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Trip Ideas for Camping/Touring Virginia??

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Trip Ideas for Camping/Touring Virginia??

Hi everyone!

My husband and I looking to spend a week visiting the lesser known areas around Virginia and camping. We are interested in camping in an area maybe two nights with 3-4 stops around the state.

Let me start with where we live and where we have lived so I can let you know where we have already visited. We just moved from Arlington, VA, so we have done all the Washington, DC stuff. We live in Charlottesville now, so we have done the stuff around here. We are interested in the Civil War, Ghost tours, outdoor activities like mining and panning, fishing, taking in good views, history, culture, etc.

We are looking for help coming up with a cost effective itinerary for camping and seeing sites in our great, beautiful state of Virginia. For camp grounds or cabin suggestions, we're more interested in the less-commercial locations (no KOAs) and relaxation.

This would be in the spring after everything has warmed up some (aka not 25 degrees!!) and maybe you can also suggest some discount websites, coupons, etc to make our trip as cheap as possible.

Thank you for your ideas!!

Richmond VA USA
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1. Re: Trip Ideas for Camping/Touring Virginia??

Check out the Virginia State parks.


Many of them have campgrounds and/or cabins, and they're generally pretty nice. I especially like Douthat State Park, at the end of a beautiful drive through Goshen Pass on Rt 39, but there are many more great choices.

Richmond, Va.
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2. Re: Trip Ideas for Camping/Touring Virginia??

A few years ago, we took a camping trip out to the western part of the state; one of the places we really liked touring was the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine, not too far from Bluefield.

Here is a link:


We were there in summer and it was very laid back, just my family and the guide as we strolled through the (now closed) mine, learning the history of the mine, the working conditions of miners, the equipment, the disasters, how tough the work is.

Pocahontas seemed to be a place that time forgot, almost a ghost town, and I loved being up close with Virginia's mining history. It was an afternoon well spent. You should probably call in advance if you're not going during summer touring season, just to find out the dates and hours.

I can't remember where we camped, but I know that on that trip we stayed at Breaks Interstate Park, on the Ky/Va border.

Also, it wasn't until I was well into adulthood that I finally visited Fairystone State Park (near Martinsville), and I was able to look on my own for a Fairystone cross. We camped in the park and the next morning went on a ranger-led tour to search in the woods for the fairystone crystals. You'll find crystals, for sure, but it takes a lot of imagining to convince yourself that they actually are cross-shaped. We returned a year or two later, with my aunt and young cousins, and the children loved the swimming area at the park. That time we rented cabins, which we all found to be quite nice--orginally built years ago, but renovated and comfortable today.

Grayson Highlands State Park is absolutely gorgeous. If you like to hike, you can hike to the highest point in Va. there, Mount Rogers.

Nearer to my home, I'm partial to Henricus Historical Park, just off I-95, near Petersburg and Chester, Va. It's an historical reinterpretation of an English settlement from the early 1600s, after the colonists sailed up the James River from Jamestown. You'll see a recreated Indian village, and the English settlement, (re-enactors have been on site in the past), and there's a beautiful view of the river.

Here is a link: http://www.henricus.org/

As 22Tango said, the state parks website is one of the first places you should investigate.

Let us know what you decide to do.

Virginia Beach...
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3. Re: Trip Ideas for Camping/Touring Virginia??

Here are a few more ideas to consider, this itinerary is basically a loop and you can add/subtract many nearby sites (I assume from your post that you have already been to Shenandoah Natl Park and most places between Richmond & DC....if this is not the case, post again and suggestions can be made for those areas)

Travel the Blue Ridge Parkway to Natural Bridge SP

Milepost 86 Peaks of Otter

Bedford National D-Day Memorial

Claytor Lake SP

New River SP and Shot Tower

Visit small towns of Fries, Galax and Floyd (see Wendymath's Go List http://www.tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i802-Life_in_the_Slow_Lane.html),

Appomattox Court House

Pocahontas SP from above post here

Berkeley Plantation

Chippoaks SP

Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown.

As already mentioned, the State Parks are great and most have campgrounds.

Happy trails

Edited: 30 January 2010, 17:12
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4. Re: Trip Ideas for Camping/Touring Virginia??

Thanks to all for your replies! You have given us some real options to think about. We have been to the state park website (a while ago) and some of the ones we were interested in didn't allow reservations online, which was bad because we didn't want to drive all that way and not get a place to camp. I have heard a lot of good things about Henrico County and would like to go back to Amelia county where I went to Morefield Mines many years ago to go mining/panning. I've heard Pocahontas is gorgeous and we want to check that out too.

Anyone have good reference for discounts on dining, activities, etc? I used to have an Entertainment Book for Northern Virginia, but there isn't one for where I live (closest was Richmond). With the book, I was able to get discounts online for other places.

Thanks y'all! Once we finalize our itinerary, I'll post it here and then post how the trip went!

5. Re: Trip Ideas for Camping/Touring Virginia??

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