Named for Native Americans who lived in the area for hundreds of years, Occoneechee is on the John H. Kerr Reservoir, better known as Buggs Island Lake, and is popular with anglers and boaters. Facilities include cabins, campsites, an equestrian campground, picnic shelters, an amphitheater, a playground, boat ramps, and a private concession offering boat rentals and snacks. Occoneechee Marina offers a fuel dock and boat slips with water and electric service for annual rentals. Six slips are available for rent to overnight camping and cabin guests. The park also has 20 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The visitor center and museum introduce visitors to Native American history and the indigenous Occoneechee people.
Providing 24-hour access Virginia’s largest lake, three boat ramps open the door to 48,000 acres of fishing, boating and aquatic recreation. Forty-eight campsites are available for tent and RV campers. Some sites are right on the shoreline, providing easy fishing and boating access. The park also has 13 cabins that allow guests to enjoy the comforts of home as well as beautiful views of the lake. An equestrian campground with 11 sites and 11 covered horse stalls offers easy access to the park’s trail system. Occoneechee also has picnic areas near the lake, a playground, boat rentals and a lakefront amphitheater.
Half the sites may be specifically reserved; the rest are assigned upon arrival.
Campsites have round grills on a cement pad on the ground. The grill can be used to make a campfire or for cooking. Campfires are allowed only in designated area.
All sites are color-coded. If you arrive late, set up on a site that's coded with the color you were assigned. Register at the visitor center the next morning.
Only Campground C has waterfront sites with water and electric hookups (C Orange EW-W 30ft sites).
Only Campground B (B Green EW 35ft) sites allow equipment up to 35' long. The remaining campsites in the park allow equipment up to 30' long. Campground B sites (B Green EW 35ft) are open only from May 1 through Oct. 1.
Campground C has waterfront sites without utilities (C Red Std-W 30ft) and can accommodate equipment up to only 30' long.
Firewood is for sale; to help prevent the spread of invasive species, please do not bring your own firewood. Hardwood firewood from Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William is not allowed.
Campgrounds have bathhouses with hot showers and flush toilets.
Two vehicles are allowed per site. A daily parking fee is charged for additional vehicles. The number allowed at each campsite varies, depending on site design. Vehicles parked at a campsite must be parked in the designated parking area. Camper vehicles that don't fit on the site, whether or not a special camper vehicle fee is required for them, must park in the designated overflow parking area.
Only those registered on the site may stay the night; other guests must leave the park by 10 p.m.
Dogs are allowed and must at all times be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Owners must clean up pet waste and properly bag and dispose of it.
Total sites of each type: Standard, 3; EW, 33; StdWaterview, 6; EW Waterview, 6
B Green EW 35ft: Electric and water; RVs up to 35 feet allowed only in Campground B (no exceptions); various equipment; no sewer. Accepts outlets for 20 and 30-amp current. These sites are not on the lake.
C Purple Std 30ft: Various equipment, no hookups; RVs up to 30 feet only.
C Blue EW 30ft: RVs up to 30 feet in Campground C (no exceptions); various equipment; electric and water hook-ups. Accepts outlets for 20 and 30-amp current.
C Red Std-W 30ft: Waterfront sites for various equipment with no hookups; RVs up to 30 feet only (no exception).
C Orange EW-W 30ft: Waterfront site for various equipment with electric and water hookups; RVs up to 30 feet (no exceptions). Accepts outlets for 20 and 30-amp current. These types of sites are in Campground C only.
Total campsites: 48.
Occoneechee Equestrian Campground: Eleven 100 by 24-foot campsites with electricity; eleven 12 by 12-foot covered stalls (not specifically assigned). This campground operates from the first Friday in March to the first Monday in December. Check-in is 4 p.m., check-out is 1 p.m.
One vehicle in addition to RV or horse trailer, popup or two small tents; maximum occupancy is six people per campsite. The campground is designed mainly for self-sustaining horse trailers and RVs, but equestrian customers with other camping equipment are welcome. Trails are open but may be in poor condition after heavy rain. The park is stabilizing the trails with material to prevent such conditions in the future.
Each site has a 50-amp electrical pedestal.
Each campsite has only electric hookups (no water hookups) and a gravel driveway, pedestal grill, picnic table and lantern posts. Water is available in three central areas.
This campground also has a central wash-down rack and 75-foot diameter exercise ring.
Campers must have a reservation for a stall for each horse.
Horse stalls may be rented only along with the rental of a campsite in the equestrian campground. The campsite also must be occupied by someone. All horses brought to the park by overnight guests must be kept in rental stalls.
Vault toilets are provided; no bathhouse.
Each campsite is pull-through, 100 by 24 feet, and accommodates trailers up to 65 feet long.
The two hitching posts are for temporary use; horses must be confined to a covered stall and will not be allowed to graze or be tied out on the grounds.
About 3.1 miles of walking trails wind through woodlands throughout the park. Two self–guided interpretive trails introduce visitors to the Terrace Garden - Occoneechee Plantation site and the Tutelo Birding-Wildlife Trail. The park also has 20 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
The park has a spray ground but no designated swimming areas per se.
Splash Spray Ground
When it's warm outside, everyone loves random sprays of cool, refreshing water. The spray ground area has playground equipment, two charcoal grills, a picnic shelter, restrooms and 25 parking spaces. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, it's open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. It’s also open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays in May prior to Memorial Day and in September after Labor Day. Admission is included in daily parking, camping and cabin fees.
Buggs Island Lake and connecting Lake Gaston are famous for the number and size of fish there. Striped and largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and perch are plentiful. Three boat ramps provide motorized and non-motorized boat access to Buggs Island Lake. A Buggs Island Special Pass that covers boat launching and parking for Occoneechee and Staunton River state parks is available. Call 800-933-PARK for more information. Pontoon and fishing boats, including safety equipment, can be rented at the main boat ramp from Clarksville Marine Rentals Inc.
Boating: Available year-round. Motorboats are allowed. Three boat launching ramps are available for access to Buggs Island Lake for both motorized and non-motorized boats. Call 800-933-PARK to purchase an annual boat launch passport.
Pontoons, single and double kayaks, and paddle boards, including safety equipment, may be rented from Clarksville Marine Rentals at the main boat ramp. On weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it's open 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and by appointment at all other times during the year. Boats must be returned by 6 p.m. Thirty gallons of gas are included in the pontoon rental. Call 434-374-2525 or 434-374-2755 to make reservations.
The park has a 10-target outdoor range. Guests must bring their own equipment. Daily parking fees apply.
Horses are allowed on the Panhandle Multi-use Trail. Equestrian camping is available
There are no horse rentals. State law requires that visitors carry a copy of a negative Coggins report with each horse brought to the park.
The Occoneechee Panhandle Area provides public hunting for those with a valid state hunting license; you must register at the area's access gate.
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Chapel Hill, NC
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