Pohick Bay Regional Park is about a 40-minute drive from Washington DC. It is one of the few campgrounds that is located along the Potomac River and also in close proximity to the capital. It is commonly rated as one of the best family campgrounds in Northern Virginia due to the abundance of things to do. Read on for all you need to know before planning your next camping trip to Pohick Bay.
Pohick Bay Regional Park is located along the Mason Neck Peninsula in Lorton, Virginia. Nature lovers are drawn to the park looking to catch a glimpse of the bald eagles that have made this peninsula their home. The ecologically rich area is also populated with other wildlife including blue birds, osprey, heron, deer, beavers, and river otters. An abundance of trails as well as boat rentals offer visitors the opportunity to explore the natural park by both land and water.
If nature is not your cup of tea, there are several alternative family-friendly activities including playgrounds, mini-golf, disc golf, and Pirate’s Cove – Lorton’s “largest pirate-themed waterpark”. Pohick Bay Regional Park is an ideal destination for a day-long adventure or you can extend your stay by renting a cabin or campsite.
Pohick Bay Regional Park is a large campground with 150 campsites, 6 rustic cabins and 2 deluxe cabins. The camping areas are divided into two sections: minimalist non-electric sites and full hook up (water/electric/sewer).
We stayed at site 138 in the non-electronic area. Each site in this section of the campground is equipped with a fire ring with grill, picnic table, and pull in parking area for two vehicles. There are no gravel pads for your tent so visitors are free to choose anywhere on their designated site to pitch a tent.
Take note, campsites range in size and in their distance from one another. Site 138 is spacious and fully shaded with ample room between the site and the neighboring campers, others are a bit on the small size. Check out our “pro tip” below on how to help you select the best campsite for you.
Pro Tip: Check the site map carefully when making your reservation as it gives a general idea of the size and how close the sites are. Also, you cannot quite tell from the map but sites 143 – 150 back up against an RV parking area. This means that the rear of your campsite will be a chain-link fence with views of cars.
There are several comfort stations throughout the property equipped with running water, hot showers, sinks, toilets, and laundry. The bathrooms are what you would expect of a campground (leaves on the floor, empty soap dispensers, and sparse toilet paper).
The camp store has groceries and essential camping supplies including firewood (about $10 a bundle), lighter fluid, charcoal, etc. The camp store selection is limited but contains all you need for a fun weekend of camping. Although the store closes at 8 pm, there is always a ranger on call should a guest have an emergency or after-hours request. Trash bins are conveniently located near the campsites to dispose of all garbage before leaving the property.
Related Content: Primitive Camping in Sky Meadows State Park
Things to Do at Pohick Bay Regional Park
- Trails – There are over 10 miles of trails weaving throughout the park including 5 different loops, each ranging between 1-5 miles. The area is relatively flat making trail hiking an easy activity for kids. An additional trail leads from the campground to historic Gunston Hall Plantation, home of George Mason. We found the red/blue trail markings a little confusing as the blaze colors have faded on certain trees. Other reviews of the campground indicate similar challenges on the yellow trail.
- Picnic shelters – Pohick offers picnic shelter rentals should you wish to have a larger picnic or gathering. Each rental is equipped with covered shelter, tables, grills, and trash cans.
- Fishing – Largemouth bass and catfish can be caught year-round in Pohick Bay. Perch peak around springtime and Striped Bass around the fall.
- Playgrounds – There are two large playgrounds on the property. One is located by the marina and is publicly accessible to anyone visiting the park. The other playground is located inside the family campgrounds and its use is restricted to registered campers only.
- Disc golf & Miniature golf – Pohick Bay has an 18 hole miniature golf course as well as an 18 hole disc golf course. Discs are available for rent at the camp store.
- Pirate’s Cove Waterpark – Pohick Bay has its own waterpark within the property, operating between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Families can cool off on the water slides, in the open pools, and under a massive 500-gallon dump bucket. Discounts are available for registered campers.
- Pohick Bay Marina – The marina has available both motorized and non-motorized boat rentals. These include everything from canoes and kayaks to paddleboards and jet skis. The bay is primarily marshland and isn’t ideal for human swimming. That certainly didn’t stop our pups from jumping in.
- Geocache – We won’t spoil the fun in letting you know its location, but we can confirm that there is at least one geocache located in Pohick Bay Regional Park. What’s a geocache you ask? Head on over to our article “Geocaching Basics: A Simple Guide for Beginners”.
Pohick Bay is a typical family campground experience characterized by crowds, kids, and amenities. I generally don’t mind those things, just something to be mindful of if you are expecting a quiet and secluded escape. With that being said, the staff is incredibly attentive and they strive to enforce the 10 pm noise curfew. Admittedly, I can say that from first-hand experience. We typically practice appropriate campground etiquette, however, sometimes we get a little too excited and caught up in our outdoor fun. On this particular occasion, we got carried away playing Catch Phrase and didn’t realize the time was 10:15 pm. The ranger kindly approached us to remind us of the noise policy. We have certainly been those campers wishing others would hush down at midnight, so I appreciate that the campground upholds this policy out of respect for campers.
Pohick Bay Regional Park
6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton VA 22079
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