For some, a true outdoor adventure means escaping the crowds and connecting with nature. What better activity to fit the bill than camping in the winter?
Cold winter weather makes for crisp nights by the campfire at places like Green Ridge State Forest, Shenandoah River State Park, and the Appalachian Trail. Away from the heat of summer, you can discover clear winter skies full of stars, beautiful winter wildlife, and fun outdoor activities like hiking, cross-country skiing, and more.
Remember, services like drinking water, showers, and toilets are often unavailable when camping in winter. Be prepared by packing all necessary food, water, and cold-weather gear so you’re safe and comfortable.
- For a rustic winter camping adventure, head to the mountains. At state forests like Savage River and Tiadaghton, you can explore the remote backcountry that fringes the edges of the Chesapeake region. If you prefer a more traditional campground but still want to get away, try Rocky Gap State Park or Douthat State Park.
- Closer to home, there are plenty of places where your family can go camping this winter. Just within the Capital Beltway lies Greenbelt Park, which offers campsites under the trees just minutes from the city. In Virginia, head to Sky Meadows State Park or Caledon State Park, where you’ll embark on a hike to reach primitive campsites that are open all year.
- Winter doesn’t mean you have to stay away from the Bay! Pitch a tent by the water at Elk Neck State Park, Belle Isle State Park, or Pocomoke River State Park, where you can watch for wintering ducks when you rise early in the morning. If you have an RV, head to Point Lookout, where full hook-ups make camping by the Bay comfortable no matter the season.
Load up your tent, boots, and bag and make a reservation at one of the top places for camping in the winter.