Address: 12014 Trails Ln Gloucester, VA 23061
Phone: (804) 693-6924
# of sites: 465
Full hookup price: From $58/day
Open: May 22-Dec. 31
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Warnings: Muddy after rain
On the eastern coast of Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay RV Resort sits on the bank of the Piankatank River, several miles upstream from the Chesapeake Bay. Nearby are three well-known towns of historical significance, as Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown and the Jamestown Settlement make up Virginia's "Historical Triangle." Gloucester Courthouse, Mathews Courthouse and Urbanna are within a half hour's drive and offer historic museums, quaint shops and interesting dining, including on the waterfront. Virginia's central location along the East Coast gives residents and visitors easy driving access to the Outer Banks of South Carolina, Washington DC, Baltimore, the Jersey Shore and even New York City.
The first thing you notice when picking out a site is the considerable size of most of them. The 20-30' between rigs is a far cry from the ten feet from our neighbors we recently experienced. That has several benefits, such as space for large dog fences, less intrusion into neighbors' personal space, and even less noise from other families.
Speaking of dog fences, there is a nice, brand new off-leash park now set up behind the camp store. Our dogs really enjoy being off leash occasionally, and this garnered their approval.
This campground is not only on a wide river, but it is also supports a rather large pond, with at least one camping loop and several cabins nearby each body of water. The park has built a couple of docks and a few strips of beach on the Piankatank for its residents for boating, swimming and fishing. The river is of significant size and gives access to Chesapeake Bay nearly year-round, though the park is closed from January to May. It was also the site of numerous actions during the Civil War, adding even more historic places to visit.
Though we did not have the opportunity to use the amenities, everything you would expect to see in a quality resort is here, including a swimming pool and hot tub, mini golf, a clubhouse, a camp store and restaurant, laundry facilities, a game room, a banquet room, playgrounds and more.
The entire state of Virginia provides history buffs with unique opportunities, as it was one of the original thirteen American colonies, with Jamestown having been settled by the English in 1607. The home state of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers, Virginia obviously occupied a place of importance in the American Revolution. The city of Richmond became the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War and more than half of the war's battles were fought in the state.
This park, like many older campgrounds, can quickly become a quagmire during and after rain, with more slop than grass or gravel in all of the camping loops. We were fortunate to arrive just after a rainy period and could select a site that was less muddy, even forgoing a 50 amp connection for 30 amp. It seems like more could be done to mitigate the problem, and perhaps there are plans underway. Even more gravel would help.
Only about a third of all campsites in the park have 50 amp power connections. While this is less important in the fall and winter, the east coast summer heat and humidity might require some to have it for air conditioning. Like most Thousand Trails resorts, sites are first come, first served, so there's no guarantee of getting the hookups you want.
We would highly recommend this resort during all but the mid-summer months. The low chance of 50 amp hookups in the the most populous and humid months of summer and the sometimes excessive amount of mud are the primary reasons I have not rated this park five out of five stars, though higher quality sites with pads wouldn't hurt either. We will keep this park as our go-to eastern midway point between north and south and return nearly every year.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 7 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.