I'm looking for a good spot to take the family camping this summer. Ideally, a campground less than a day's drive from the Beltway - tent camping with bathrooms (ie not "primitive"), either next to or with easy access to a canoeable body of water. We're not ready for full on tripping, so base camping with some day trips in the canoe and some hiking trails is what I'm after. My internet research points to Andy Guest Shennendoah River State Park as the best option. Anybody been there? Is it a good spot? Too crowded in the summer or not bad? Is there somewhere else I should consider - any "best kept secret" kind of places I should know about? Thanks.
Paddler's Truck Rack
Cartop Kayak Carriers
1 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
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Posted by: sapien on May-17-12 10:19 PM (EST)
Never camped there myself but I imagine it should suit your needs, the Shenandoah (actually the South Fork Shen is what runs by there) is a beautiful and fun canoeing river. Doesn't lend itself well to up-and-back paddling though at summer levels, due to its many scrapey ledges. If you have a bike or pair up with someone you could self-shuttle to the low water bridge on Indian Hollow Rd and enjoy about a 4-mile downriver float back to the park. A few outfitters run trips on the South Fork so you could look them up for other trip & shuttle possibilities, I think they mostly work the river-left side though; less put-in options exist on the Hwy. 340 side where Andy Guest is.
Posted by: jdb on May-18-12 1:57 PM (EST)
Just the info I was looking for.
Posted by: sapien on May-18-12 6:00 PM (EST)
forgot to mention, if you do go into Fort Valley, take a little side trip up Woodstock Tower Rd -- there's an old fire tower you can climb at the top of the ridge with a super view of the Seven Bends area of the North Fork Shenandoah, and sometimes hang gliders are launching from there to the valley below.
Try the Coast|
Posted by: bradshawm on May-21-12 12:41 PM (EST)
There are several places along the Eastern Shore of MD, VA Beach and the Outer Banks, NC within 4-6 hrs drive that have excellent camping, and kayaking in the protected backwaters. Go to google maps and type in camping near "VA Beach", "Kiptopeake, VA", "Chincoteague Bay", and then scan for all the red dots up and down the coast. You can then use the Launch Site feature in the "Go Paddling" section of this web site to identify places to put in.
Try this one|
Posted by: Mcderms on May-21-12 9:03 PM (EST)
Im pretty fond of Rappahannock river canoe camp. It about 1 1/2 hour from DC, cheap, has clean porta potties and hot showers. They have camp sights on and off the river and run shuttles for canoe trips. Here is a link. http://canoecamp.com/
Posted by: HammerII on May-23-12 7:34 AM (EST)
Eastern Shore |
Posted by: booztalkin on May-30-12 3:19 PM (EST)
Trap Pond State Park, in Deleware. Decent campground and right on a pond where you can paddle in and out of the same spot. Nearby, small but enchanting Trussom Pond worth exploring, too.
If there happens to be enough water, |
Posted by: ezwater on May-31-12 2:32 AM (EST)
and it's not too hot, Antietam Creek is a good easy run, and an outfitter there can help with shuttle. As I recall, there was NPS parking down near the Antietam mouth on the Potomac.
Thanks for the suggestions|
Posted by: jdb on May-31-12 1:19 PM (EST)
Really appreciate the feedback. Mallow Bay and Antietam Creek were already on my "to do" list for day trips. I never thought to camp, but I can see that'd be a good option. Especially since it seems so hard to break out for a day or an afternoon or whatever. I just need to take a week off and go somewhere. Thanks everyone!