Winter camping at Virginia State Parks

Brave the cold and set up camp at these Virginia State Parks

RIC douthat state park

Douthat State Park near Lexington offers camping through the winter.

Photo by Virginia State Parks staff

Even though most state and national parks shut down their campsites for the winter months, several parks around Virginia still allow camping in the off-season. If you’ve got a warm sleeping bag and you’re feeling extra tough, here are your options.

< 1 hour drive

Want to spend a night outside without straying too far from the River City? There are two state parks within an hour of town that offer campsites.

Pocahontas State Park has options from cabins to yurts to tent camping. Campsites feature electric and water hookups, public toilets, grills, picnic tables, hot showers, and lantern holders.

Further west, Powhatan State Park has nine primitive campgrounds available year round for just $15 a night. Pro tip: You have to hike or canoe in to access the sites.

< 2 hour drive

If you’re willing to venture a bit farther, there are primitive campsites available in the winter at Caledon State Park, James River State Park, and Belle Isle State Park.

Though it shares a name with one of Richmond’s favorite islands, Belle Isle State Park is actually 90 minutes north of Richmond, situated on the edge of the Rappahannock. Its four primitive campsites are a 1.5 mile hike from the nearest parking lot.

a tent in a grassy campsite

Powhatan State Park’s primitive campsites have no water or electricity, but they’re just .2 miles from the nearest parking lot.

Photo by Virginia State Parks

2+ hour drive

Looking to find everything Virginia has to offer? State parks with year-round camping are scattered all over the commonwealth.

Head southwest to Hungry Mother State Park or New River Trail State Park, or north for Sky Meadows and Shenandoah River State Park. False Cape has campsites just south of Sandbridge, and Douthat State Park sits just west of Lexington.

For a full breakdown of winter campsite options, check the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s website.

Want to enjoy mother nature here in the River City? We’ve got you there, too.

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