2023 Outings and Trips

Camping Travel

For 2023 I’ve made a commitment to get out and “Go More”. So far, I’m off to a pretty good start.

21 and counting!

  • January 23, 2023: Oregon Inlet Campground, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC (Aliner)
    Several years ago, Oregon Inlet began staying open year-round. As you might expect, the showers (which are already cold water only) are shut down, the restrooms remain open and with the recent addition of approximately 40 sites with hookups, it’s nice opportunity to experience barrier island camping during the off season. This weekend was exactly what you would expect on the Outer Banks in January. Friday afternoon was beautiful with a nice walk along the beach. During the night, a front came through, the temperature dropped, the wind began howling, and it felt more like an Arctic expedition as opposed to a trip to the beach. Oh well, that’s life on the Outer Banks.
  • March 14, 2023: Kiptopeke State Park, Cape Charles, VA (Aliner)
    Kiptopeke is always makes for a nice Spring weekend. I always find it interesting that over half the trip to Kiptopeke (from my house) is on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (17.6 out of 32 miles).
  • March 31, 2023: Westmoreland State Park, Montross, VA (Tent)
    Just taking an opportunity to check off another Virginia State Park that I’d never visited. Very nice campground and also allowed me to grab a few more National Parks Passport Stamps from the George Washington Birthplace National Monument.
  • April 21, 2023: Flanners Beach Campground, Croatan National Forest, NC (Tent)
    Flanners Beach Campground is located in the Croatan National Forest, on the Neuse River, just south of New Bern, North Carolina. Although there are 22 sites with electrical hookups (out of a total of 39 sites), getting a reservation can be tough. I was able to get a standard (non-electric) site so I decided to do a little tent camping. I drove down to Harkers Island on Saturday and checked out the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center. Overall, a nice weekend.
  • April 23, 2023: Oregon Inlet Campground, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC (Tent)
    Leaving Flanners Beach, I decided to take the Cedar Island Ferry over to Ocracoke, drive up the Outer Banks, and spend one more night at the Oregon Inlet Campground. I can still be in the office by 9AM so why not?
  • April 28, 2023: Frisco Campground, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC (Aliner)
    This is probably my favorite National Park Campground on the Outer Banks – primarily because it actually has some contour and, depending on the site, you may actually be high enough to see the ocean over the dunes. Had a nice, relaxing weekend with good weather. On Saturday I was able to put together a nice 3.5 mile loop that included some trails and beach.
  • May 12, 2023: Mathews Arm Campground, Shenandoah National Park (Tent)
  • May 14, 2023: Assateague Island Campground, Assateague Island National Seashore (Tent)
    This was a spur-of-the-moment decision to take a circuitous route home from the previous two nights in Shenandoah National Park and take a chance that I could get a site on Assateague Island National Seashore on a Sunday. I lucked out and had a really nice evening along with a little exploring along the island on Monday.
  • June 2, 2023: Bear Creek State Park, Cumberland, VA (Aliner)
    This is sort of a working trip as I had a conference to attend on Saturday morning in Richmond so I took the opportunity to visit a new State Park. This turns out to be one of the nicest State Parks I’ve stayed at and it’s obvious why it stays booked most of the time. Nice lake, lots of trails including the Cumberland Multi-Use Trail, and there’s even Wi-Fi available in several of the loops.
  • June 16, 2023: Elizabeth Furnace Family Campground, George Washington National Forest (Tent)
    I took advantage of a 3-day weekend to travel a little bit further and check out the George Washington National Forest (northwest of Shenandoah National Park) and Elizabeth Furnace Campground. Apparently the NFS was holding a youth event and had about 6 to 8 sites reserved but fortunately there were a few sites still available. I was pleasantly surprised by this campground. Situated next to Passage Creek, the campground offers nice sites with plenty of privacy and although there are no hookups, there’s a nice bathhouse with hot showers. There’s a large network of hiking trails in the area ranging from short interpretative walks to challenging loops with breathtaking summits. If I had to offer one complaint, the otherwise quiet evenings can be interrupted by the occasional car on Fort Valley Road which, depending on the site, passes quite close to the campground. Otherwise, it’s a great location and I highly recommend checking it out.
  • June 23, 2023: Bear Creek State Park, Cumberland, VA (Aliner)
    Yep, I’m back again – this time for a conference in Lynchburg. It’s about 65 miles from the campground to the conference but it was still the closest place to Lynchburg that had a available site with electricity and since I just upgraded the A/C to a 6000 BTU unit, I wanted to be able to use it! I would have preferred to be a bit closer but Bear Creek is a great campground. Nothing special this weekend–just a couple walks on the trails and a couple of nice evenings sitting around the fire drinking my summer beverage of choice, Mojitos.
  • July 7, 2023: Oak Ridge Campground, Prince William Forest Park, Triangle, VA (Aliner)
    Another weekend trip based around a Saturday morning conference–this time in Alexandria, VA. Prince William Forest Park turned out to be a very pleasant surprise as I hadn’t realized it was actually a National Park. Yay! More Passport Stamps! Great hiking trails and the Scenic Loop is perfect for cycling.
  • July 13, 2023: Sherando Lake Recreation Area, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, Lyndhurst, VA (Aliner)
    This was just a convenient layover between my day in Richmond and on the way to the Saturday event in Wytheville. I’ll definitely be adding Sherando Lake Recreation Area to my list of places to return. Very nice campground with two beautiful mountain lakes.
  • July 14, 2023: Stony Fork Campground, Jefferson National Forest, Wytheville, VA (Aliner)
    Another very nice National Forest Campground in the Jefferson National Forest. Very quiet and private sites.
  • July 31, 2023: Myrtle Beach
    Yeah, it’s not camping but it’s still a road trip. Just hanging out with old friends down in Garden City.
  • August 11, 2023: J.C. Cooper Recreation Area, Kerr Lake, NC (Aliner)
    This was a rare, last-minute, spur-of-the-moment, trip as I was able to snag an available site with electricity for the weekend. There were plenty of sites without hookups but with forecasted temps in the 90’s, I just wasn’t willing to risk a miserable, humid night. Plus, I just spent several days reworking the wiring the on the Aliner and I wanted to use it! J.C. Cooper Recreation Area is a one of nine NC State Park campgrounds on the shores of Kerr Lake. These campgrounds don’t allow any alcohol which is certainly OK and makes for a very family-friendly setting so expect a lot of folks with very large RVs and lots of kids running around (at least in the area with hookups). My little Aliner seems a bit out of place but, overall, a nice experience. The sites are a little close for my taste but I’ll probably look to return in the Spring or Fall and try a non-hookup site when the temps are lower.
  • August 18, 2023: Goose Creek State Park, Washington, NC (Aliner)
    Had a nice, quiet weekend at the RV loop. This is apparently a relatively new addition to the Goose Creek State Park with 22 RV sites, 6 cabins, and a very nice bathhouse. The RV loop appears to be in an area that suffered some major hurricane damage a while back but as the natural growth between sites begins to fill in, the campground should develop a bit more character with each site offering a nice amount of privacy. The park has a very nice visitor center, primitive (tent) camping, and plenty of opportunities for day-use.
  • September 7, 2023: Loft Mountain Campground, Shenandoah National Park (Aliner)
    I had another semi-business engagement in Waynesboro so took the opportunity to (hopefully) escape the heat and spend a few days in mountains. It turned out to be really nice weather with temperatures in the mid-80’s during the day and in the 60’s during the night. Loft Mountain is a rather large campground with over 200 sites but it looked to only be about a third occupied–probably due to being post-Labor Day and not quite Fall Foliage season. In any case, it made for nice, quiet, and relaxing weekend.
  • September 29, 2023: Oregon Inlet Campground, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC (Aliner)
    I lucked up and found the last available site in Loop C (standard electric) for this weekend so I grabbed it. I haven’t been on the Outer Banks since the Spring so this should be a nice change of pace. Now that I’m here, I’m keeping one eye on the weather and the other on the pending Government shutdown, it still looks to be a nice weekend on the OBX. There’s a different feel on the Outer Banks during the off-season — less of a tourist/beach destination and more of a nature adventure. And although I love NPS campgrounds, I have to say there’s not quite the cool vibe on Loop C (which has electrical and water hookups) as it’s mostly full of large RVs.
  • October 20, 2023: Staunton River State Park, Halifax County, Virginia (Aliner).
    A free weekend and a site became available so I grabbed it. Located on a peninsular formed by the convergence of the Roanoke and Dan Rivers, this has to be one of the nicest Virginia State Parks I’ve visited. It’s not a particular large campground (48 sites) but they’re nicely spaced out with about 35 having electric and water hookups. The park is one of the original Virginia State Parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the 1930’s. The park has picnic shelters, three playgrounds, tennis and volleyball courts, several boat launches and more than 17 miles of multi-use trails and although it apparently didn’t open for the 2023 season, there’s a very nice swimming pool faciility. The park is also the first state park in Virginia to be designated an International Dark Sky Park and is ideal for stargazing. On Saturday I took a side-trip over to Staunton River Battlefield State Park so this let me check off my 10th and 11th Virginia State Park.
  • November 3, 2023: Cedar Point Campground, Cape Carteret, North Carolina (Aliner)
    It’s been a few years since I’ve stayed at Cedar Point as reservations have to made well in advance. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular. The sites are very large and spaced out nicely. As is usually the case in National Forest Campgrounds, there’s no alcohol allowed (although who knows what goes on in the privacy of your own camper?) so it’s generally a quiet and relaxing experience. There’s a nice trail loop near the campground and it’s only about 5 miles to the ocean. Highly recommend checking it out–if you can get a reservation, that is.

Upcoming…

  • Hmmmm. Where to go next?

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