Jellystone Park in Luray, VA is located off exit #264 of Highway 81. It’s pretty direct although you do have to drive through some mountains and switchbacks with fairly steep grades before you get into Luray. Totally manageable as long as you take your time. It’s quite close to Luray Caverns and Shenandoah National Park and if you’re camping with children I highly recommend it as there are abundant activities and amenities to keep the kids busy. They have a great, fully stocked camp store, two bounce pillows, two playgrounds, laser tag (which you have to be 6 years or older), a fishing/paddleboat lake and mini golf. While we were there the pool area was undergoing construction as they are adding a set of really high water slides. This didn’t bother us as we were not there during swimming season. One thing I noticed here was the numerous cabins. They must have a hundred cabins dotting the campground as well as just exclusively cabins up the hill to the Three Bears Lodge behind our mountain view site.
We stayed here in early April and to be honest, we had higher hopes for the weather. Perhaps this time of year we should have headed a bit further south but it actually snowed the last day we were here. I was a little nervous if it accumulated as it was necessary to travel back on those mountain roads back to I-81 or I-95. Nonetheless the kids had a great time. When they’re active they don’t seem to feel the cold. They could spend hours at the jumping pillows and Sarah turned out to be quite good at gaga ball (like dodgeball on the ground in a small ring).
The kids loved Yogi and the crew as well. They couldn’t meet them without hugging them. Besides the amenities above, we also took a snowy paddle boat ride, spent a lot of time at the playground and went to a foam party on Saturday night. Not ideal with the cold weather. The foam soaked the kids more than I thought it would and we were left with soaked jackets and sneakers. The laundry did not seem to be set up yet as we had problems with the machines, but hey, you only live once right. When’re we going to go to a foam party in freezing weather again?
I definitely want to go back here again during warmer weather when to slides are set up and the pool is open. It’s only a six hour drive from NY and I can see us staying for an action packed weekend and heading back home. The picture below is Ryan with my underwear on his head and mom’s glasses. I’m saving it along with a few choice others for his wedding slideshow video!
You can see more of the campground, weather, gaga ball, foam party, etc. on the video below. Stay tuned as we”ll show you some of our outings while using Jellystone Luray as our basecamp. Thanks for stopping by.
We hiked this trail on Easter Morning. It’s a 3.4 mile in and out hike down to two waterfalls, the second being the larger one. It is located at Mile Marker 81 in Shenandoah National Park.
The upper waterfall is about 28 feet high and the lower waterfall is 63 feet high. The trail is quite unique as instead of bringing you to the base of the falls as most hikes do, it takes you to the top of the falls and you hike down alongside them.
We’ve heard about bear sightings in Shenandoah National Park but only found some tracks down by the base of the upper falls. There’s a nice pool at the bottom there and the bears must drink and maybe even swim there. If the weather was warmer you’d bet we’d be in playing in there as well, although not the same time as the bears.
Like I said, it’s a beautiful hike DOWN to the waterfalls but on the way back you have to climb the 1,181 feet back up to the parking area. The hike was totally worth it but the trek up had some of our party a little grumpy.
Thanks for stopping by and check out our video of the hike below. Stay tuned as we’ll take you along in our second half of our Spring Break Vacation to Jellystone Park in Luray, Virginia.
The Rose River Trail is located at Skyline Drive Mile Marker 81 in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It’s a 3.5 mile loop in which you hike down and along the river for a good distance. Along the river are a few nice smaller waterfalls and some wading pools. Being that we hiked here at the end of March we didn’t enter the water but it would be nice in warmer weather. There’s an 843 feet elevation gain on this trail which we found manageable for the most part.
This was probably the longest trail we’ve hiked so far and the first hike of the season so some of us were definitely feeling it near the end. We hiked the loop clockwise in which the last 3/4 mile is along a fire road as recommended by the park rangers. The part of the trail from the bridge to the fire road seemed to be the hardest section with a steep elevation gain. There was also a large tree blocking the path and we had to hike up the hill and around the tree. It was a bit hard to find the trail after we went around the tree but eventually we met back up with it. It was around this time it started pouring rain which made the trail very muddy and slippery. We all went back to the campground with soaked, muddy shoes.
As mentioned previously , the last part of this trail was on a fire road which is the way to do it, saving the easiest terrain for the end although there was a steady elevation gain along the gravel road leading back to Skyline Drive. The kids had a great time on this hike and were sufficiently challenged leading them to be somewhat behaved. I would recommend this hike to families with children (although not much smaller than mine) and it is supposed to be one of the more beautiful moderate hikes in Shenandoah National Park.
Check out the video below highlighting our hike (up until the heavy rains that is) and be sure to stay tuned as we’ll show you more of our Shenandoah National Park Trip next. Thanks for stopping by.
We were recommended to stay at Shenandoah Valley Campground by some friends we met while camping in Lake George and looking at their pics featuring the waterfall below pretty much sealed the deal.
Shenandoah Valley Campground is bordered on two sides by The Middle River. Many of the sites that are riverfront ended up to be too small for our Greyhawk so we settled on site 66. Shortly after we got to the site we realized it didn’t have a water view and had little view of the playground. I prefer to book my sites over the phone to find the best site but this time we chose to switch it up when we got there. It was a first for us but it goes to show you that you can always attempt to change things if they hadn’t appeared that way by looking at maps or talking to campground personnel. We moved to site 100 opposite the playground.
The views at the river were spectacular and the kids and I even went into the frigid waters one afternoon. They also loved both the playgrounds and the bunnies hopping freely over the grounds. You can see those and more in the video at the bottom of the page.
The pool was not open yet so early in the year as I expected. This is yet another reason to book a campground with some sort of a water feature. We could have had better weather during the trip but I still think the kids definitely made the most of it.
The kids will always be entertained by water no matter how cold it is. While we weren’t freezing our toes we visited Shenandoah National Park. If I could move this campground closer to the park I would. It’s an hour plus drive to both Swift Run Gap and Rockfish Gap Entrance Stations.
The sites here were on the small side but everyone seemed to have their privacy. We had low water pressure the day we checked in and they had just opened and seemed to be experiencing some season opening jitters (laundry). The kids tried their luck at fishing this time around. I had bought some beginner rods and tackle before this trip and the kids seemed to enjoy it but tired quickly after not getting any bites. Despite the lake being stocked while we were there the fish didn’t seem to be biting for most anyone. Next time…
We visited SVC over Easter Weekend and their were many activities for the kids. On Saturday we started with an Easter Egg Hunt in which their were a thousand and one eggs hidden around the empty sites near the river. Next we went on an Easter Bunny Hayride. Sarah went with me to a sunrise service early Easter Morning and while the sun was hiding beneath the clouds we actually saw the moon set. The Easter Bunny had visited sometime after sunrise and we went back to the camper and opened our baskets.
Afterwards we went to a pancake breakfast (with biscuits and sausage gravy) at the campground and went on a hike in the national park. Please check the video below for highlights. Stay tuned as we’ll take you on our first hike next post. Thanks for stopping by.