John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir


John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir is a beautiful location for locals and visitors to check out. Taking up a whopping 105,000 acres in total including lake and land, the John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir also goes by the name of Buggs Island Lake. If you're a fan of the great outdoors, you'll enjoy spending some time there for several reasons.
There are plenty of areas to camp nearby. You can rent an RV, pitch a tent, or simply hang up a hammock. When you're not relaxing at your campsite, you could go swimming in one of the several beaches nearby. There are also a plethora of hiking trails for you to take on, whether you're looking for a casual stroll through nature or a vigorous climb.
John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir was created in the 1950s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help keep the surrounding area free from flooding, as well as providing power. It spans across the coastline of both Virginia and North Carolina which gives you nearly 1,000 miles of coastline to explore.

RV Rentals in John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir



No matter where you're coming from, getting to John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir is relatively easy. If you're coming from North Carolina, it's just northeast of Raleigh, near the border of Virginia. If you're coming from Virginia, John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir is southwest of Richmond. All of the surrounding roads are paved and well-kept.

There are multiple convenient parking lots near John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir for visitors to park during their stay. Depending on your exact route, you may come across a few sharp turns on windy roads on your way to the dam. With that being said, use extra caution if you're driving a camping van or RV.

The climate is relatively neutral around this part of the country, so you shouldn't have to worry too much about extreme driving conditions such as blizzards or downpours of rain. If you're camping at one of the nearby campgrounds, the roads within North Bend Park


Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir

Campsites in John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir

Reservations camping

North Bend Park

North Bend Park has over 200 spacious sites for campers using RVs, camper vans, or tents. You can ensure you get a campsite for you and your loved ones by reserving your space online up to six months in advance. They have electric and water hook-ups available at certain campsites, but you do have the option for primitive camping.
There are lakeside views from several campsites, picnic shelters available for use, swimming areas within close walking distance, biking trails, boat ramps, and even an amphitheater. North Bend Park also has a lovely playground available for children. The park is right on the Roanoke River, giving you pleasant nature sounds to fall asleep to.
If you or someone you're camping with is an avid angler, there is a convenient fishing dock where you can cast a line. There is a plethora of shade, making camping in the humid southern summer months a bit more bearable.

Rudds Creek Recreation Area

Rudds Creek has nearly 100 campsites for tents and RVs. There are hot showers available that will feel great after a long day of outdoor activities! This recreation area also has modern flush toilets, swimming beaches within close proximity to each campsite, and more. They have electric campsites available for RV campers, as well as non-electric campsites for people who prefer camping in a tent.
Each campsite is available on a six-month rolling basis, and you can easily reserve your spot online. Just like North Bend Park, Rudds Creek is right on Roanoke River. When staying here, you'll enjoy the convenience of a grocery store that is less than a five-minute drive away. This is great if you need to stock up on extra s'more ingredients!
There is a sand beach that is great for relaxing when you're not cooling off in the water. It may be important to note that the area surrounding Rudds Creek is open to the public for hunting. Lastly, each campsite has its own fire ring and picnic table, making mealtimes a breeze!

Seasonal activities in John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir


Water Activities

With over 50,000 acres of water, there are plenty of water activities you can take part in at John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir. If you're seeking an adventure, you can try out flyboarding. This is when you stand on a board connected to a long hose, with the hose connected to a boat. You can then take part in hydro flying, getting as high up as 50 feet in the air.
You can also use a fly board to go underwater as well, as much as eight feet below the surface.
If this doesn't sound like your thing, no worries, there are plenty of other water activities available such as kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, canoeing, water skiing, jet skiing, and more.


Another great way to spend a summer day or evening is by picnicking. John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir has nearby picnic tables. If you're staying at one of the campgrounds such as North Bend Park or Rudds Creek, you'll likely have a picnic table at your campground, along with a grill or fire pit. This is a great way to relax, fill up, and enjoy some downtime. There are also several areas along the coast that have picnic areas that can be reserved for events if needed.


Fishing is one of the most popular activities that take place on Buggs Island Lake. You can regularly catch largemouth bass that way between two and four pounds.

This lake and reservoir are also known for trophy bass that can get as big as eight pounds. If you're looking for the best fishing spots, check out the upper end of the lake as well as the lower end creek arms. You can find several different types of fish here including flatheads, blue catfish, crappies, striped bass, and more.


Wildlife Viewing

If you're looking for a great off-season activity, there are plenty of different wildlife to view. You can find several different types of bats, golden eagles, snakes, frogs, and more.
There are thousands of acres of land that are home to several different types of birds and animals. You can see whitetail deer, wild turkey, gray squirrels, rabbits, foxes, and more. There are public areas around John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir where you can hunt during hunting season as well.


When visiting John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir, you can take memories with you by photographing your trip. The dam itself is quite beautiful and makes an excellent backdrop for photos. In addition, there is lush forestry all around, shimmering water and lovely scenery everywhere you turn.
Finally, there are also numerous opportunities for catching a photo of the wide variety of wildlife in the area. When you're packing your RV for your camping trip near John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir, don't forget your camera.


If you're looking for more physical activity, you can take part in hiking on one of the nearby trails. There are plenty of trails nearby, including the Liberty Hill Trail. There is also an easy to access a viewpoint of the John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir along a path. There are paved as well as gravel trails for people of all types of physical ability to enjoy. Almost all of the trails are suitable for novice hikers.