Camping spots start to book up as demand increases at Virginia State Parks

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 5:19 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - As we start to see more signs of normalcy, folks are craving some adventure. For Virginia State Parks, that means hundreds of thousands of people flooding to campgrounds each year.

In 2021, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation estimates that nearly 1.17 million people camped at a Virginia State Park. That is a 17% increase over 2020 and a 25% increase over 2019.

At Pocahontas State Park, they’re already seeing that influx of campers.

“As soon as the weather starts getting nicer, we definitely see an uptick in attendance and visitation,” Park Manager Nate Clark said. “We’ve had some busy weekends in April already.”

This year, with more people venturing out amid the pandemic, those numbers could continue to skyrocket.

“We’ve seen a lot more folks in the last couple years, a lot of new families, a lot new kids coming out and enjoying the parks and taking advantage of the opportunities that we have to offer,” Clark said.

Unfortunately, demand is up, and space is limited. If you check out the Virginia State Parks booking website, many camping spots on weekends have already been snatched up for the summer season.

“Regardless of the year, the weekends are going to be the busy times, especially on the holidays,” Clark said. “But if you’re flexible and you can travel during the week, you probably shouldn’t have any problem finding a campground in the system somewhere across the state.”

There are other options for overnight camping, which may help you save money on tents and other camping gear.

“We have camp cabins, and group cabins, and bunkhouses, yurts, so there’s a lot of different options for overnight stays,” Clark said.

“Yurts” are similar to huts or teepees and are one of the less popular options and still up for grabs on some weekends.

To book your spot at the campground, or to learn more about activities this summer, click here.

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