Iconic hikes, history, and golden beaches await campers in Virginia’s 41 state parks.
Whether you want to dive into Civil War history, follow in the footsteps of former presidents, or drive the legendary Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia rarely disappoints. The birthplace of America has thousands of miles of Atlantic coastline and more miles of the Appalachian Trail than any other state. Still need convincing? Virginia’s 41 state parks boast more than 600 miles of trails and 1,800 state campsites, leading the way to forested mountains, rambling rivers, and beaches. Camping is a year-round affair, whether you prefer fall foliage hikes, pitching a tent on the beach, or snowshoeing from a cozy winter cabin.
Gleaming lakes and pine-clad foothills characterize the central Piedmont region, known for its lakeside camping, canoe and kayak trails, and Civil War sites. Pocahontas State Park is just a half-hour drive from the state capital, Richmond, where multi-use trails are popular for biking and horseback riding. Also within a short drive, Bear Creek Lake State Park offers easy access to Cumberland State Forest trails, while James River State Park has RV, tent, and canoe-in campsites.
Wide beaches and fishing villages pepper the coast of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia’s top choice for beach lovers. You can pitch your tent right on the beach at First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park, camp on the grounds of Chippokes Plantation State Park, or get on the water at York River State Park.
The dense woodlands are the star attraction in Shenandoah National Park and along its renowned Skyline Drive. The closest state campgrounds can be found in Shenandoah River State Park, a popular spot for summer hiking, canoeing, and picnicking, while further south, Douthat State Park has a swimming beach, waterfall hikes, and mountain biking trails.
The rugged Appalachian Mountains fringe Virginia’s southwestern borders, merging into the wooded slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Grayson Highlands State Park is the gateway to the region’s two most popular hikes: the Appalachian Trail and Mount Rogers. Alternatively, paddle the scenic waterways of New River Trail State Park, book a cabin in the woods in Hungry Mother State Park, or escape the crowds at Clinch River State Park.