Next camping plans: Assategue, Blue Ridge, Joshua Tree

Since our first glamping trip to Shenandoah in April, I am seriously hooked!

We’ve had a busy summer and camped in Shenandoah once again, in a State park, and in a private campground (seriously, check it out if you’re in Maryland!).

With my newfound passion for camping, and with fall bringing colder weather and changing leaves, I’m excited to go everywhere! Upstate New York, North Carolina, New England, basically wherever we can drive or take a train to, I want to do everything!

After a lot of thinking, and me jumping around saying let’s go! Let’s go!, we narrowed our plans to the following. We might do more, but this ones we’re more likely to do than not:

1. In-state camping: Assategue State Park

Wild ponies!! The park has wild ponies!!

They roam freely around the island (the Assategue State Park is located on the Assategue Island) and are considered wildlife. They are feral, meaning they descended from domesticated horses but have learned to survive independently from humans.

Read more about the horses here.

Since the island has a beach, it was planned as one of our summer trips… but the stars didn’t align. With a heavy heart, I filed it under “plans for next summer”, but then I came across this blog. Hannah from Hikes and Hops describes a trip to Assategue in January, and has lots of positive things to say! I’m not sure we’ll go in actual winter, but it became very appealing to me as a November-ish trip 🤔🤔🤔 No heat, no mosquitoes and did I mention the wild ponies!!

This is not from Assateague, it’s from a 2019 trip in Portugal… I just like horses

2. Road trip with camping: Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a drive from Shenandoah to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. It is said to feature “the most spectacular scenery in the world” and it stretches for 469 miles.

From DC it’s basically 1.5 hours until Shenandoah, and from there it’s a beautiful drive for as long as we want. First, we enter the Skyline drive that connects the North entrance of Shenandoah to the South, and then we enter the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It’s going to be a road trip with nights at campsites. We take a long weekend with a couple days off. We start from DC, say, Thursday. We drive to Shenandoah, hike, camp. On Friday we have breakfast and drive. Friday and Saturday we drive as long as we want, with stops along the way to hike and have lunch, and we’ll sleep at campsites.

Sunday and Monday we retreat our steps back.

3. My first backpacking trip: Joshua Tree National Park

Am I intimidated by that one!

I’m a PhD student and I have a conference in San Diego coming up in November. I’ve never been to California and I’m eager to go!

One of my colleagues, an experienced backpacker, suggested we do a group backpacking trip in Joshua Tree National Park. I could now have clicked “respond” quicker.

We are going backpacking for 3 days (2nights) and then car camping for another night before flying out back home.

November should be a good time to go, not so hot anymore.

I could not be more excited. It all is going to be completely new to me.

Extra: Little Bennet Campground (“our own backyard”)

Located just 33 miles from Downtown DC, it’s less than 30 mins driving from our house. I am keeping it in mind for a weekend when we don’t have much energy for a major road trip.


❔ What exciting plans do you have for Fall? Do you plan your trips way in advance and with much detail, or are you more on the spontaneous side?

❓ Did you do any of the trips we are planning? Do you have any advice?

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