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Gauge Height: 4.33'
Flow: 2940 cfps

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High Tide: 7:00pm
Low Tide: 1:30am

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Virginia State Parks Campsites to Open March 6

Andy Thompson

February 23, 2015 3:59pm

It may still be snow-covered and cold here in the RVA, but this announcement got me thinking of spring. Hopefully, it’ll do the same for you.

The opening day of camping season in Virginia State Parks is changing. Campgrounds will open Friday, March 6.

Swift Creek spills over the dam at Pocahontas State Park.

Swift Creek spills over the dam at Pocahontas State Park.

“In years past, we opened campgrounds on March 1, regardless of the day of the week,” said State Parks Director Craig Seaver. “To better serve our visitors, we will open on the first Friday in March this year and in the future.”

Virginia State Parks offers more than 1,800 campsites, ranging from primitive camping to RV sites with electric and water hookups. But Richmond-area campers take note: Exceptions to the new schedule include Lake Anna, Pocahontas, Smith Mountain Lake, and Staunton River state parks, where camping will open on March 1 this year.

Campgrounds at Fairy Stone and Twin Lakes state parks are scheduled to reopen May 1 after bathhouse renovations in those parks.

Because of elevations of more than 5,000 feet, Grayson Highlands State Park opens primitive camping March 6 and full service camping May 1.

Full-service camping is available year-round at Douthat, Shenandoah River and Hungry Mother state parks.

Also new this year, site-specific reservations are available for some sites in six campgrounds. Campsites are normally available on a first-come basis. For more information about the pilot reservation program, visit

Reservations are recommended and can be made 11 months in advance and until 2 p.m. on the day of arrival at nearly all locations by booking online at

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?