Camping in Virginia
Virginia has it all - steep mountains, rolling hills, expansive forests, and coastal life. Here are some options as you plan a camping trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah Valley, Chesapeake Bay, or Virginia's Atlantic coast.
Virginia State Parks
Many parks have educational programs, tours, as well as opportunities for various recreational activities.
- Fairy Stone State Park is close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and houses water recreation activities like canoeing, swimming, paddle boats, and kayaks.
- Smith Mountain Lake State Park is located on the north shore of Virginia’s second-largest freshwater lake. This park is a favorite for anglers and water sports enthusiasts.
- First Landing State Park is Virginia’s most visited state park because you can pitch your tent or park your RV where the first English colonists landed. Enjoy 20 miles of trails and over a mile of beach shoreline at the Chesapeake Bay.
- Douthat State Park is for campers who enjoy mountain views and fishing. Anglers looking for trout can bring their spin-rod (50-acre lake) or their fly-fishing rod (over four miles of streams).
- Grayson Highlands State Park is perfect for campers who want to experience scenic views of Virginia’s two highest mountains, waterfalls, and some of the Appalachian Trail.
- Kiptopeke State Park is great for bird-watchers (unique migratory bird habitat) and fishermen. Enjoy educational presentations, bike trails, hiking trails, and a playground.
National Parks in Virginia
Shenandoah National Park is only seventy-five miles from Washington, D.C. Adventurers can enjoy Shenandoah camping as they can experience over 200,000 acres of protected wildlife, including deer and black bears. There are also miles of trails, waterfall-views, and seasonal songbirds.
There are five campgrounds at Shenandoah National Park: Mathews Arm Campground, Big Meadows Campground, Lewis Mountain Campground, Loft Mountain Campground, and Dundo Group Campground where no RVs are permitted.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park spans three states, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. With over 80 miles of hiking trails, visitors can get some exercise while learning about the park's history. Wilderness Road Campground is located within the park boundaries and offers partial hookup and dry camping sites.
Free Camping in Virginia
You can camp for free at national forests and some of Virginia's state parks offer backcountry (primitive, hike-in) camping. Other free options for camping in Virginia can be found along the Appalachian Trail (AT).
Learn more about free camping in Virginia.
RV Parks in Virginia
Privately-run RV parks are a great option for those who want more amenities than those found at publicly run campgrounds.
Learn more about RV Parks in Virginia.
Virginia National Forests
George Washington National Forest and Jefferson National Forest offer tent and RV camping options at several on-site campgrounds. Many hiking and scenic opportunities are in the forest, including the Appalachian Trail, Virginia Creeper Trail, and Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
No matter your Virginia camping destination, one thing is certain: Be sure to bring your hiking boots and a camera! Over 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail winds through Virginia, including the picturesque McAfee Knob, the most photographed spot on the trail.