Autumn is the perfect time to visit local campgrounds
By Brandy Centolanza
The cooler temperatures of fall allow for the perfect opportunity for camping, where you can enjoy getting outside, hiking, noshing on a s’more by the fire, and sleeping under the stars. Whether you are a tent camper or prefer an RV, be sure to stop by Lynchburg for a stroll downtown, a bite to eat, or a visit to one of the city’s historic sites or museums on the way to your campsite.
If your family likes fishing on a nice fall morning like my family does, then you will be happy with a stay at James River State Park. In addition to the river, the park has three ponds for fishing and relaxing. James River State Park boasts five campgrounds, three of which are open year-round for primitive camping. Bunkhouses (two-room trailers) are also available for rent during camping season from March 1 through the first Monday in December. There are also plenty of trails for hiking, biking, and admiring the fall foliage. James River State Park, which is accredited through the International Dark-Sky Association, gives campers a view of the night sky with little light pollution, so be sure to bring your telescopes.
104 Green Hill Dr., Gladstone, VA (51 minutes from LYH)
You can also pitch a tent, rent a bunkhouse, or bring your camper for a stay at Holliday Lake State Park, which is nestled in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest. The park features two campgrounds and several hiking trails, including a 6.7-mile loop around Holliday Lake. Guests can also fish and geocache at the park. Holliday Lake State Park is just minutes away from Appomattox Court House National Historical Park for all you history buffs interested in seeing where the Civil War ended.
2759 State Park Rd., Appomattox, VA (46 minutes from LYH)
The closest campground to Lynchburg, Paradise Lake Family Campground has a lake with a beach, a playground, hiking trails, picnic areas with grills, and basketball and volleyball courts as well as open fields for playing ball or tossing a frisbee. The family-owned campground also welcomes pets. Paradise Lake Family Campground is open year-round, though amenities are limited during the winter months. Owner Dan Riley recommends dropping by in the fall. “The weather is great, and it is just a pretty place to be just as the colors are beginning to turn,” he said.
1105 West Lake Rd., Spout Spring (22 minutes from LYH)
The Blue Ridge Parkway can be found just outside your campsite at this KOA campground, providing visitors easy access to scenic hikes, waterfalls, caverns, and historic sites. The Lynchburg/Blue Ridge Parkway KOA is ideal for those traveling through in RV campers. The campground also has a dog park so you don’t have to leave Fido at home on your next adventure, and kids will enjoy the gem mine, jump pad, and train rides on site.
6252 Elon Rd., Monroe (27 minutes from LYH)
Tranquility awaits you at Camp Karma, an upscale primitive campground in Bedford not far from Smith Mountain Lake. Camp Karma, which borders Goose Creek, also has a pond on site, making it a great location for those who enjoy being on the water. Meanwhile, hikers are sure to find peace along the trails through the woods. The campground also has a recreation field and a camp store to stock up on supplies during your stay. Camp Karma, which is open mostly for tent camping and small campers, also offers a “glamping” package for couples replete with a tent alright pitched for you for the night, chairs, cots and mattresses, pots and utensils, firewood, and ice. Camp Karma is open through November 15.
2056 Stone Mountain Rd., Bedford (48 minutes from LYH)
Enjoy your trip!
Brandy Centolanza is a freelance writer who covers health, family travel, and the hospitality industry.
She writes from her Virginia home surrounded by her husband of 20 years and their two teens, three cats,
and a bearded dragon named Craig.
See More of her work HERE