Virginia is a beautiful state with mountains, valleys and oceans, everything the outdoor sports enthusiast could want any time of the year. Due to the state’s somewhat mild winter weather, camping and outdoor sports do not have to end in the fall. You could go camping and enjoy the great outdoors with all it has to offer in one of the many gorgeous national forests located in Virginia or you could buy your very own parcel of land to escape to whenever you want to spend some time in nature. Below I will talk about why you may want to own your own land and I will introduce you to 3 national forests open for business in the winter.
Purchasing Recreation Land of Your Own:
There are many reasons to purchase recreation land of your own. First there are mental, emotional and physical health benefits to taking a step back and spending some quality time alone, spending time in nature and spending quality time with your family. Winter camping is an excellent way to slow down the pace and enjoy the simple things that life has to offer. Although it is winter, Virginia’s milder climate makes it very possible to enjoy winter camping and winter sports safely. Should you decide to just pitch a tent on your land, you will want to be certain to bring the appropriate equipment. Although winters are mild, you will still want to buy a sleeping bag intended for winter camping. There are many quality sleeping bags out there that are rated for cold weather and are weather resistant. Be sure to do your research so you can get the best sleeping bag for your needs. You will also want to pick up a winter rated sleeping pad. When choosing a tent, be sure to choose a high quality 4 season rated tent in the smallest size that you are comfortably able to use. This allows you to heat up the area inside the tent more quickly and it will retain the heat longer.
If you choose to do so you can build a cabin on your land. Either a rustic, simple cabin that is basically a wooden structure to protect you from the elements or you can go all out and build a cabin with all the amenities (heat, water, beds…etc) Although many winter sports enthusiasts are going to want to brave the elements, you may want a cosy cabin to return to after a full day of winter sport activities.
Owning your own land to return to month after month, year after year is a great way to be able to enjoy the great outdoors without worrying about whether the park is open, how crowded it may be or having to pay for entrance and camp site fees.
Visiting One of Virginia’s Many Parks:
You may not want the responsibility of owning property and that is just fine. The state of Virginia just happens to be home to 41 state parks. Not all of them will be open in the winter months but after a little research you will be able to find a beautiful area in which to camp and enjoy all the wonderful outdoor sports that winter has to offer. Below you will find 3 parks that are open in the winter months for camping and sports.
Pocahontas State Park
Located just 20 minutes from Richmond, Virginia, Pocahontas State Park is 12.68 miles and has 90+ miles of hiking trails. The park offers camping and camping cabins for its guests. For those who love to be on the water, there are 3 lakes located in the park for fishing, boating and a variety of other water activities as well as park run nature and history programs. Activities provided may change by season so do check ahead to ensure you can participate in the winter activity of your choice.
Shenandoah River State Park
Located in Warren County, Shenandoah River State Park covers more than 1,600 acres stretching along 5.2 miles of shoreline. This is an excellent area for those who love fishing and canoeing. This lovely area provides riverside picnic areas and 24 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
Shenandoah National park
Located just 75 miles from Washington D.C., this amazing park consists of 200,000 acres and is home to waterfalls, fields of wildflowers and quiet wooded hollows. If you love hiking, then this park is for you. There are over 500 miles of trails to choose from whether you want to take a nature stroll or go on a backcountry camping trip. You always want to familiarize yourself with the area. Due to the fact that the park covers such a large expanse of land, you will want to map out your hiking trails and campsites and share this info with friends and family. One of the advantages of hiking and camping in a park this vast is the amount of potential wildlife you will encounter. These enjoyable encounters are what spending time in nature is all about and why it is so memorable. Be certain to familiarize yourself with the animals you will encounter and what you should do if your encounter becomes a little too close for comfort.
Winter camping and winter sports are an enjoyable way to spend the colder months with family. The bonding time and restorative aspects of spending time in nature can go a long way in creating stronger familial bonds, reducing stress and creating feelings of calm. When you think of the perfect winter weather, your only real worry will be whether you should purchase land of your own to have at you and your family’s disposal or whether the idea of a state park with park rangers, pre-cleared campsites and pre-built cabins is more your style. When will your winter adventure begin?