Virginia’s GWJNF is dotted with over 50 campgrounds, overlain on the entire length of the forest from Kentucky to Maryland. Amenities range from primitive tent sites to more developed campgrounds with electricity and hot showers. Here’s a sampling of the camping possibilities to be found within the GWJNF.
elevation 790 feet
This small, shady and scenic campground is a favorite of mine. Lots of sites are situated on Passage Creek. The sites offer good privacy, set in the woods, yet convenient to civilization. Hot showers and flush toilets are available during the warm season. There’s lots to do here – water play and fish on Passage Creek, visit historic Elizabeth Furnace, hike or mountain bike trails climbing both sides of the mountains above Passage Creek.
Recreation Opportunities: Swim, fish, hike, historic study
elevation 1850 feet
Todd Lake is fine developed recreation area with not only a quiet campground but also hot showers and nearby activities. A hiking trail circles the 7.5-acre lake, open to paddling or electric motors only. The big drawing card here is the swim beach. The 20 campsites are first come, first served.
Recreation Opportunities: Swimming, hiking, paddling
elevation 1,800 feet
The 22-site campground is centered on a springs emerging from a cave-like opening that pushes out constant 58 degree air, hence the name. Back Creek flows by, adding another water feature in the out-of-the-way getaway. Back Creek Gorge is just a walk away, and is attractive for fishermen.
Recreation Opportunities: Hiking, fishing, water play
elevation 1,600 feet
The ridgetop campground overlooks gorgeous Lake Moomaw. Has hot showers and flush toilets. Swimming, fishing and boating on Lake Moomaw are just down the hill. Campsites can be reserved.
Recreation Opportunities: Boating, paddling, swimming, hiking, nature study
elevation 1,150 feet
I love North Creek Campground. This small, intimate streamside camp has big sites. Its first come, first served, but has water, no showers. Enjoy the creek or head up to the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway for highland fun.
Recreation Opportunities: Scenic driving, fishing, swimming, hiking
elevation 2,100 feet
Set in the Barbours Creek valley, this secluded but free campsite sits in oaks, hickories and pines under tall ridges. The well space sites are seldom full, and an old-fashioned pump well serves the quiet, camp. Fishing Barbours Creek, and hiking Barbours Creek Wilderness are immediate. The Fenwick Mines wetlands and paddling Craig Creek are close by.
Recreation Opportunities: Wilderness hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, paddling
elevation 2,800 feet
Located in the naturally attractive flat at the confluence of Comers Creek and Hurricane Branch, Hurricane Campground was improved, yet has only 27 campsites and thus cannot get that “campground city” aura so often felt in bigger camping grounds. Yet is does have hot showers and flush toilets.
Recreation Opportunities: Bicycling, hiking, fishing
elevation 3,450 feet
Situated in the shadow of its namesake, small, intimate High Knob Recreation Area offers a historic CCC constructed camp area that does includes hot showers. Hike to the restored High Knob observation tower, visit the small lake here to fish or swim or trek along the Chief Benge Trail.
Recreation Opportunities: Hiking, picnicking, swimming, fishing
Last Updated: 12/16/2016