Camping is always a good time for the entire family, but your experience can vary based on the spot you choose. It might surprise you to learn that camping Northern Virginia offers some of the best sites in the country, given its proximity to Washington, D.C., but you’ll quickly see that the area has the parks and forests to make it memorable.
Northern Virginia is like a paradise away from the bustle of D.C. and provides an escape for many residents. Camping here is a relaxing way to spend a weekend or more, and choosing between the abundance of campgrounds is the only thing that should add stress to your life. This guide will take you through some of the best places to camp in the Northern Virginia area.
8 of the Best Spots for Camping Northern Virginia
Washington, D.C. is a highly populated area, but it starts to thin out a bit as you move west into Northern Virginia. The result is an abundance of forested regions that offer unique places to do some camping. Locating the best camping spots in this part of the state is a bit challenging because there are so many options, but here’s a look at some of them:
1. Pohick Bay Regional Park Campgrounds
It doesn’t get much better than camping at Pohick Bay Regional Park, which sits on the shores of the Potomac River in Lorton, VA. Facilities at the campground include boat rentals, a disc golf course, a swimming pool, and hiking trails, to name a few, and the park is close to a golf course. Campers can stay in tents or RVs, and there are also a few cabins available for rent.
2. Burke Lake Park
Those looking to camp on a lake might consider spending the weekend at Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station. The campground here is incredibly popular because Burke Lake offers outstanding fishing, boating, and hiking for the entire family. Other on-site facilities include a golf course, picnic areas, disc golf, an ice cream shop, boat rentals, and a train, but keep in mind that all these facilities are in the day-use area, with the campground sitting on the other side of the lake.
3. Bull Run Regional Park
There’s a lot to like about Bull Run Regional Park because it’s a large, 1,500-acre facility in Centerville, Virginia, with plenty of on-site activities. The park is home to Atlantis Waterpark, has a nearly 20-mile hiking trail, features a disc golf course, and provides access to multiple sports fields. The campsites here are quiet and comfortable, and the venue’s location near a Civil War battle site adds some history to your experience.
4. Historic Cold Sulphur Springs Campground
Goshen, VA, is home to the Historic Cold Sulphur Springs Campground, a rustic spot with tent and RV sites and some of the region’s best pond fishing. The campground is peaceful and surrounded by dense forests, yet it’s close enough to Goshen that you’re never far from amenities or additional supplies. There’s also outstanding hiking nearby, as you’re only a short drive from the Goshen Pass Trailhead.
5. Mathews Arm Campground
There are dozens of places to camp in Shenandoah National Park, but Mathews Arm Campground is one of the most popular. This facility sits within the thick tree cover and rolling hills for which the park is known and provides an excellent starting point when exploring Shenandoah. The campground itself is rustic with very few facilities but offers a peaceful escape from the bustle of Metro D.C.
6. Lake Fairfax Park Campground
Lake Fairfax is more like a pond than a lake, but its central location in Reston, not far from Dulles International Airport, makes it a popular spot. This park features an array of fields, a skate park, a pump track, boat rentals, and waterslides to use during your stay. The campsites sit in a wooded area with hiking trails, providing you with the illusion of spending time in the wilderness despite being in the middle of a metro area.
7. Oak Ridge Campground
There are a few campgrounds in and near Prince William Forest Park, but Oak Ridge Park offers one of the best experiences in the entire state. This facility sits in a heavily wooded area outside Montclair, VA, which puts you close to beaches, restaurants, and a waterpark. The campground itself has tent and RV sites, access to trails, and a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere that will make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.
8. Shenandoah National Park Backcountry Camping
You’ll surely want to check out Shenandoah National Park at some point because it features over 200,000 acres of trails, forests, and wildlife to explore. You can also do some backcountry camping pretty much anywhere in the park, as long as you’re 10 yards from any natural water source, 20 yards from any trail, and 50 yards from the structures in the park. You’ll also need a backcountry camping pass before you depart.
Camping Northern Virginia can be a highly variable experience, as some spots sit near commercial areas and others are in the middle of nowhere with few amenities nearby. You can make your trip anything you wish because there are so many options in this part of the state.
Are You Camping Northern Virginia – or Considering Making It Home?
The camping scene in Northern Virginia is glorious because there are so many forests and water bodies, and it’s one thing that makes this such a great place to live. Nomadic Real Estate can assist with property management, leasing, renting, and sales, whether you’re looking for someone to rent your home in Northern Virginia or plan to relocate to this part of the country.
Our services ensure you find the right place to live without all the hassle, providing you with peace of mind in your hunt for a home. We can also help you rent or buy a place in the Metro D.C. area. Contact our expert team today for all your real estate needs in Metro D.C.