Sherando Lake Campground dubbed ‘Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains’

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Sherando Lake Recreation Area near Blue Ridge Parkway. (Julianne G. Crane)

It seems we have missed  the autumn hues this year.  Maybe it was the extended warm weather, or the lack of rain, or our timing.

Whatever the reasons, mostly we’ve only seen green and brown along our route through the Midwest and East Coast.

One place we thought for sure we would see autumn color was the Sherando Lake Recreation Area Family Campground in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. We first camped at the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains” four years ago when we meandered through this area. We love it because it sits just off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.

Sherando Lake Recreation Area. (George Washington National Forest).

Visitors are drawn to Sherando Lake in the fall because usually the hardwood forest of scarlet oaks and sugar maples  transform into a brilliant patchwork of red, yellow and orange hues. Not this year.”

However, the campground was packed.  In fact, we were lucky to snag the last remaining site with electric. There are a total of 29 electric sites. Cost:$22 per night ($11 with senior pass). Plus $6 electric fee. There are 65 non-electric sites for $22, suitable for tents and camping units less than 28 feet in length.  Each loop has showers, flush toilets and drinking water hydrants. Season: April through October.

“Families enjoy picnicking in the shaded and woody area, while relaxing on the sandy beach of a 25-acre spring-fed lake. Access to multiple trailheads and rustic architecture” built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Julianne G. Crane

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