Want to distance yourself from people and city life? Northern Virginia offers numerous options for camping in the peaceful setting of nature. You'll be surrounded by acres and acres of forest in a beautiful park setting. What makes camping in Northern Virginia so unique is that you don't have to give up the convenience of quick access to a major metropolitan city - Washington DC is only a couple of miles away.
Many of the Northern Virginia campgrounds offer bath houses, hot shower and toilet, portable water, fire rings, and picnic tables. Some of the campgrounds in Northern Virginia are home to water parks or close to major attractions, Great Falls Park. (Great Falls is a day-use only park; overnight camping is prohibited). It doesn't matter if you prefer tent camping or glamping in an RV- you're sure to find something that works for you.
Take a look at some of the campgroungs below to help you find the spot perfect for your family and friends.
Looking for the ultimate guide to camping in Northern Virginia? Then check out our Camping in Northern Virginia article that includes the essentials things needed for camping. These getaway ideas are perfect for either someone looking for extreme adventure or if you are someone looking to leisurely enjoy the great outdoors.
7 Best Campground in Northern Virginia
Bull Run Campground is an excellent starting point for visiting Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. The campground is located in Bull Run Regional Park and is close to major attractions such as Great Falls and Prince William Forest Park. It is also the closest campground to Manassas Battlefield Park. The Washington, D.C. metro orange line is less than 15 miles from the campsite. This is ideal for day visits to the nation's capital to see the monuments.
Bull Run Regional Park, in addition to being close to these Northern Virginia attractions, has a lot to offer. Bull Run Regional Park is set against a landscape of beautiful rolling farmland flanked by woodland and the meandering Bull Run. Many hiking routes in the park may be reached easily from the campsite. The Occoquan Water Trail runs through the park, and there are canoe and kayak pathways as well.
Another big feature on the property is the Atlantis Waterpark. There are two major waterslides and several pools in the waterpark. The park also has a skeet shooting range and a disc golf course. Bull Run hosts a variety of special and seasonal events throughout the year.
The park has around 140 campsites, including tent sites and RV sites with full hookups. Most big motorhomes can fit in the RV sites, which are huge pull-throughs. These are 50 amp and 30 amp sites with full hookups. Over 100 tent sites are available, many of which are smaller and more isolated. These places might range from having electricity and running water to having no utilities at all. The typical fire pit, charcoal grill, and picnic table are available at all tent and RV sites. There are also group campsites available.
The campsite has nine rustic cottages available for rent. The cabins are equipped with power, air conditioning and heat, as well as a microwave and a small refrigerator. A bunk bed, a double bed, a sofa (with pull-out bed), and a table and chairs are located within the cabin. Outside the cabin, the tent sites include all of the usual conveniences. All of the cottages include porch swings, which are ideal for relaxing in the evening.
The campsite has two full-service bathhouses in strategic areas. Firewood, ice, snacks, and other camping items are available in the camp shop. A playground, picnic shelters, and a huge group fire pit with surrounding benches are among the other features.
Pohick Bay Regional Park's location allows campers to enjoy the natural beauty of the Mason Neck Peninsula and Pohick Bay as well as the numerous nearby attractions of Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia. A network of trails leads walkers to the waterfront, mini golf, boat rentals and Pirate's Cove waterpark. A one-mile trail connects the family campground to Gunston Hall Plantation, home of George Mason. The camp store has limited groceries and camping supplies including ice, charcoal, lighter fluid and firewood. Comfort stations have hot showers, sinks, toilets and laundry.
Pohick Bay offers canoes, kayaks, paddle boats and jon boats for rent on the weekends. In addition to water activities the park also offers family and group camping, hiking, picnic areas and a large play area for children. For those of you interested in swimming, they also offer one of the largest, outdoor freeform pools on the east coast! you can contact the park about swim lessons for your family. Pohick Bay Regional Park, located on Mason Neck Pennisula is an ecologically fragile land that shelters an abundance of wildlife, including the bald eagle. Nature lovers can expect to see blue birds, osprey, heron, deer, beavers and rare sightings of river otters.
Lake Fairfax Park is a great site to camp in Northern Virginia, especially if you're planning a trip to Washington, DC. The campsite is conveniently located about 22 miles west of DC, near the Weihle Reston East metro station. Campers may also use park pathways to walk or cycle to the metro.
The campground has a nice mix of wooded and open sites for tent and RV camping. Lake Fairfax park has 72 sites, most with electricity, plus group sites, RV camping open year-round, tent camping March 1 - November 30, online reservation strongly recommended, leashed pets are welcome. Lake fairfax also offers hiking and biking trails, a popular water park, a small lake for fishing, seasonal pedal boats and carousel, athletic fields and a skate park. There are also excellent restaurants, breweries, and fun things to do nearby in Reston and Vienna. The park is also a good base to see cherry blossoms in Virginia, DC and Maryland.
Sites on the western side and back are the most wooded. Sites in the center are in an open field and popular with RVs. There is a skate park across from the campground entrance so noise could be a factor at some sites.
Burke Lake camping is a convenient way to camp close to home without having to go too far. While it’s not the top camping spot nearby, it’s a good option if you don’t want to travel or if you don’t want to be fully immersed in the woods away from everyone and everything.
Most of the camping sites are under the canopy of trees which keeps things cooler on hot days. It is close to the D.C Metro areas. Since it is not a long drive, it makes getting back and forth a breeze.
Imagine the relief of being able to go back home quickly if you forget an essential item (like a tent). There are a number of restaurants in the Burke Lake Park, making dinner prep a snap for those who prefer not to cook or bring their own meals. There are also several grocery stores and a Walmart within a 10-minute drive.
There are so many other activities you can do while camping at Burke Lake which keeps the kids entertained and adds some variety to camping. Or if you prefer to spend your time in nature, you can just choose activities such as hiking, swimming etc to enjoy your day. These really add to the experience.
Many other parks require a two-night stay during the summer weekends but Burke Lake does not. This is great for those that only want to go for one night and not pay for an extra night stay.
If you’re looking for the best place to go camping in Virginia, you can’t go wrong with Wilderness Presidential Resort.
Located in the heart of Spotsylvania County near Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Wilderness, and just an hour’s drive from Washington DC, Wilderness Presidential Resort is a good pick if you want a large range of activities to choose from while camping.
Whether you’re looking for a tent site, RV site, or cabin rentals near Washington DC, Wilderness Presidential Resort has something for you on its 600 acres of beautiful woodland and lakes.
You’ll have a large selection of activities to choose from during your stay. Zipline through the adventure park, learn to shoot in an archery lesson, or try the escape room. Play mini golf, disc golf, Knockerball, tennis, or basketball. Swim in the indoor or outdoor pool, or lounge at the lakeside beach. And just a short drive from the resort, you can explore the area’s Civil War attractions or visit Old Town Fredericksburg.
Whether you come for adventure or relaxation, Wilderness Presidential Resort will give you a fun and authentic camping experience with your family.
Oak Ridge Campground is nestled away in Prince William Forest Park's forests. The campsite, which is only a short distance from the beautiful road, allows visitors to remain directly in the midst of the park's lush woodland. The campsite has immediate access to hiking and bike paths. A few kilometers distant are huge picnic shelters and fishing chances. From March through November, the restaurant is open for business.
The park includes about 100 campsites that are suitable for both tent and RV camping. A grill, fire pit, picnic table, lantern pole, and reserved parking space are available at each site. No connections are available at any of these locations. Each campsite can only accommodate six persons and two tents.
Traveling with an RV comes with certain restrictions. The one-way road that runs through the park is small, and some bigger RVs may find it difficult to manage. The length and height of RV trailers are both limited to 26 feet and 12 feet, respectively. The limit for mobile homes is 32 feet long and 12 feet tall. Those with bigger RVs or who want full hookups can stay at an RV campsite on the park's perimeter, which is accessible by Route 234.
There are three loops in the campsite. There are 67 tent and RV sites on Loops A and B. From March through November, these two circuits are available. The A loop sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, whereas the B loop sites require reservations. A bath house with sinks and flushing toilets is located at the end of each loop. Showers are available at the B loop bath house. An amphitheater and vending machines are among the other attractions available at the campground. Limited supplies and food are available for purchase in the park store, which is located inside the visitor center. It is legal to collect dead and downed wood for fuel.
Sky Meadows State Park has some of the greatest tent camping in Northern Virginia if you're looking for a more distant nature retreat. However, you'll need to pack your belongings and hit the trail because the park's rustic campsites are a mile away.
At Sky Meadows, you'll discover big, secluded campsites scattered throughout the woods. In this designated Dark Sky Park, enjoy the sky at night and hiking trails, including a section of the Appalachian Trail, during the day. It's the ideal spot for basic camping in Virginia without having to travel far from civilization.