Guaranteed Camping for Touring Cyclists at Virginia State Parks

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.

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6 comments… add one
  • April fooling?

  • No April Fools! This is legit!

  • This is a great idea for traveling cyclists. I’ve stayed in these low-impact bike-hike areas of other campgrounds and wondered why all campgrounds don’t have this.

  • Great for everyone. Touring cyclists don’t have coolers and generators, in fact we typically just shower, eat, sleep, then are off before most others awake. This will prevent us from dangerous night riding and/ illegal roadside camping, or simply asking someone with a Yakima rack (they are nicest) if we can just “throw down” at their site for the night. So the parks will get their money now. Everyone wins with this policy.

  • fantastic!!this may make all the difference. if park employee recognize such and respond knowingly.

  • Texas State Parks did this for us on out coast to coast tandem trip, and even let us in after hours… They just didn’t know it 😉

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