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  1. #1
    New Member trippclark's Avatar
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    Question Sherando Lake Recreation Area, Va

    Are any of you familiar with the campground at SHERANDO LAKE RECREATION AREA near Staunton, VA? I will have 5 - 7 hikers, including likely 5 of us that are hammock campers, returning back to South Carolina from an AT hike in Pennsylvannia. We are looking for a spot to camp for the night during our drive back, and this campsite is properly situated along the route. I called the reservations line, but they were at a national call center and could not tell me which if any of the sites in the campground accommodate any hammocks -- much less 5.

    If any of are familiar with this campground, does it have good tree cover? Any knowledge of any particular sites that would be better than others?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Trippclark, I live about 15 miles from Sherando. It's the backyard, so to speak. Here's what I can tell you: tent sites are $15 per night. Most are pretty nice, with maybe 5-8 trees per site. You could probably find a site with enough trees in good arrangement to hang 5 hammocks. I don't have much memory of individual sites; I haven't camped there since I was a kid, since I live so close. I'll say that the park is very popular, so if you're swinging through on a weekend, you may be limited in site selection, or out of luck all together without reservations.

    It'll take you about 25-30 minutes to get to Sherando off 81 (64 West at Staunton to exit 96). If you feel like driving an hour and a half further south, there is an excellent free camping option with plenty of hanging sites. It's called Day Creek Recreation Area, and it's in a national forest. It's about 13 miles off I-81 at the Troutville exit, just north of Roanoke (exit 150 as opposed to 220 for Sherando). There is free camping along the forest road and the sites are generally clean and there are plenty of spots for hammocks and tents. There is a stream running alongside the campsites, although it's probably really low right now. A good modern forest service two-hole privy is along the road, but other than that there are no services. There's a nice trail leading up to the BRP from the end of the forest road. There's a truckstop on your way back to the interstate if any of your party needs a shower in the morning.

    Another option is McAfee Knob. It's pretty spectacular and not at all far from I-81 in Salem/Roanoke. There is an 4.4-mile hike to get to the knob, but the camping is good and so is the access/parking. There is a shelter close to the knob with a privy. If you're not interested in an early-morning hike, the McAfee parking area is on the AT, and there is a very nice site within a few minutes of parking, but there are no facilities.

    Those are just a few ideas I have, but there are others. I camp up and down the I-81 corridor many times a month. PM me if you like and I can give you more details and suggestions based on the needs of your group. With any luck, VA will be more than just a footnote to your journey!
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  3. #3
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    By the way, I don't know if Sherando allows hammocks or not. I don't know that they don't, but it's a state park, and state parks in general have been more restrictive of hammocks than any other type of camping area.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gracadruid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitamaltz View Post
    By the way, I don't know if Sherando allows hammocks or not. I don't know that they don't, but it's a state park, and state parks in general have been more restrictive of hammocks than any other type of camping area.
    Lake Sherando is still part of the US Forrest Service, but I still do not know if they allow hammocks, I have seen people hang net hammocks in the past. The girlfriend and I tent camp there for about a week every year.I end up running lines and ratchet straps from the trees to hang tarps and nobody has said anything. I was planning on using my hammock this time if we end up going. As Vitamaltz said it is very popular place, especially on the weekends. they just started the reservation system this year.
    Tent sights are $20 a night. Only about half of the tent sites are for reservation (1-17,33,34,35) the other half is still first come first serve and located further away from the main bath house and showers. the sites are nice and clean and level and surrounded by trees, I believe you should be able to set up and hang.

    You can probably call the ranger station for that district (540-291-2188) to get your questions answered. Hope this helps. It is beautiful place to camp and easy access to several hiking trails.

    Sean
    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gracadruid View Post
    Lake Sherando is still part of the US Forrest Service
    You're right. I guess I had it in mind that Sherando was state-run, because of the $8 day-use entrance fee. I'm not used to shelling out that kind of dough in a national forest.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  6. #6
    New Member trippclark's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the info. I'll call the ranger station on Monday, but it sounds like the place will work out well.

  7. #7
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    Camped there last year, was told no hammocks. I don't think they let you even tie ropes to trees.

  8. #8
    New Member trippclark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hassinism View Post
    Camped there last year, was told no hammocks. I don't think they let you even tie ropes to trees.
    Wow! That is a game-changer!! Thanks for letting me know. I'll check that out.

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