State parks offer ‘Great American Backyard Campout’ events

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jun 19, 2013

From a news release from Virginia State Parks: 

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia State Parks will offer special campouts, camping skills programs and demonstrations at all 35 parks as part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Backyard Campout on Saturday, June 22.

Twenty-five parks will offer overnight camping opportunities either in park campgrounds or in special areas. The remaining parks will offer outdoor activities to help hone camping and outdoor recreation skills such as campfire building, campfire cooking, storytelling, knot-tying and paddling.

“State park campgrounds in Virginia and across the country offer families the perfect venue to learn about and experience camping in a safe environment,” says Joe Elton, Virginia state parks director for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. “Just as camping is a gateway to a lifetime of outdoor recreation and family memories, Virginia State Parks are gateways to outdoor activities such as swimming, fishing, biking, hiking and so much more.”

Some of the opportunities include: a 12-mile guided canoe trip and campout on Baker Island at New River Trail State Park in Foster Falls; the Old Dominion Iron Chefs will demonstrate cast iron and Dutch oven cooking at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield; and special family overnight campouts will be held in other state parks, including Caledon in King George, Holliday Lake in Appomattox, James River in Gladstone, Leesylvania in Woodbridge, Sky Meadows in Delaplane, Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston and Wilderness Road in Ewing.

Historic offerings include camping at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse at Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield. Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association re-enactors will be featured there. Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historic State Park in Rice and Staunton River Battlefield Historic State Park in Randolph will offer Civil War encampments.

Click here for a list of all Great American Backyard Campout activities. Many activities require advanced registrations or reservations.

To make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, or for more information about Virginia State Park activities and amenities, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit