Thu09182014

Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

   20140901MetroCastweb

June 28 - Camp almost in your own backyard at an award winning Virginia State Park for America’s ‘Great American Backyard Campout’

RICHMOND – To celebrate the June 28 Great American Backyard Campout (GABC), you don’t need to travel much farther than your backyard to one of the 36 Virginia State Parks. All of Virginia’s state parks offer special programs for the annual event, designed to get more families outdoors and enjoying nature through camping. The National Wildlife Federation sponsors the event nationally.

“There is something extraordinary about being surrounded by nature at night in your tent,” said Craig Seaver, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) interim state parks director. “Across the country, state parks are close to home and where most people learn to camp and enjoy the outdoors.” DCR manages Virginia’s award-winning state parks.

Fourteen parks are offering June 28 overnight group camping and activities: Belle Isle State Park in Lancaster, Caledon State Park in King George, Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin, False Cape in Virginia Beach, Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Holliday Lake State Park in Appomattox, Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, James River State Park in Gladstone, Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, New River Trail State Parks in Max Meadows, Powhatan State Park in Powhatan, Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane and Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing. Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge had an overnight event June 21.

The GABC events are designed to provide families new to camping the help they need to develop a lifetime passion; but they are also fun for veteran campers. Even parks that do not offer camping are having special GABC camping opportunities. Some parks offer camping equipment and four of the programs are free. For a complete list of GABC events including prices and registration information go to http://tiny.cc/ywvvgx.

Virginia has 24 state parks that offer camping on a regular basis. To make camping reservations for the weekend of June 28 or anytime, call 800-933-PARK (7275) or reserve online at www.virginiastateparks.gov. Also use that address for information on all state park programming by clicking on “What to do.”

Whether camping in a state park or in your backyard, you can take the National Wildlife Federation campout pledge at http://www.nwf.org/great-american-backyard-campout.aspx. Participating in the Great American Backyard Campout is part of Virginia State Park’s month-long celebration of National Great Outdoors Month.

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