Spotlight Locations: Into the Woods

By Clara Ritger


Big Pants Production / Shutterstock

This month, get in touch with your earthy self by planning a camping trip. Not sure where to begin? There are a few places close to our Northern Virginia homes where you can enjoy the peace of nature.

Bubbling Springs Campground – Warm Springs, VA

The Bubbling Springs Campground is a rustic camping site in the Warm Springs Ranger District of the George Washington National Forest. Ample opportunities for recreation exist in the area, including hiking, mountain biking, nature photography and stream fishing. This campground is for nature lovers – you’re on your own in the wild! But you can also head here just to picnic for the day and put your feet in the springs, which is fun for the whole family. Though this campground is far in distance, there is a plethora of places to camp in the area. It is a beautiful location in the heart of Virginia’s forests. Just visit the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Website  for more information.

Bubbling Springs Campground
Forest Service Road 129, Millboro, VA 24460
Price: Free
Travel Distance from Fairfax: Just under 200 miles, or about 3.5 to 4 hours

• Picnic area
• Vaulted toilet
• Drinking water
• Bubbling Springs


Bull Run Regional Park Campground – Centreville, VA

This is definitely the place to go if you’re still easing into the idea of being out in the woods. With their electrical hook-ups and on-site activities, there is plenty to keep you busy during your stay. Reviews indicated that there was always a lot going on, and that the shooting center was particularly popular. It should also be noted that this campground is very close to home! It is located in a beautiful park, has a number of scenic hiking trails, and is just down the road from Manassas Battlefield Park. Many campers lauded the spacious campsites, but did mention that you can hear the gunshots from the shooting center during the day. As Civil War enthusiasts will note, since the campground is named after the Battle of Bull Run, gunshots only seem fitting! Besides, the hiking, pools, and playground are sure to be a hit, and you can always head into Manassas if you’re in need of the small town comforts.

Bull Run Regional Park Campground
7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville, VA 20121
Price: campsite costs vary, $27.30-$45.68 per night, depending on whether you need electrical and whether you are tent camping or RV camping
Travel Distance from Fairfax: 13 miles, or about 20 minutes

• Fire ring
• Grill
• Pet-friendly
• Picnic table
• Shooting center
• Small Playground
• Access to trails
• Electricity (if you pay for it)
• Water park/pool facilities (if you purchase day passes, prices vary)


Big Meadows Campground – Luray, VA

Past campers rave about the well-kept facilities here. Each campsite is close together, allowing ample opportunities to befriend your neighbors or share goods. The Shenandoah National Park Big Meadows Campground is also good for group camping, especially if you’re booking a few of their sites for a group of families and friends. In case you were hoping to see bears, this campground has plenty of them! But don’t worry; there are also plenty of rangers to help guide you in how to keep them out of your things. Other animals you are likely to see are whitetail deer, song sparrows, meadowlarks, grouse, foxes, and skunks. There are also many trails for hikers of all skills and ages, such as the Appalachian Trail, Dark Hollow Falls and Lewis Falls trails. The ampitheater is also a hub for hikers. If you go make sure you take some time to wander into nature – reviews of the campsite gush about how beautiful it is!

Big Meadows Campground
Shenandoah National Park, Luray, Virginia 22835
Price: $17-$20 per night
Travel Distance from Fairfax: approximately 85 miles, or about 2 hours

• Picnic table
• Fire grate
• Picnic area
• Ampitheater
• Laundry
• Ice and Wood
• Showers
• Access to trails
• Recycling


(August 2011)



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