Category: Virginia

Douthat State Park Campgrounds (VA) Review

Solitude/privacy: 0
Environment & Nature: 5
Available Activities: 5
Staff & Park Officials: 4
Accessibility: 5

Ahhh…. This place is awesome.  

Karen and I stopped here for a night during our trip back to New York from Virginia beach.  The nature here is absolutely magnificent.
The park offers activities such as hiking (which is a must!), as well as inexpensive kayak/canoeing in the lake, and row boating. I highly recommend skipping on the row boat unless you have an electric motor with you.  They are very heavy and hard to navigate…. Not to mention rowing!  The park is awesome until you’ll settle in with your tent….

The camp sights are

all paved with gravel and separated with what looked like wooden beams.  Not much privacy since the spots are put together like parking spaces rather than a nature retreat. Fortunately we got lucky with our neighbor who was a friendly Ohio native hiking through with his dog.
Although the campgrounds seem small and squished together, the park itself is really big.  Once you enter the main office to register for your spot, don’t be surprised to still have a ten minute drive up the hill.  During our visit, we got a chance to have a conversation with the host – an elderly, very hospitable couple.  They were very happy to answers any questions that we had and info us in on why no fires were allowed until 5pm.

Right… The fire situation.

Due to the dry weather and low humidity during the summers at that part of west Virginia, there are no open fires allowed on campgrounds until humidity rises a bit… Which happens to be around 5pm.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

If you are road trip enthusiast, I highly recommend take a drive through RT220 going North towards Union, WV.  It’s one of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever driven through.  It’s narrow, curvy, slightly dangerous when wet, and full of blind spots.

Godspeed and good luck fellow traveller.

First Landing State Park (Virginia Beach VA) review

Solitude/privacy: 1
Environment & Nature: 4
Available Activities: 5
Staff & Park Officials: 5
Accessibility: 5

First Landing State Park

(also known as Seashore State Park) is a pretty cool park located right on beautiful Virginia beach. Don’t expect any solitude/privacy because the campsites are on top of each other (literary). I was woken up at 6am by my neighbor, 4ft away from my tent, packing up his truck. The only reason why I gave it a 1 was because some other sites on this campgrounds seem to have a bush or two in between them.

The campgrounds

do not have any dry wood around.  I was forced to go up to the camp store (that closes at 9PM) and buy 2 overpriced bundles.  Thankfully the park doesn’t have any ticks but the ranger told me they do however have  chiggers. I found that out after I went into the woods trying to get some free dry wood.

The park offers

boating, swimming, nature and history programs, hiking, biking, picnicking, a boat launch, cabins and 20 miles of trails.  My
favorite activity was the beautiful clean beach.  Instead of hiking to it through the campground, we decided to drive a little farther down and park in the residential area.  Once we got to the beach it was quiet and empty, even though it was well over 80°F out — probably because it was Monday morning.

Accessing the park is very simple.  It’s 5 min off of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel.