NOTE: The descriptions of the places in this guide were accurate at the time the articles were posted. Please be advised that you should call ahead before traveling to any of them.

Destination Willville

By: By Jeffry L’H. Tank

Willville motorcycle campgroundWhile some folks sweated it out in steamy suburbs of Washington some of us were lucky enough to get up to the Blue Ridge Mountains for the 4th of July weekend , myself included. I had read and heard about Willville Motorcycle Campground and so I decided the 3 day 4th of July weekend would a perfect time to go and check it out. I am happy to report that it was all I expected and more.

Willville motorcycle campgroundThe location, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile post 177 and within a mile of the town of Meadows of Dan at Rt. 58 and the Parkway, sits at a little over 3000 feet. While the surrounding lowland areas are often in the 90's during the summer months it rarely gets above the 80's this high up along the Parkway. An added bonus is that mesquites and several other annoying insects don't often find their way much above 2000 feet either. Combined with the wonderful views, great roads, and clear, clean mountain air you couldn't ask for a better location.

Willville motorcycle campgroundThe campground is in it's third year of operation and is owned and run by an avid motorcyclist who decided a number of years ago that the rat race of city living just wasn't his thing and bought 25 aces which comprise the campground. Over the next few years he spent as many weekends as he could get away clearing some the land and building the structures that make up the campground common areas, his shop and year around home.

The main camping area consists of a large cleared, level field with trees scattered around the edges that provide ample shade, situated behind a line of trees that separate it from the cleared field in front of the main building.

Willville motorcycle campgroundOne side is bordered by a small stream that then cuts across the lower end of main field and wanders around to form a small densely shaded "island" camping area which is accessed by a small wooden bridge.

This is the area where I stayed with several others with whom I was riding that weekend. There was plenty of room for 4 or 5 small tents and our bikes.

Willville motorcycle campgroundThere are a number of picnic benches , trash containers and fire pits placed around the grounds for the use of the campers. Wood is also available by the wheelbarrow load. No cars are allowed beyond the main building into the camping area.

The camping fee also includes a breakfast of your choice of ham or chicken biscuit and first cup of coffee, with donations requested for additional cups.

The campground is run almost entirely on an honor system, camping fees are paid by depositing your money in an envelope and indicating your camping area, license tag number and preference for ham or chicken biscuit.

Willville motorcycle campgroundThe main building houses men's and women's showers with hot and cold water, bathrooms and a small covered porch with table and chairs, where sodas and coffee are available.

There is also a refrigerator with sodas, ice (just drop your money in the can for what you use) and a coffee maker is available for those early risers who wish to make their own before the owner gets the larger pot going.

A small shop stocked with tools for performing minor repairs or changing oil is also available for use.

Local attractions include Mabry Mill a few miles up the Parkway, the Floyd Country Store located in the town of Floyd about 45 minutes away, that features music on Friday evenings, plenty of great two lane mountain roads, and of course the Blue Ridge Parkway. The town of Meadows of Dan which is less than a mile away, has several eating establishments, gas station, motel, country stores and Saturday night blue grass music concerts during the summer months.

Willville motorcycle campgroundAll in all I was well pleased with my stay at Willville Bike Camp. It is a well run, friendly, clean campground where you can meet other motorcyclist and talk bikes or whatever else comes along, ride some of the best road Virginia has to offer, hear some great country blue grass on weekends or just kick back and enjoy the quiet of the mountains. At right around 300 miles from northern Virginia and less than that from most other locations in Virginia, it makes for a leisurely day ride and wonderful overnight destination. Having gone once, I am most assuredly planning on a return trip.

Jeffry L'H. Tank

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