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  1. #1
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    Hammock Camping spots in VA

    Just curious to see if folks here have a good list of places to hang in VA. I am trying to compile a list of possible spots to visit and so far it isn't very long (other than the AT):



    I am sure that there are more so just looking for some ideas of places that are scenic and ideally not over run.

  2. #2
    Senior Member UncleClark's Avatar
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    Rather than give you exact locations, here's trails, rivers, and areas all inside Shenandoah National Park, away from Skyline Drive and the AT, running generally north to south.

    Hickerson Hollow
    Lands Run
    Pole Link trail
    Jeremy's Run
    Thornton Hollow
    Buck Hollow
    Hazel River
    Nicholson Hollow
    Hughes River
    Rose River
    Rapidan River

    That takes you down to about Rt.33. I have not explored camping areas south of Rt. 33.

    The above areas are all "backcountry". You will need to get your (free) permit. No open fires are allowed but you can use a camp stove. Practically the entire Park has trees.

    SNP also have some suggested backcountry hike / camp areas on their website.

    I"ll post another response with some suggestions in George Washington National Forest.

    Since you live in Northern Virginia, I would suggest you take a couple "recon" day hikes along a few of these trails to scope out your own special spot. I personally prefer camping near water, but I'm sure there are also many nice spots higher up where you would need to carry all your water with you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member UncleClark's Avatar
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    I have barely scratched the surface of George Washington National Forest, but here's a few areas not far from Strasburg:

    Trail from Ft. Valley Rd up to Meneka Peak - at least 3 campsites or roll your own.
    Signal Knob has a campsite at the top
    Strasburg Reservoir - campsite at the north end of the reservoir
    Shawl Gap - at the gap and a ways north towards Buzzard Rock
    Buzzard Rock Trail about halfway to the top
    Little Crease Shelter or the camping area behind the shelter

    There are also plenty of campsites in the mountains west of I-81 in GWNF but I have not explored any of those.

    Most of these area are high in the mountains away from water (except Strasburg Reservoir) so you would need to carry your water.

    Another website worth studying is hikingupward.com because a lot of their hiking maps show approximate locations for existing campsites.

    Of course the beauty of hammock camping is (in our area) you can set up camp most anywhere due to the tremendous number of trees.

    Highly recommend "recon" day hikes here also so you can scope out your own spot.

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    If you have never been up Old Rag Mtn, you should. It's a great hike. Biggest problem it there are alot of folks on it during the good months. Our scout troop makes the trip every so often. You can't camp on the summit, but there is plenty of camping below it. Great rock scramble at the top......RR
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  5. #5
    Senior Member UncleClark's Avatar
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    Here's the Shenandoah National Park suggested backcountry hike/camp trips for the beginner hiker. (No offense meant by me choosing the beginner) they also have intermediate and advanced.

    http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisi...c_beginner.htm

    This time of the year BE SURE TO CALL AHEAD! It can be clear in Northern VA and things can be iced up and covered in snow in SNP. Also be sure you take enough food to last in case you get snowed in or whatever. Personally, I have stopped hiking SNP until spring now.

  6. #6
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    No offense at all! I am a beginner in many senses.

    I am waiting until the weather warms up just a bit. Would like the overnight temps not to go below 55 or so right now for my first trip and the plan is to find an easy in/out hike to a scenic spot to setup my hammock for the night just to do a trial run. Then in April or May I will hopefully start my planned section hikes down the AT in the SNP (SOBO from Front Royal).

    I have been trying to o some recon hikes of new places to see if I can find interesting spots. Belle Isle was the result of my hike yesterday. The don't even list the primitive camp sites on their site/maps.

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    My brother and i are headed out to Signal Knob next weekend. This is part of the George Washington national forest. We hit up a nearby place last year but cant remember the trail now. It was pretty nice out there and they do allow fires.

    I dunno about you guys but i hate when i cant have a campfire camping. Chopawamsic Backcountry is the same as Shenandoah National Park there are no campfires allowed.

    And unless i read something wrong Shenandoah National Park does not allow even stoves... as per their website

    "May I go backcountry camping?
    Yes, but, as always, campfires are prohibited and a permit is required. And, because of the high fire danger, using camp stoves is also prohibited. Backpackers must be prepared to not have any open flames."

    No hot coffee in the morning? no hot food! i cant take it i tell ya!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleClark View Post
    I have barely scratched the surface of George Washington National Forest, but here's a few areas not far from Strasburg:

    Trail from Ft. Valley Rd up to Meneka Peak - at least 3 campsites or roll your own.
    Signal Knob has a campsite at the top
    Strasburg Reservoir - campsite at the north end of the reservoir
    Shawl Gap - at the gap and a ways north towards Buzzard Rock
    Buzzard Rock Trail about halfway to the top
    Little Crease Shelter or the camping area behind the shelter

    There are also plenty of campsites in the mountains west of I-81 in GWNF but I have not explored any of those.

    Most of these area are high in the mountains away from water (except Strasburg Reservoir) so you would need to carry your water.

    Another website worth studying is hikingupward.com because a lot of their hiking maps show approximate locations for existing campsites.

    Of course the beauty of hammock camping is (in our area) you can set up camp most anywhere due to the tremendous number of trees.

    Highly recommend "recon" day hikes here also so you can scope out your own spot.
    +1 Grew up in this area, nice hangin for sure

  9. #9
    Senior Member UncleClark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pigpen View Post
    ....And unless i read something wrong Shenandoah National Park does not allow even stoves... as per their website
    Backcountry camping in SNP, you are allowed to use a small camp stove, such as an alcohol stove. No campfires allowed. And of course you have to practice "leave no trace" camping. And hang your food in bear bags, etc. When you go to get your permit I usually take a USGS Topo map of the area with the approximate spot I'm planning to camp to show the Ranger where I'll be. They are very helpful with information.

    Here's the SNP Backcountry brochure. In it you will see that camp stoves are allowed.

    http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisi...g_brochure.pdf

  10. #10
    Member ShortTripHome's Avatar
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    you should check out sky meadows state park--it has an easy hike to the backcountry sites, and its close to your neck of the woods.

    also close to you is:
    westmoreland SP
    lake anna SP
    the Bull Run natural area (not sure about camping)

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