Chopawamsic Backcountry Area
Chopawamsic Backcountry Area
Chopawamsic (chop-ah-wahm-zik) Backcountry Area, which means by the small "divided streams" or "river flats" in Algonquian, is 1,500 acres of backcountry area with eight designated campsites. Campsites are accessible from the two-mile loop trail. A permit is required to gain admittance and can be obtained by completing a permit application at the visitor center between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily except Christmas Day, New Year's day and Thanksgiving. This permit must be returned to the visitor center after leaving the backcountry area.
The backcountry permit is free of charge, however an entrance fee of $5 is required to gain admittance into the park. The $5 entrance pass is valid for seven consecutive days. Entrance fees help fund park projects and upkeep of park resources.
Rules and Regulations
There are no restroom facilitites at Chopawamsic. Please use 'Leave No Trace' practices and dispose of human waste no less than 200 feet from a water source and cover all waste with leaf matter. Please do not use toilet paper or leave litter.
There are no trash cans at Chopawamsic. Please pack out what you packed in. Free trash bags are available at the visitor center.
Tents must be located within twenty feet of the post marker.
Maximum stay is seven consecutive days or 14 days in one calendar year.
Open fires are strictly prohibited. All cooking must be done on a camp stove.
Trenching, leveling or digging is not permitted in any campsite. Bringing straw, hay, pine boughs or any vegetative materials to any campsite is prohibited.
Ropes, clotheslines, tent lines and nails are not to be attached to trees or other vegetation. Hammocks are allowed with straps that are at least 1 & 1/2" and are not affixed to a tree less than 6" in diameter.
Swimming and hunting are prohibited.
The following are prohibited in the backcountry: alcohol, fireworks, pets, swimming, use of power tools, hunting and trapping, any weapon (excluding firearms) including BB and pellet guns, paintball and paint guns, and bows and arrows.
Firearms are permitted in accordance with Virginia State Law.
Camping is limited to groups consisting of four people or less per site in the Chopawamsic Backcountry area. Chopawamsic is not designed for groups. Group camping is available at Turkey Run Ridge Campground.
Stream and lake water may be unsafe for human consumption. Drinking and cooking water must be carried in or water must be treated by a water filter, by boiling or through the use of iodine tablets.
Please leave your campsite cleaner than how you found it (pack it in, pack it out). All trash, refuse and unused food items must be packed out. Deposit waste water on the ground away from streams and vegetation. Do not bathe in the streams or any other body of water in the backcountry area. Doing so is very damaging to the aquatic plants and animals as well as contributing to lowered water quality.
Help the National Park Service manage the area for everyone's use. Protect the natural environment by respecting wildlife.
For your health and safety, do not try to approach or feed the wildlife. Observe it from a distance and store food in animal-proof containers.