Saturday, April 20, 2024

Virginia State Parks Reopen Campgrounds for the Season

Camping at Virginia State Parks

RICHMOND — Virginia State Parks will reopen its campgrounds for the season on Monday, March 4.

Campsites, which have been closed since Dec. 4, are now available for booking online through reservevaparks.com, according to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and may make reservations up to 11 months in advance to secure their desired camping dates and accommodations.

Managed by DCR, Virginia State Parks offers more than 1,800 campsites, with options ranging from primitive camping to RV sites with electric and water hookups.

Full-service campgrounds with bathhouses are open from the first Friday in March through the first Monday in December, except Douthat, Hungry Mother, Pocahontas and Shenandoah River state parks, which have full-service campgrounds open year-round, according to the department.

DCR cautions campers who begin making reservations in March should be aware that the 4 p.m. Burning Law is in effect from Feb. 15 through April 30. This law bans open fires, including charcoal and wood fires, between midnight and 4 p.m.

(Virginia State Parks)

This restriction applies to all areas of a park, including picnic and cabin areas with grills or fire rings.

During the burn restriction period, gas grills and propane stoves are allowed; however, some parks have personal grill restrictions, so visitors should contact the park before making plans to bring one.

An exception to the 4 p.m. Burning Law is campgrounds that have an on-duty camp host. In those situations, signage will indicate that open fires are allowed before 4 p.m. if they are maintained within a designated campfire ring or circle, the department said.

The fire must be under constant supervision until it is completely extinguished. All flammable material should be cleared from a 20-foot area around the fire, and campers must also have ready access to water, a rake and a shovel.

To check the camp host status, please contact the park directly. Primitive campgrounds do not have hosts. For more information about campgrounds and burning restrictions, go to virginiastateparks.gov.

Visit the camping webpage for more details about reservations, cancellations and severe weather procedures. If traveling with horses, visit the equestrian camping page for the policies dealing with horses while camping.

Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-800-933-PARK (7275) and choosing option 5. Lodging reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance or for camping, up to 2 p.m. on the day of arrival.

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