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Old 02-18-2008, 11:41 AM
j1n j1n started this thread
 
Location: Southeast of the Northwest Territories
1,237 posts, read 4,134,236 times
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Out west, we drive a 4x4 up an unpaved forest service road into the middle of nowhere, find a pullout with a fire ring where someone had camped previously, and set up camp. That kind of stuff is all over UT, CO, WY, etc.

I don't have a lot of background (yet) with the Blue Ridge Parkway. It seems to me that there are a bunch of strategically placed "established" campgrounds...where you pay $14 for your little parking space, a fire ring, a sleeping platform, and access to water and a toilet.

But are there unestablished "dispersed" or "primitive" camping situations like the ones I described out west? Or is it all very strictly monitored via these established campgrounds?

We want to take off for a few days and a weekend down the BRP in April...just drive with no real agenda...and stop and camp when we feel like it.

If you have any experience with this stuff, I'd like to hear from you.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:04 PM
 
168 posts, read 771,228 times
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You can 'backcountry' camp anywhere in the entire Shenandoah Natl. Park. Just get a permit at any of the ranger stations.
However, I do not think there is any backcountry driving routes available, you must hike in.
And also, I am not sure of the 'fire' rules.

What you must keep in mind is that unlike alot of the state land in Va, and out west were you are used to, the Shenandoah Natl Park is a serious ecological area. Preservation is epic in mission. Anything that will change 1 blade of grass is typically not permitted. I'm exaggerating a bit, but in general its quite a eco-conscious area.

You may do better in the GW natl forest and places that allow for more flexibility in what you can/cant do.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:10 PM
j1n j1n started this thread
 
Location: Southeast of the Northwest Territories
1,237 posts, read 4,134,236 times
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I'm thinking, because we will be out of VA and into NC relatively quickly, most of our camping will be in NC. Uwharrie National Forest is looking to have some of what I'm looking for.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Bedford County, Va.
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Well, if you're going to blow through Va. pretty quickly, this might be a moot comment. But, since this the Va. forum, I will second the suggestion pertaining to GW National Forest, or there's also Jefferson National Forest. I've taken my Jeep off-roading in Jeff NF a few times, and I'll sporatically see established fire pits tucked along or just off the road.

I don't know what kind of camping permits are needed (if any), but I've never had to pay for the parts of the forest I've gone 4x4ing in, and it's just a short hop off the BRP to get to some pretty cool mountain roads.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:23 PM
j1n j1n started this thread
 
Location: Southeast of the Northwest Territories
1,237 posts, read 4,134,236 times
Reputation: 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperTrail View Post
Well, if you're going to blow through Va. pretty quickly, this might be a moot comment. But, since this the Va. forum, I will second the suggestion pertaining to GW National Forest, or there's also Jefferson National Forest. I've taken my Jeep off-roading in Jeff NF a few times, and I'll sporatically see established fire pits tucked along or just off the road.

I don't know what kind of camping permits are needed (if any), but I've never had to pay for the parts of the forest I've gone 4x4ing in, and it's just a short hop off the BRP to get to some pretty cool mountain roads.
We'll be heading south from the vicinity of Roanoke, so figure...a couple/few hours south on the BRP, and we're in NC.
But what you are talking about is what I'm looking for, so I'd like to hear more!
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Bedford County, Va.
261 posts, read 1,154,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j1n View Post
We'll be heading south from the vicinity of Roanoke, so figure...a couple/few hours south on the BRP, and we're in NC.
But what you are talking about is what I'm looking for, so I'd like to hear more!
That last post of mine got me thinking more and more about getting back in the habit of camping/backpacking. I used to go frequently, but in the past year, I've moved, got married, started a new job, etc. I checked the GWNF and JNF web site, and no fee or permit is needed to camp, and you can plop down anywhere, though the Forest Service recommends sites with established fire pits, especially in "official" drought conditions, which I believe this area is still under.

I'm in the Roanoke area, and most of my driving has taken me into Northern Bedford County and Botetourt County, as well as a bit of Craig Co. If Roanoke is essentially your launching point, I'm not familiar with things south of here well enough to give you much direction. I know, this is a long post just to say I can't help any further Sorry.

If no one else is able to offer a good area to stop in, maybe you'll have to just trust your map and your instincts -- which often is most of the fun of it!
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:13 AM
 
168 posts, read 771,228 times
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If youre going south from Roanaoke, check out bland county or wythe county,...JNF is all over that area.
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