape Henry and Reside Oak trails. The park is close to a army coaching middle so don’t be involved should you hear loud noises in the nighttime!
False Cape State Park
Whereas First Touchdown is in the northern a part of Virginia Seaside, False Cape State Park sits on the southern tip. The park is on the japanese border of Virginia and North Carolina and is the state’s southernmost park. The park is a six-mile stretch of land alongside the Atlantic Coast that’s remained undeveloped over time. In truth, you possibly can’t get right here by automotive!
What to Do: Right here, the sky’s the restrict with daytime excursions. You’ll be able to bike on a motorcycle path, kayak via the freshwater, or swim in the ocean. The Again Bay Nationwide Wildlife Refuge serves as one of many entrances to the park and can also be a preferred space to discover.
Camping Logistics: Because the park hasn’t been developed in any respect, primitive-style tenting is the one kind out there right here. You’ll be able to hire one of many park’s campsites for $20 – $25 in one among 4 areas: Barbour Hill Bay, Barbour Hill Ocean, False Cape Touchdown Bay, or False Cape Touchdown Ocean. There are solely 12 campsites, so this is a perfect tenting spot if you wish to utterly get away from civilization.
As a result of the campsites supply minimal assist, it’s best to have a little bit of tenting expertise earlier than arriving. Take a look at different BMTM guides like Eight Intelligent Camping Hacks for Rookies or Outside 101 for some tenting suggestions. As well as, pets can’t come into the Again Bay Nationwide Wildlife Refuge however are allowed in the park.
North Bend Park
North Bend Park is on the middle of Virginia’s southern border. The park is positioned on John H. Kerr Reservoir, which flows throughout North Carolina and Virginia. The reservoir is Virginia’s largest lake and has over 50,000 acres and 800 miles of shoreline to discover.
What to Do: There are additionally a number of trails to select from right here, with the Liberty Nature Path and Robert Munford Path being a number of the closest to the campground. The lake attracts wildlife of all varieties—birds like bald eagles, and ospreys, fly via throughout migration season, and fishing is a well-liked pastime on the lake.
Camping Logistics: Camping is obtainable right here from the start of April till the top of October. This campsite is standard for hiker execs and newbies alike, providing almost 250 primitive websites close to the lake. Test the park’s webpage for nightly charges. This park is standard for households, so don’t anticipate hikes right here to be overly intense.
Grayson Highlands State Park
This 5,000-acre state park is on Virginia’s western aspect, proper on the North Carolina and Virginia border. Admission to Grayson Highlands State Park prices anyplace from $7 to $10 for many autos.
What to Do: Grayson Highlands is right for the altitude seeker. The state park straddles between Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, so the park provides you mountain views of peaks reaching 5,000 toes excessive. For an entire information to the paths in the park, click on right here.
In addition to its altitude, the park is known for its four-legged residents. You’ll see tons of feral ponies right here, which had been launched in the seventies and have thrived since. From the park you possibly can attain the Virginia Highlands Horse Path and Appalachian Path. The Virginia Creeper Path is a 33-mile path slightly bit exterior of the park and is standard for cyclists.
Camping Logistics: You might have fairly a number of choices in terms of tenting in the highlands. There are the cabins, tenting lodges, and yurts out there right here. Full-service tenting is obtainable from Might via October, though some areas permit primitive tenting in March, April, and November. You’ll be able to learn extra in regards to the park’s services and costs right here.
Put together for sudden climate modifications, even should you plan to take a fast hike. Well-liked trails can take you over 4,000 toes excessive, so temperatures can drop dramatically irrespective of the time of yr. Take a look at the BMTM Backpacking Gear put up for some packing concepts.
Sky Meadows State Park
Sky Meadows State Park is on the middle tip of Virginia, nearing the border of West Virginia. This 1,860-acre park is one among many entry factors to the Appalachian Path. Admission prices $7 to $10 for normal autos.
What to Do: There are 22 miles price of path right here, starting from the easygoing hike to the depth of the Appalachian panorama. There are even over 10 miles of trails right here for horses!
Camping Logistics: The solely kind of tenting is primitive. The park colour codes its tenting spots and organizes them relying on the quantity of individuals. Right here, you possibly can reserve campsites meant for a person individual to massive areas meant for 36 individuals. This chart lists costs for every of those campgrounds. Go to the park’s webpage for extra data.
If you wish to keep right here in a single day, put together to stroll. The park’s tenting websites are a one-mile hike from the parking zone, so that you’ll must lug all your gear from the parking zone to the campsite! Group campsites require are reservation.
On no account does this record exhaust the locations of Virginia’s almost 30 parks. It’s all of the extra purpose to come back out and see the state for your self—whether or not you’re tenting in a automotive, cabin, or good ol’ common tent.
Is there a spot you need to go to in Virginia? Let me know in the feedback!
In regards to the creator: Chloe Arrojado is a journalist and aspiring Renaissance lady from North Carolina. If she’s not writing, she’s in all probability trying to be taught one other language. You’ll be able to see what she’s as much as at her weblog.
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