Winter camping in Virginia is a treat, even with the somewhat unpredictable weather. Most years it gets cold and snowy in the mountainous regions of the state while staying fairly warm along the coast. But be prepared for all kinds of weather. Before heading out to any of the following 10 winter camping sites, make sure to check their websites to ensure there aren’t any closures. Once you’ve dotted all your I’s and crossed all your T’s, get ready for the winter camping trip of your life.
Grayson Highlands State Park, open year-round, is home to Virginia’s two highest mountains with peaks surpassing 5,000 feet. Take advantage of discounted winter rates to experience the grandeur of Virginia’s mountain ranges.
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Greenwood Point Campground rewards those who enjoy a challenge, and who crave solitude. The wooded campsites have no road access, meaning visitors will need to hike or paddle to the campground. But once you’ve made it to the site, there’s nothing quite like it.
Glampers, rejoice. Camp Karma Campground in Bedford, Virginia, has taken care of everything so you can enjoy the winter wonderland before you without worrying about setting up anything. They provide a tent, two cot mattresses, wood, ice, and utensils.
Winter in Shenandoah National Park is magical. Visitors have a good chance of seeing all kinds of animals through the snow. Keep in mind that most amenities are closed from November-March, but backcountry camping is available year-round with a permit!
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Hungry Mother is a “family favorite known for beautiful woodlands and a placid 180-acre lake in the heart of the mountains,” along with sandy beaches, campgrounds, cabins, and a six-bedroom family lodge nearby. The “Legend of Hungry Mother” captures children’s imaginations immediately, adding an extra layer of engagement to any winter camping trip.
The New River Trail State Park offers campsites year-round, but be warned: there is no vehicle access to any of the four campgrounds. The campgrounds are all primitive and include Cliffview, Millrace, Double Shoals, and Baker Island. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time or risk losing your spot, even in the less busy winter months.
History buffs will love camping at Prince William Forest Park for its proximity to Manassas, the site of two of the most important Civil War battles, just 15 miles south of the battle site. That’s not to say that the forest park doesn’t have its own splendor; quite the contrary! It has been known as a quiet respite for the weary since the Great Depression and offers over 100 cabins, tents, and RV campsites year-round.
Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, Virginia, is the state’s newest park to be open year-round for campers. They have bathhouses and hookups available, along with yurts. Stop by the 2,000-seat amphitheater for the Pocahontas Premieres series of concerts and look online for a full listing of events and tours.
Douthat State Park’s cabins have “rustic furniture, heat and AC, a kitchen and small bathroom with a shower,” making for relatively comfortable winter camping. Cabins come in one-bedroom log, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom varieties, along with a six-bedroom lodge atop the mountain overlooking the park. Douthat is of note for being listed on the National Register of Historic Places “for the role its design played in the development of parks nationwide,” according to the park website.
With seven miles of shoreline, diverse wildlife, and eight unique wetlands within the park, Belle Isle State Park provides the perfect spot to delve into Virginia’s winter ecology. The full-service camping season ends in December, but primitive camping is year-round. Consider reserving your spot ahead of time.