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“Nice campground”

James River State Park
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Gladstone
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 8 October 2013

We stayed at Brand Pond campground when the government shutdown all national parks in October. We had reservations to Shenandoah National Park Big Meadows campground and had to change our plan at the last minute. I reserved friday night online and was hoping to stay there for saturday night also. However, the campground was booked full so we could only stay one night. Make sure to have reservation for weekends.

Each Brand Pond site has a lantern hanger, table and fire ring. Firewoods are available for $5 for 10 pieces or you can pick up down and dead wood. I didn't have any problem finding firewood near our tentsite. We rented a canoe, biked & hiked trails and relaxed at our campsite. On Saturay afternoon I could hear gunshots from nearby hunters but it sounded far from the campsite. I could hear some animals howling at night and it didn't sound like domestic dogs.

Brand Pond has a bathroom but no water is available. You have to drive to main Red Oak Campground for water. Red Oak Campground bathhouse has a sink for dishes and individual showers. The bathhouse was exceptionally clean.

I look forward to camping at James River State Park again.

2  Thank James22033
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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46 - 50 of 64 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2013

We stayed at the Red Oak Campground 8/16-8/20/13. There are no bad sites although it's nice to get one closer to the bathroom. The bathrooms are CLEAN and the showers are large, completely private with a nice bench outside of the shower curtained area so your stuff can stay nice and dry. There is also a very nice dish-washing station and laundry facilities attached to the bathhouse. The camp host sells firewood at 10 sticks for 5 bucks. You can get ice down at the livery as well as other essentials. The park is deep inside Buckingham county so be sure to pack well!
We stayed in a pop-up camper so we could hear several trains throughout the night although not disturbing at all. I was so glad not to be woken by barking dogs! This is my only complaint about camping in State Parks, but this time all our neighbors were quite considerate.
We brought Kayaks and put in at Bent Creek (7 miles from the park on Rt. 60 at the bridge). The run is about 4 hours to the park going at a very leisurely pace. It's another hour to the second landing in the park. (So you can do landing to landing in under an hour). We have spotted a beautiful Bald Eagle nesting about a third of the way through the trip. It's on the side of a mountain that also has a house perched on top. Once the house is out of view...look for the soaring Eagle! We saw him two years ago so this certainly is is home.
I just love this park and hope everyone appreciates what we have in Virginia. To enjoy nature in such clean, well provided surroundings at such a low price is truly a gift!

7  Thank Sunshowered
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

We stayed at JRST back in late May--I'm a bit delinquent in writing my review! We were in the campground and my brother in law stayed in a cabin. Cabins were beautiful, clean, and well stocked! Campground offered large, private sights which is always important for us. Parents: if you have kids, you have to go check out the hand crafted play zone!! In it, there are tree stumps made into play kitchens, a hand well to pump water and make a dam, slate rock chalk boards, huts, huge tic-tac-toe boards out of tree stumps, and much more. Really a cool area!!! We were supposed to canoe, but because of the torrential downpours the week leading up to our stay, the river was too unsafe, so hopefully the weather will cooperate a bit more next time! :-) Park Rangers are always helpful and courteous.

4  Thank Hokiedawgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2013

We had reservations for JRSP for a Saturday and Sunday in early July. We knew we were going on a weekend, and that often means that campsites are more crowded but we read the reviews here on TA and thought we’d give it a shot anyway. We tent camped in the RV loop “Red Oak”. Camping with kids=needing to be close to bathrooms and showers.

The park was busy- in fact the loop was full. We had a VERY LARGE private site-not all of the sites were as private as the one we had, but they did all seem very large. We had trees on 3 sides of us! I think we were site 19. The bathroom was a regular camp bathroom- although there were 3 sinks which is nice to not have to stand in line to wash your hands. The showers were very nice. They were hot, and free! They also had good water pressure and a large dressing area. The campsite was nice and quiet after 10:15.

The visitor center was small but had lots stuff for the kids to touch. (skins, fur, leaves, bugs, twigs,) The day we were there the river was the color of caramel and was moving faster than normal so the park wasn't renting any watercrafts - bummer. But I’m glad they are keeping people safe.

It was HOT and HUMID here and it didn't cool down much at night. It also seemed to be a haven for ticks. I mean I think we tallied a total of 16 in a 5 minute span of sitting outside the tent at one point.

The road to JRSP is….ummmmm- well narrow, unmarked and rural- So be prepared for that. The park rangers there were less than welcoming. I don’t think they even said hello when we went into the visitor center- and we were the only ones there! The Jr. Ranger program costs 10.00!!!!!! Enough said!

There appeared to be a random private residence? Property? on the park road. It was a house with surrounding structures in varying degrees of completion or deterioration-

The last thing worth mentioning is that I think EVERYONE smoked in the park-EVERYWHERE! At the river, at the campground, IN THE BATHROOMS, even the park ranger outside the visitor center! We couldn't get away from it.

The park seemed designed for recreational activities as opposed to connecting with nature. The park did have some nature trials and a small meadow however, overall I would say James River State Park is there for people to use rather than to experience.

7  Thank travelbugs920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2013

the state park , offers hiking, a visitors center with history guides but most for me, a perfect venue for plein air painting. The foot bridge over the river makes the perfext location.

2  Thank janly j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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