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Bordering Shenandoah National Park, Ragged Mountain Natural Area is a popular Virginia destination for hikers from the nearby communities. This 980-acre natural area is outside Charlottesville and a bit over an hour away from Richmond. The challenging terrain and gorgeous nature are enough to attract visitors as well as adventure seekers regardless of the season.
At the elevation of 737 feet, Ragged Mountain Reservoir lies in the heart of the natural area. This reservoir is home to various species of waterfowl. Therefore, birdwatchers and wildlife observers stay close to the water. Visitors who wish to explore this magnificent place themselves could book an RV in Albemarle County and see the unique nature of this part of Virginia.
Ragged Mountain Natural Area has 7 miles of hiking trails divided into three smaller parts. Hikers will be spending a lot of time near Ragged Mountain Reservoir because a large portion of the trails is along the shore. Visitors who want to see the panoramic view of the area and observe the surrounding valleys could go up the Ragged Mountain. The trails are moderate, and even the beginner hikers could conquer them. It is recommended that you either bring a map or a phone with you for this adventure since the markings on some parts of the trail are less visible.
Ragged Mountain Natural Area campers interested in birdwatching could enjoy this place a lot. The birding opportunities change with the season. Migrating birds and waterfowl can be seen near the reservoir in the fall and winter. These include mallards, geese, and northern flickers. Dense woods are filled with songbirds in spring. The mountain is home to various animal species. White-tailed deer can often be spotted close to the trails, so keep your eyes open if you decide to go further into the woods.
Charlottesville KOA is the closest campground to Ragged Mountain Natural Area. This campground is incredibly well-maintained and offers a variety of features that could make your motorhome camping trip comfortable. Besides showers, bathrooms, and laundry facilities, this place also has a dog park where your furry friend can run around freely. However, make sure to keep your pets on a leash while they are near other campers. A high-speed WiFi connection is available here as well.
The pull-through sites are clean and spacious. There are around 60 sites suitable for RVs that are up to 65 feet long. The sites have electric hookups with 50-amp power. Charlottesville KOA is not a seasonal campground, and it is open all year round. Summers are especially busy, and the camp is often completely booked. Potential campers could reserve their spot by filling out the online form or inquiring about the campground via e-mail.
Charlottesville is a city that is proud of its past. The mixture of the old and new create unforgettable energy that could make every visitor fall in love with this place. This pedestrian-friendly city has many important historical landmarks. That shouldn’t be surprising since two United States Presidents called Charlottesville their home. Both Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe lived and worked here. Ragged Mountain Natural Area campers could start their tour at the Monticello. The breathtaking mansion was once owned by Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. He designed it himself, borrowing inspiration from European architecture and combining it with the Neoclassical style. Monticello is a United States National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors may admire the 5,000-acre plantation, see the colorful garden filled with flowers, and view the original interiors of the mansion.
The University of Virginia is located in Charlottesville, and art aficionados could have a lot of fun at the Fralin Museum of Art. Housed in the Thomas H. Bayly Memorial Building, the museum has an impressive collection of art pieces dating back to the ancient times. There are around 13,000 paintings, sculptures, and photographs for visitors to see. The permanent exhibits feature some of the best works from European painters, Native American artifacts, Asian art, and many more. The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection is an absolute hit since it is the largest Australian Aboriginal art collection outside of Australia.
Those of you who wish to feel like a local should head to the downtown area. Main Street is the place to be if you want to grab a bite to eat or go shopping. Restaurants are in historic buildings, and most of them have outdoor eating areas where you may relax with your camping buddies.
Campers may purchase basic supplies and snacks downtown. Before you leave this area, stop at a gas station and fill up your RV rental. You might find the gas stations near the most frequented roads. Outdoor enthusiasts who wish to see more of Virginia could drive southwest to Lynchburg, also known as the City of Seven Hills.