Family Friendly Campground for Spring MTB Trip in VA (Harrisonburg area?)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Family Friendly Campground for Spring MTB Trip in VA (Harrisonburg area?)

    Ok, bear with me a little, as I will try to cover as much as I can in this thread.

    We are contemplating driving to Virginia around Easter with our tent trailer (popup). I would like to get in a good week or so of XC mountain biking. My wife and 2 kids (1.5 and 5 years) would come along to enjoy the warmer weather (vs Canada) but would not be riding. We do a lot of camping with the family so no worries there. I will be riding alone (3-4 hours) in the mornings and enjoying the rest of the days with the family. Trying to combine some riding with some family time.

    We have done similar trips to North and South Carolina before the kids.

    What I am trying to find is a good family friendly campground (i.e. with electrical hookup and facilities) that is as close as possible to good XC trails in Virginia. I don't want to have to drive 1h to get to and from some trails.

    Are most of the trails in good shape around that time? I know that the temperature can still go down to just above freezing.

    The trails in GW state forest seem sweet, but I am not sure I want to venture off so far on my own. My preference would be to ride trail systems that are a bit less remote (Douthat, Massanutten, ???).

    We have never been to Virginia or West Virginia and are quite flexible. I was thinking of the area around Harrisonburg as a good option, but would need to find a suitable spot to camp. How is Stokesville campground - from what I gather there are great trails right there, but it seems more of an unofficial campground? Does it have amenities? Would there be other folks there around Easter (mid-April)?

    Douthat State Park campground also seems nice, but it seems fairly remote and only has a limited amount of trails.

    Are there other campgrounds that would fit my description?

    I am also willing to split the week in two different campgrounds if it makes sense.

    I would appreciate any help. I would also be interested in meeting up with locals to ride (i.e. group rides, etc). Cheers.

  2. #2
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    This is where you need to go! https://www.facebook.com/stokesvillecampground/

  3. #3
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    ^^^^^ That's the answer to all your questions. I'd say end the thread here, except if you want some riding buddies to keep from being in the GW alone (which is a sensible sort of notion on your part, proves you've got a brain rattling around under your helmet) you might be able to find some locals to ride with.

  4. #4
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    Stokesville is a great family campground. My parents and in-laws stayed there last year, both in pop-ups, while I was there for the SM100 weekend and they both had a great time and can't wait to go back. During the race weekend they don't allow power hook ups, but my understanding is that's just because of the volume of people and on other weekends it may not be an issue.

    Just email Chris Scott who runs the place (that's who the email exchange goes to) and get his input. The riding is awesome and right out of camp. Having a guide would be nice to get you out into the real gnarly stuff, but you could stay busy for a few days without a guide no problem. During the summer months there is almost always a group staying there you could join up with as well.

  5. #5
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    Another vote for stokesville. Added + is that you're within a pretty short drive from civilization (Harrisonburg & Staunton), so you could easily head to town for a nice dinner or the wife could go shopping.

    Douthat is awesome too, but you really are pretty much in the boonies. It does have a nice lake with swimming area and canoe/kayak rentals and there's a restaurant in the park. A group of us book a long weekend there every fall.

    The trails in both places seem to be pretty impervious to rain. I raced at Douthat last year right after a monsoon with water literally running down the trails and they held up very well.

  6. #6
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    As far as trails go, I don't think you will get lost in GW. Pretty good signage and the maps are very well detailed. Last time I did the Lookout Loop, I remember there being a campground in GW. If not good, then definitely Stokesville. Massanutten trails are top notch with a good deal of technical stuff thrown in. There is more than enough riding within a 40 minute surrounding the Harrisonburg area. As for the family stuff, I can't tell you much since I've always gone down just for riding. Enjoy your time down there. Trails will be in good shape, and the weather will be just as nice.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  7. #7
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    Thanks to all who took the time to respond. Stokesville campground seems like the consensus. I have emailed Chris about the campground and he has provided a great deal of info.

    The added bonus of staying at Stokesville seems to be the proximity to the trails and the added bonus of maybe being able to hook up with other riders.

    Are there any meetup websites or local forums where I could find potential riding partners? I am willing to ride alone, but I would be happy to have some locals show me around if I can line it up.

    Looking forward to riding these new to me trails.
    Cheers.

  8. #8
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    I was there in April and July of 2016 and both times I ran into people at the Shenandoah Bike Company who were heading out into GW and Massanutten. You might be able to check there for potential riding buddies.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  9. #9
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    I would also recommend you pick up one of the National Geographic Topo maps at Shenandoah Bicycle Company in Harrisonburg. Lots of great trails down there, the map is worth every penny you spend on it.

  10. #10
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    Sherando Lake Rec Area is great as well....
    Santa Cruz HT2

  11. #11
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    Funny, I was about to make very similar post.. Thinking of heading to VA over/around Easter weekend to camp (tent) with my wife & 2 kids (1+ & 3+ yrs) from Pa for a change of scenery/trails and some hopefully warmer weather. Similar plan for my ride schedule, get a good solid 2-4hr ride in most days, solo, but my wife will probably ride a bit too. Stokesville sounds like it makes the most sense! Glad i came across this thread. maybe we can hookup up if our schedules overlap..

    was the campgrounds availability pretty open when you talked to him?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiss2 View Post
    Funny, I was about to make very similar post.. Thinking of heading to VA over/around Easter weekend to camp (tent) with my wife & 2 kids (1+ & 3+ yrs) from Pa for a change of scenery/trails and some hopefully warmer weather. Similar plan for my ride schedule, get a good solid 2-4hr ride in most days, solo, but my wife will probably ride a bit too. Stokesville sounds like it makes the most sense! Glad i came across this thread. maybe we can hookup up if our schedules overlap..

    was the campgrounds availability pretty open when you talked to him?
    Chris mentioned there would be a few other families, but gave the impression the campground is not too busy that time of the year. You should have no problem getting a tent site.

    It would be great to ride together is our schedules line up. We should be in Stokesville from April 14 to 22nd. I am mostly an XC rider, but will be riding my new 27.5+ bike.

    Send me a Private Message if you would like to further coordinate.
    Cheers.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiss2 View Post

    was the campgrounds availability pretty open when you talked to him?
    It's huge, you will be totally fine. You'll likely have all the space you could ever need.

    Doesn't look like anyone has mentioned it, but there are 4+ miles of family-friendly singletrack on the campground property. That stuff is fine for riding solo. Your next ride should probably be Narrowback mtn. Easy to navigate and not too remote. Follow that with Lookout mtn and you'll get the idea. It gets more remote, more climbing from there.

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