Ride-ins will be accommodated, even when campgrounds are full.
The Virginia State Park System has announced a new policy showing that long distance touring cyclists are always welcome in Virginia’s award winning parks. Beginning today, Virginia’s state parks will designate areas for cyclists to camp even when campgrounds are full, to ensure that long-distance touring cyclists will always have a place to stay.
“I credit the Virginia Bicycling Federation with helping us understand the special circumstances that long-distance touring cyclists can find themselves in when the campgrounds are full and there is no reasonable alternative place to overnight,” stated Joe Elton, Virginia’s State Parks Director. “Once we understood the challenges, we called on our Operations Chief Craig Seaver and the Campground Design and Management Working Group to come up with a practical solution to the problem. These are experienced Rangers who work routinely with all kinds of campers to find ways to enhance the outdoor recreation and camping experience,” Elton stated. “We believe our approach provides a simple, practical solution that makes Virginia an even more attractive destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Put simply, we want the Commonwealth to be the most welcoming place you ever bicycled.”
With this welcoming attitude, it’s obvious why the park system has received a number of national awards.
The new policy applies only to groups of four or fewer, self contained, long-distance touring cyclists who ride in, not sagged or supported by a car that could take them to find other accommodations. Cyclists are still required to make reservations and pay camping fees, like any other campers.
With two interstate cycling routes — US Bike Routes 1 and 76 — and a number of long distance routes and trails, Virginia brings riders from around the world to tour its back roads and trails. Virginia State Parks’ new policy sets a great precedent that we hope other state park systems will follow.
(Some restrictions apply so click here for all the details.)
Update: sign the petition to get the National Parks on the guaranteed camping bandwagon.