Thursday, November 10, 2011

Camping at Todd Lake

I won't lie.  When it comes to camping I like the kind of camp grounds that come with lots of options.  Pools, hot tubs, snack bars, or maybe even wi-fi.  My parents and kids love the kind where you have NONE of that.  In fact they like the kind that doesn't even come with a bath house.  Um....NO, not for me!  So when we were planning a camping trip this summer with my parents and sister we found the perfect compromise with Todd Lake.  This small camp ground is in the George Washington National Forest, which according to the website for the park is over 1,000,000 acres between Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.  Yea I said a million acres!  Most of the park is just trees and mountains and streams....and that's it.  No bathrooms, no pre-cut fire wood, no electricity and lots of really wild animals (I don't mean the kids either).  But in a few remote places they do have designated camp grounds.  And the area around Todd Lake is one of them. 

An observation area in the park.  360 degree views like this.

This camp ground in Bridgewater Virginia only has 20 sites.  None have electricity, and there are only 4 places in the park to get water for cooking.  They do have bath houses (heated water was debatable) and they do have cleared spots for camping.  Each site has a table and fire pit as well as a smaller table to either put a camp stove or whatever you can think of.  With that being said it turned out to be a great spot to camp.  The lake itself in just a small hike down the hill and comes with it's own changing tables and small playground for the kids.  There are lots of hiking and biking around the camp ground and if that's not enough you still have 999,980 acres you can hike!!! 

I have been to George Washington Forest to camp as a kid....when I didn't appreciate all the sites and things we did as a family.  I wondered if it would be the untouched, as what I remembered.  Or had all my memories been wrong to begin with.  But it was just as beautiful.  It was the same wild wilderness I remembered. 

I have to admit getting to this camp ground is NOT easy.  And we were going on bad directions (I wonder if my dad did that on purpose?) and it was getting dark, and at one point we thought we heard banjos playing...just kidding.  But we got there just in the nick of time.  Cause when they say we close the gate to the park at 10 pm...they mean on the dot! 

The tent sites are really spread apart!

The fire pit.

So if you want to try a place that really gets you closer to nature and all the bright lights of the city but still not totally roughing it then Todd Lake is the place.  But get there before 10 pm and even if you go in the summer....take some long johns :)  Cause it gets cold!

Look at that view!

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