Pocahontas and I are close. We are dear friends and neighbors. Visiting her is like visiting a beloved cousin; familiar, comfortable, peaceful, and lovely. She even displays a photo of my children for all to see. Yes, those two log-walking cuties you see when making a reservation at this park are mine. The product of entering multiple Virginia State Park photo contests over the years.
At the time of this writing (early 2023) I can count off the top of my head a total of eight times that I’ve camped at Pocahontas State Park. I’m sure there’s more. And you can bet there will be more in the future. So this page will definitely be updated as I have new notes to log. But for now, I will provide you with a compilation of details from my various visits over the years.
Pocahontas State Park is the largest of all the Virginia State Parks and it happens to be in my backyard. Well, not literally in my backyard, but only a short 30 minute drive from my backyard.
We love Pocahontas. My Virginia camping journey began in this beautiful park, as a single mom of a toddler and preschooler, with a tent and support from my mom and dad. Along the paved campground roads is where my kids learned to ride bikes. We’ve celebrated Independence Day, Memorial Day, Valentine's Day, Labor Day, Father’s Day, and Thanksgiving Weekend in this park. The convenience of the close location makes this camping spot ideal for family and friends to join for the day, as well as test out new equipment. If something goes wrong, home is not out of reach.
This park offers two campground loops (I call them the upper loop and the lower loop) and depending on your equipment and desired camping atmosphere, you may prefer one over the other. The upper loop is ideal for large RVs and motorhomes because the sites are bigger. The playground is in this loop and the bathhouse seems a little newer. However, the sites are definitely more open with not as many trees. The lower loop has a more rustic, woodsy feel to it. This is the loop we prefer to camp in for that reason. We love the creative play, privacy, and shade that trees provide. There are two bathhouses in this loop, both decent, but without a nice outdoor dishwashing area like other bathhouses. The lower loop doesn’t have a playground, but it does have a nice field our kids like to play in. And since both loops are connected, with a camp store/laundry facility and group fire pit area in between, it’s a short walk to enjoy the amenities of both.
We’ve camped at Pocahontas in every single season, because it’s one of the few parks with a campground that stays open year-round. It’s definitely busier during the summer, but you get your money’s worth by taking advantage of the free splash park/pool entry that comes with your camping registration. When our kids were younger, this splash park was a huge hit. We haven’t been since 2019, but I’m sure they’d still enjoy it. The summer months also provide really fun concerts at the large amphitheater.
Let’s talk trails for a minute. This park has so many trails that I don’t think I’ve hit all of them yet. But several of them we’ve hiked, ran, or biked many times. Some are for mountain biking only, a few are great for horses, some are fairly flat, others are super hilly, and a couple have lake views. This park also lends itself nicely to organized races. I’ve competed in one during a snowy December day and have another one booked for later this year. The Pocahontas trails are what draw us out on beautiful, sunny Saturdays and convinced us to purchase an annual park pass.
One thing that this park is missing is cabins. UPDATE: No longer missing! Pocahontas now has four beautiful three-bedroom cabins and one six-bedroom lodge... with water views! They do have camping cabins located in the upper loop, but these are more like a one-room wooden shelter with electricity and bunk beds. Similar to the yurts they also offer, but smaller. So if you are seeking a place for the family to gather, cook meals together, and enjoy indoor plumbing, you won’t find it here. UPDATE: You WILL find it here! And, if you are in need of a rental facility for a large gathering, such as a wedding, this park provides two nice options.
Convenient and beautiful? Absolutely. Do we feel blessed to live nearby? You bet. But is it worth traveling farther for a visit? Definitely.