At a time when we could sure use the revenue and our visitors sure could use an escape from cabin fever, the winter weather has conspired to put a damper on early spring camping.
Douthat State Park, one of our most popular campgrounds, is not going to be able to open for our traditional March 1 start of camping. While the park staff have done what they can to plow the roads in White Oak Campground, the turning radius will not accommodate large RVs. Top that off with the fact that the sites are snow covered, and there is just no way to accommodate campers. The site surface is such that traditional snow removal methods pretty much destroy the surface. Melting snow in the area will also likely cause flooding of the creek that the campground road crosses. Even in normal snowfall years, we have had campers stranded in the campground due to flooding. As soon as the snow melts and conditions improve, we hope to open the campground. For now, we have it closed until April 1.
“Snowmageddon” in Washington DCreceived a lot of press. Westmoreland State Park due south of DC received record snow as well. Thanks to a nice weekend much of the snow has melted. However, some still remains. The campground is open but campers should be prepared for the conditions. The good news is that the gravel sites drain really well so as soon as the snow melts the sites should be fine.
Finally we have First Landing State Park. Iknow what you’re thinking – “give me a break Virginia Beach didn’t get that much snow.” Snow is not the issue here. The problem at First Landing is the overwhelming rainfall since the fall. This isn’t traditional flooding. The problem is the water table. After a while, the ground is saturated and there is just no place for the water to go. Alot of campsites are under water. To further complicate the situation the road to get to the campsites that aren’t flooded is flooded so you can’t get there.
Loop H, which is to the left of the contact station when facing the Bay, is the only loop we can open beginning March 1. Fortunately we have enough sites there to accommodate existing reservations through early May. Many customers may be getting free upgrades to larger sites or sites with electric and water in order to accommodate their reservations. We are cautiously optimistic about being able to accommodate other existing reservations including Memorial Day weekend. We will be following the situation closely. Once the roads are passable, we still expect to have a problem with a number of sites. We have had those sites blocked off. The end result will be fewer sites available for the immediate future.
Editor’s note: We will have camping at First Landing (and the cabins are unimpacted). However, we will likely have fewer sites than normal so if you want to visit First Landing, be sure to make your reservations as soon as possible!