Looking for a family friendly backpack trip? Look no further than Caledon State Park in King George, Virginia. Located along the shore of the Potomac River, Caledon is within a reasonable driving distance from some of the most populated areas of Virginia. Estimated drive times are below.
Richmond – 1.5 hours
Northern Virginia – 1.75 hours
Norfolk – 2.75 hours
What you won’t find in the park are cabins or drive-to campsites. That’s part of the allure to what Caledon does have. The park has 6 primitive campsites right near the river.
The hike in is mostly flat and primarily follows a fire road for an easy 3.5 miles. Along the way you’ll enjoy passing through a dense forest, a couple of open fields, as well as a nearby pond.
At the end of the hike you’ll arrive at the Potomac River, and when the weather is just right, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing sunset reflecting off the river.
To be honest, you won’t exactly be roughing it, but that’s part of what makes this hike a family friendly trip. The overly large campsites have plenty of space to set up a couple of tents and each site includes a fire ring and picnic table. Nearby you’ll find a porta-potty for when nature calls but you don’t exactly want to do it in nature itself. Right next to it is stacked firewood that is available for purchase at an extremely reasonable rate. No need to go off and find fallen wood which is often the case on other backpacking trips. And if it rains there is a covered picnic area to seek protection while enjoying the sights and sounds of the falling showers.
***IMPORTANT NOTE – There is no potable water near the campsites. You will have to carry in all the water you need for drinking and cooking.
If all this sounds appealing your next step is to contact the Virginia State Parks reservation line at 800-933-PARK (7275). Reservations for primitive walk-in campsites can only be made by phone and the cost is extremely affordable. You can expect to spend about $17 a night for a campsite.
And if you have questions about this hike please post a comment.