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Northwest River Park
July 15-21
Chesapeake, VA

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  Charlottesville area
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Charlottesville and

Shenandoah NP
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Public Campgrounds:
  Northwest River Park

Other Attractions:
VA Creeper Trail
  DC Ducks Tour
    (Washington, DC)

RV Services:
  Rogers Fleet Service

Northwest River Park
1733 Indian Creek Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322
(757) 421-7151

What brought me to Chesapeake was a chance to see my daughter who was here visiting her partner's family. This park turned out to be the perfect spot for that and as a resting place after a month of heavy-duty sightseeing on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I didn't have time or energy left at that point for any more sightseeing of this area, but just experiencing the peace and quiet of the park was plenty good enough for me.

My neighbors for the first couple of days were the Seals family from right down the road in Chesapeake. They've been coming here as a get-away for 20 years, starting in tents with the kids. Now they like to come for the peace and quiet. That's mom and dad (Ken & Stephanie) on the right, with son and his wife (Steve & Stephanie) on the left. They say they like the park because it's far enough out but not too far - and they like being able to stretch out on these large pull through sites. They're in #21 and think it's the best for them -- they have lots of tiki torches and elbow room and are right across the road from the bath house.

I was next to them in pull through site #18 when I first arrived. It's a nice big site, but it has a quirk. I couldn't make the turn into it by going down the road the right way - there's too tight a curve to make it without hitting the big tree on the left side. It's possible if you can back up into the site across the road. It's also okay to go around and come in from the other side and the campground was uncrowded enough for that not to be a problem. Hookups are on the opposite side then, but my hoses were long enough to work.

I had hoped I'd get satellite TV there, though, because it looked like I could hit a hole through the heavy tree cover. But I never could position the front of the motorhome in such a way to get a signal. Cathy told me some have gotten satellite where I was in #18, along with some others in #'s 3, 25 and 27, but that was using tripod setups which are easier to position than the rooftop kind, and it just didn't work for me.

So, with the campground being less crowded on the weekdays, I scoped out other sites. My neighbor on the other side told me he thought the best site in the park is #48, a large pullthrough in the back loop on the other side of the same bath house. So I checked with the office and it was okay for me to have it for the rest of my week's stay.

Once I moved to #48, I actually liked it much better even if still no satellite TV reception. There's less noticeable light from the bathhouse spotlight, at least the same amount of room if not more, and the front yard doesn't face the road. The views are better all around and the water connection is within easy distance to the communal connection with a normal size hose.

Speaking of water, each site does not have individual water connections. There are several faucets located around, some interior and some on the road, to fill up. Or you can run a hose to reach the nearest one, but you need to use your own "Y" connection so that others can still have access to water.
Most of the back-in sites are pretty spacious as well. This one is #9, also located near the communal water connection, this one near the side of the road.
Don't miss a walk along one of the seven trails. This bridge with its chainsaw carved posts can be found on the Deer Island Trail.
Here's a nice restful area found by taking Otter Trail or Indian Creek Trail. This is also the launch area for the river ride I took.

Malia's 2 cents: The quiet greenery of this park, the sound of crickets and a night of rain on the roof bringing cooler air and foggy morning made a most enjoyable home during the week I was here. Sweet and unique bird songs greeted me each morning. Highly recommend a stay here if you're in the Chesapeake area.

I've also never found a city park so intent on guest service and hospitality. The Park Superintendent, Bill, has been on board for 20 years. When he took over, the campground had 103 sites and he thought that was too cramped, so he culled it down to 73. He supervises a team who obviously loves it here, as evidenced by how long they've worked here as well. From my first contact with Cathy and Carol at the office, it was evident this is a group who really cares. Later I met Mike, Building Maintenance Supervisor, and when I asked him about the quality of the well water, he gave me a tour of the treatment facility and put my mind to rest.

FYI - when I remarked to Mike that I was happy my cell phone and air card worked so well here, he told me that Verizon is the only cell phone that works well here due to a nearby tower. But all other providers are iffy at best, so be aware of that.

When I asked Bill for his "wish-list" for campground improvements, he mentioned 50 amp service and water hookups at every site, but timing of that will depend on budgetary considerations.

One of the park's most popular events is the annual Halloween Ghost Train. A wagon hay ride makes stops at spooky staged areas around the park - there's even a Pirate's Ship on the river. There's an admission charge for this event, but I've been told it's well worth it!

I also heard that deer and yellow flies can be bad during summer months. Nothing got me during the week I was here, but it's probably a good idea to bring your bug spray. They do spray for mosquitos in the summer months.

GPS coordinates: 36.58575° N / 76.15822° W
Altitude: 44.29'

Map and directions to the park. Local advice: When choosing between either I-64 or 664 to get to the park, 664 is better - less traffic in general and better time through the tunnel.

While this city park is open year round for boating, fishing, hiking and programs, the campground is open only from April 1 to November 30.

There are two bath houses in the campground, each with toilet and shower facilities, and one washer/dryer - very convenient and kept in ship-shape by friendly Barbara, the Grounds Superintendent. All sites have 30 amp service, but no full hookups. One dump station conveniently located at the entrance to the campground.

Click here for rate and reservation info from park's website.

Click here for brochure & site map (491 KB pdf document).
Click arrow for River Ride
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