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Pilot Program for Site Specific Reservations To Begin in 2015

Most of the more than 1,700 campsites in Virginia State Parks are reserved using the non site-specific method. A customer books a site of the type and size they want but the actual site is assigned upon arrival at the park. This method allows for maximum flexibility and the most efficient usage of available sites. For several years customers have begun asking for the ability to select a specific site at the time they make their reservation. Most public and private campgrounds have transitioned to this method.

Camping at Chippokes Plantation State Park
Camping at Chippokes Plantation State Park

In 2013 Virginia State Parks surveyed past and present customers to determine their preference. The results were divided. Late last year the decision was made to pilot a system where some sites in the park would be site-specific and others would remain non site-specific. Six parks across the state and representing different camping experiences volunteered to participate in the pilot scheduled to begin March 1, 2015 (the pilot at Grayson Highlands begins May 1, 2014 due to its shorter camping season).

Platform tent camping at Hungry Mother State Park
Platform tent camping at Hungry Mother State Park

The six parks participating in the pilot are Belle Isle, Chippokes Plantation, Douthat, First Landing, Grayson Highlands, and Hungry Mother state parks. Sites included in the pilot at these parks can be found on a special web page devoted to the pilot.

Sites can be booked eleven months in advance so customers can book for March 1, 2015 as early as April 1, 2014. Reservations can be made through the Virginia State Parks Customer Service Center by calling 800-933-7275, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or online.

The pilot will run for two seasons and be evaluated to see if changes will be made to the entire reservation system starting in 2017.

Whispering Pines Campground at Douthat State Park
Whispering Pines Campground at Douthat State Park

Published: 04/02/2014

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