For about two years, my wife and I have wanted to try out Hurricane Campground in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in southwestern Virginia. It's widely known as one of the finest National Forest campgrounds in the system. Well...it deserves the reputation.
First of all, it's very isolated. There really aren't any nearby towns of note, the closest town of any size being Marion, VA which is about twenty miles away. There are some small communities in the vicinity that provide some basic groceries and some gas stations (the gas was really cheap, too). What you get, in spades, is solitude.
The camping here is among a forest of mainly poplars and hemlocks. The state of Virginia has been treating the hemlocks in the campground with a root-injected insecticide to combat the hemlock wooly adelgid which is killing all of our hemlock forests. So these trees should be here for a long time. Which is good. Because if the hemlocks all die in the campground, it will look pretty barren.
The campground has 26 sites. Be prepared for boondocking
in style, since there are no water or electric hookups. There are about four water faucets located throughout the campground where you can get potable water to fill your tank. Of the 26 sites, I'd say that only about ten of them are appropriate for trailers. Two of them all pull through sites. About 18 sites are on, or near Hurricane Creek. The rest are on a hillside above the creek, and surrounded by lots and lots of shade and big trees.
We chose site #19, which in our opinion is the prettiest campsite there. You can open your windows
and hear the babbling brook just a few feet from your trailer. The campsites have asphalt paving to park your trailer, and each has a large tent pad with picnic table, fire grate, and lantern post. Located at either end of the campground are two bathhouses. Each has a men's room and a women's room. The bathrooms have a sink with electric hookup for an electric razor or hair drier, a flush toilet, and a shower stall with hot showers. The showers are operated by pushing a pad to start the water, and you have to keep pressure on to get water. One setting: warm. I'd never encountered this type of shower, and it can be rough if the weather is very cool.
There are lots of Forest Service roads to drive for sight-seeing around the campground. There are also lots and lots of hiking trails, with the Appalchian Trial meandering nearby (just a short half-mile hike to access the AT). There are two waterfalls within a few miles of the campground, both via 1.5 mile hikes, and one of them spectacular (Rowlands Creek Falls). Both involve moderately strenuous hikes.
The campground sits at 2,800 feet, so it's pretty cool there in the summer months. Camping is first-come, first-serve, so you can't reserve a space. However, there are lots of other Forest Service campgrounds, State Park campgrounds, and private campgrounds in the area if Hurricane is full.
We had a blast there for four days and three nights. I highly recommend Hurricane Campground!