After probably the worst (weather wise) May EVER here in the Mid-Atlantic, we were itching to give ourselves a break from work and a never-ending list of home improvement projects, and also to get out and stretch the 4Runner, which lately has been relegated to Home Depot runs and commuter duty (sad face). The weather finally cooperated over Memorial Day weekend – we were able to dust off the camping gear and hit the road.
Since we’ve explored and camped west of Harrisonburg about a million times (not bad thing), we were looking for something a little different. I had camped off of the Big Levels trail southwest of Charlottesville once before several years ago, and thought it a good spot to re-visit.
Enjoying the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway on our way to Big Levels
This trip was’t anything fancy, but managed too string together several things we enjoy into a quick 2-day jaunt:
- Delicious sandwiches from LittleJohns in Charlottesville – if you’re ever passing through, I recommend the “Wild Turkey on a sub roll”
- Winding along the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Getting a little trail driving in
- Enjoying get weather at a remote campsite with mountain views
- Campsite Carne Asada Tacos.
We entered “Big Levels” from the top-side and worked our way down just a short distance down the narrow trail before happening upon a great primitive campsite; I was surprised we got so lucky on a holiday weekend. We enjoyed temps in the low 70’s; about 20 degrees cooler than the 90’s we saw in Charlottesville – really perfect spring camping weather!
There was a fair bit of 4×4 traffic on the trail during the day – a lot of families out enjoying the weather and having a nice time – great to see more folks out responsibly using the trails! I thought that the day traffic might mean we’d encounter some rowdier nighttime passers-by, but overnight not a single vehicle passed our spot and I all think we slept like rocks with temps dipping to the low 60’s.
Overall, a great weekend escape from the daily Northern VA grind! If you’re interested in checking out Big Levels – you should be able to find location information with a little Google-fu and cross referencing with the George Washington National Forest 2015 Motor Vehicle Use Map like I did in planning for this weekend! Happy exploring!