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Old 01-10-2017, 07:10 AM   #1
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Need recommendations for state park CG's in SW VA

Hello everyone,
In September we will be camping in Asheville NC and then heading back to Maryland along I-81. We need to find a state park campground along the way to stay for a few more days. So far, I've looked at Hungry Mother, Grayson Highlands and Claytor lake. We like state parks for their natural settings, larger sites than private CG's and would like to have some water for Kayaking. All of these CG's have good reviews, but it would be nice if someone here has been to one of them (or another in the area) to give an idea of what they liked or didn't.
Thanks,
Rich
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:23 AM   #2
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Been to both Claytor Lake and Hungry Mother, but it was a long time ago!!!!

Both nice parks, Claytor Lake has a lot of boat traffic (think bass boats), also the George Washington National Forest has some nice campgrounds also.

Sorry, I couldn't be of more help, but it has been like 35-40 years ago!!
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Old 01-10-2017, 04:17 PM   #3
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This area is sort of our specialty. Our son and wife live in Christiansburg, so we're at Claytor once or twice a year. Kayaking on the lake is difficult because there's always a current to fight, and it's busy with motor boats on weekends. We usually end up renting one of their pontoon boats for a half day, which is loads of fun. The campground has some nice sites, but many of the ones with hookups are close together. The hiking is fine but not spectacular.

Hungry Mother has a fantastic hike to Molly's Knob. We haven't camped there because we just took a day trip from Claytor. We've never kayaked there. Also, I think the campsites with hook ups are a bit removed from the main area.

Now we come to my absolute favorite park in the state of Virginia. Grayson Highlands is GORGEOUS. The campground has beautiful sites. The hiking is to die for. You MUST take the hike up to the balds and see the wild ponies. There's also a hike along a stream with waterfalls and swimming holes. The road to get there requires the axel flip because there are a bunch of switchbacks. We did it with the 28' Tweety pre flip, but we needed both lanes and still did a little dragging. If you have the flip it should be fine. Grayson is a hugh park with tons of hiking. The best bike trail we've ever ridden is also in that area - the Virginia Creeper is definitely worth a day trip. 17 miles down hill along a stream with a bunch of cool bridges and swimming holes. Shuttles run out of the cute town of Damascus.
Then there's kayaking on the New River.....We stayed at Fries New River RV Park and did a float in that area that was just very scenic and peaceful. Probably my favorite of all floats. The river was shallow there, so there were no big boats, and we pretty much had it to ourselves. That was August and water was super low, so not sure if it would be doable by sept.
Hope this helps!
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:52 AM   #4
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Thanks Mack and Steve,
Based on Steve's recommendation of Grayson Highlands, I'll be making reservations for that place today!
Rich
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:29 AM   #5
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BTW Steve, did you have a preferred site at Grayson Highlands?
Thanks,
Rich
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:05 AM   #6
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You can't reserve a specific site at Grayson. You choose when you get there. We were on 20 something along the outside loop, but it wouldn't be ideal with your big back window. The view from that pull through is on the door side. BTW this is Pam, but Steve reviewed my response and said "when can we go back there?" LOL
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:16 AM   #7
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Sorry Pam, hard to know who's talking
Yes, the back window is always something we'd like to keep in the best direction.
We're familiar with choosing your site on arrival since we've done that at Shenendoah River SP. so thanks for the reminder on that.
We're getting there on Sunday, so sites should be a little easier to find than when we arrive at SRSP on a Friday afternoon!
Thanks,
Rich
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