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 2.2 mile loop trail. A permit is required to gain entry to the area. To camp overnight, the permit can be obtained by visiting recreation.gov or calling 877-444-6777. The permit is free of charge, however there is a small reservation fee for each permit ($8 per permit if reserving on the website, $9 per permit if reserving by phone). Day-use permits to hike the trails in the backcountry area are available at the visitor center during hours of operation for no charge. Individuals cannot reserve multiple campsites in Chopawamsic for other visitors.
Rules and Regulations
Chopawamsic Backcountry has eight designated tent camp sites which are identified by a post marker and are accessible along short paths branching off of a 2.2 mile loop trail.
Fishing is permitted from the National Park Service' side of the Breckenridge Reservoir with a valid Virginia state fishing license. To fish from a non-motorized boat or from Quantico Marine Corps Base' side of the reservoir, a Marine Corps base permit is required. Call the base at 703-784-5270 Wednesday through Sunday for information on obtaining a base permit.
When disposing of human waste, there are several options available to you:
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 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 and contributes 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.
Camping in the Chopawamsic Backcountry area can be very rewarding and peaceful. There are precautions that should be taken when camping in the backcountry. Campers should be prepared for changing weather conditions. It is always a good idea to let someone know where you are going and how long you will be gone. Many supplies are recommended for primitive camping, including a flashlight with extra batteries, pocket knife, first aid kit, nylon cord, waterproof matches, topographic map and compass, and plenty of food.
Last updated: February 26, 2024