Virginia

State Park Campground Guide

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The commonwealth of Virginia is rich with history, stunning natural beauty, and a vibrant local culture. From mountain peaks and rugged highlands to the Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay, Virginia’s diverse landscapes offer something for everyone. The rural expanse of Virginia is relatively accessible from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and its capital city of Richmond, yet still surprising for those who wander off the beaten track.

It can be easy to overlook the state park system in a state with 19 National Park Service units, not to mention the nearby monuments of Washington, D.C. The state parks highlight many lesser-known destinations and beautiful landscapes. Visitors will appreciate the parks’ focus on outdoor recreation, local historical sites, nature and history programs, and comfortable campgrounds. Virginia state park campgrounds can accommodate big rigs, although the smaller the RV the more options are available. Most parks also have lodges, cabins, and/or yurts, making them a good option for family gatherings.

Prices are on the higher end for a state park campground, but the parks are well maintained and highly regarded. A reservation for a site with hookups can be a good alternative to the first-come, first-served dry camping at a nearby national park. 

Douthat State Park

Reservations

To make a reservation, visit virginiastateparks.reserveamerica.com/ or call 800-933-7275.

Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance. Reservations are recommended but not required. 

Note that Virginia operates a hybrid reservation system for developed campgrounds. At least half of the sites can be individually reserved. The rest are reserved by site type, and guests select a specific site on arrival. The state parks are transitioning to 100-percent site-specific reservations by the year 2022.

Campsite sizes

Campsite sizes and layouts vary within each campground. Most campgrounds have sites that can accommodate RVs around 40 feet, although selection is limited. 

Details can be found on each park’s website under “Lodging, Camping,” and campsites can be searched for by RV length on the reservation website.

This document lists all campgrounds with their maximum RV length: dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/recreational-vehicles

Accessibility

Call the reservation line for information on booking accessible campsites.

Hookups

Most parks have sites with electric and water hookups. Sewer hookups are offered at only two parks. Site amenity details can be found on each park’s website under “Lodging, Camping.” Hookups are also searchable in the reservation system.

Connectivity

WiFi is offered at some Virginia state parks. Information is provided on each park’s website, including hot spot locations. 

Maximum stay

The maximum stay is 14 nights in a 30 day period.

Additional facilities

Developed campsites have picnic tables, grills, and access to bathhouses. Bathhouses include hot showers, dishwashing sinks, and sometimes laundry. Most campgrounds that can accommodate RVs have a dump station, camp store, and playground. Additional facilities range from visitor centers and ranger programs to hiking and biking trails and water access for boating and fishing. Amenity details can be found on each park’s website.

Cost

Prices range from $18 to $47, depending on the park, campsite amenities, and site location. View prices per site / per date in the reservation system. Note that Virginia residents are discounted $5 per night.

Additional Fees:

Nonrefundable transaction fee: $5.

Cancellation fee: $10.

Cancellations within 24 hours of arrival also forfeit the first night’s fee.

Pet policies

Pets are allowed, as long as they’re kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet. And of course, campers should always pick up after their pet.

Additional regulations

  • Maximum occupancy per site: 1 vehicle, 6 people or immediate family.
  • Check-in time: 4 p.m. Check-out time: 1 p.m.
  • Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Permitted in private areas only (inside camping unit).
  • Generator use: Prohibited.
  • Campfires: Allowed in designated rings or pits, following local advisories.
  • Drone use: Prohibited.
Grayson Highlands State Park

Featured Campgrounds

Douthat State Park

14239 Douthat State Park Road, Millboro, VA 24460

One of Virginia’s original six state parks opened in 1936, Douthat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for the role its design played in the development of parks nationwide. It lives up to this lofty reputation, with historic lodges and log cabins, forest, expansive views, a picturesque lake, creeks, waterfalls, and comfortable camping. More than 40 miles of wooded trails provide hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities for all skill levels. The 50-acre Douthat Lake has a swimming beach in addition to boating and fishing.

Douthat’s camping experience is highly regarded, with almost 90 sites spread out around the grounds, some right on the lake. Sites vary in size, although most can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet and have decent privacy. Over half the sites have water and electric hookups. Note that bathhouse and site facility upgrades have been taking place in 2020. Cabins and lodges provide additional accommodations, and everyone can enjoy a meal on the deck of the Main Lodge overlooking the lake. Just under 200 miles west of Richmond and convenient to I-64, Douthat is an accessible destination to truly get away from it all.

Grayson Highlands State Park

829 Grayson Highland Lane, Mouth of Wilson, VA

Tucked into the southwest corner of the state, Grayson Highlands State Park can impress even the most jaded camper with its spectacular, rugged beauty. Near Virginia’s two highest mountains, Grayson Highlands offers expansive views of alpine peaks and a landscape that evokes the dramatic Scottish Highlands. The park is also home to a herd of extremely photogenic wild ponies. Facilities include a visitor center, small store, and extensive hiking trails leading to waterfalls and overlooks. The park provides year-round access to the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail. 

More than 55 campsites can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet. More than half have water and electric hookups. Keep in mind that the campground is set at over 4,300 feet and exposed, so it’s best to be prepared with gear for all types of weather. It’s also a good idea to stock up on groceries and gas before arriving at this remote park. Read up on the hiking options and talk to a ranger about your interests and skill level to get the most out of your visit to this magical park.

Kiptopeke State Park

3540 Kiptopeke Drive, Cape Charles, VA 23310

Kiptopeke State Park highlights the beauty, history, and natural bounty of its stunning location on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and Chesapeake Bay. Fishing, crabbing, beachcombing, and swimming at the sandy beaches are all easily accessible from the campground. The park is a popular destination for bird-watchers to observe the coastal habitats of birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway. More than five miles of hiking and biking trails lead through hardwood forest and over sand dunes via wooden boardwalk. The fishing pier is a great spot to watch the sunset over the bay.

Kiptopeke’s campground has more than 80 sites with water and electric hookups, some with sewer. Most sites can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet. The campground is a mix of sites in shade or full sun. Cabins, lodges, and yurts are available for alternative accommodations. Dog owners will love the dedicated dog beach for their pets to play off leash. Note that the park is accessible via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which requires a toll paid both ways. Be sure to check pricing details, budget for this in advance, and stock up on groceries before arrival.

Virginia state park campgrounds that accommodate RV camping

Bear Creek Lake State Park

Belle Isle State Park

Chippokes Plantation State Park

Claytor Lake State Park

Douthat State Park

Fairy Stone State Park

First Landing State Park

Grayson Highlands State Park

Holliday Lake State Park

Hungry Mother State Park

James River State Park

Kiptopeke State Park

Lake Anna State Park

Natural Tunnel State Park

Occoneechee State Park

Pocahontas State Park

Powhatan State Park

Shenandoah River State Park

Smith Mountain Lake State Park

Staunton River State Park

Twin Lakes State Park

Westmoreland State Park

For more information on Virginia state park campgrounds, visit dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/

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