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Camping at Tailrace Park Campground

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Tailrace Park Campground, located in the John H Kerr Dam and Reservoir area, which is also known as Buggs Island Lake, offers a variety of recreational opportunities. The campground is situated near the Roanoke River in southern Virginia, providing visitors with access to fishing, boating, and other water-related activities.

Camping Details

  • Facilities: Tailrace Park typically offers basic amenities like campsites with picnic tables and fire rings, access to restrooms, and drinking water. Specific details about the number of sites, RV hookups, and dump stations should be confirmed with the managing agency.
  • Reservations: Depending on the campground’s policy, campsites might be available on a first-come, first-served basis or through reservations. Advanced booking could be possible through recreation.gov or another reservation system.
  • Fees: There is likely a fee for camping, which varies depending on the type of campsite and services provided. Always check the most recent fee schedule before planning your trip.


  • Fishing: The John H Kerr Dam and Reservoir are renowned for excellent fishing, with opportunities to catch species such as largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish.
  • Boating: Boating enthusiasts can take advantage of the reservoir's expansive waters, and there may be boat ramps available for easy access.
  • Hiking and Wildlife Viewing: Surrounding trails offer a chance for hikers to explore the area and view local wildlife.
  • Swimming: The reservoir may provide designated areas for swimming, though visitors should always verify if swimming is allowed and safe.

Regulations and Safety

  • Permits: Visitors might need a permit for certain activities like fishing or hunting. Ensure that you have the necessary licenses and understand the local regulations.
  • Campfires: Campfire policies depend on current conditions and regulations that aim to prevent forest fires. Always follow campground rules regarding fire use.
  • Wildlife Precautions: As with any outdoor area, be aware of the local wildlife, store food securely, and keep a safe distance from animals.
  • Weather Awareness: Be prepared for changing weather conditions and know the safety procedures for severe weather events, especially if you're on the water.


  • Location: Verify the exact location of Tailrace Park Campground within the John H Kerr Dam and Reservoir area, as GPS coordinates or a map will ensure accurate directions.
  • Access Roads: Road conditions leading to the campground can vary, with some areas potentially having gravel or dirt access roads that may not be suitable for all vehicles, particularly after inclement weather.
  • Campsite Accessibility: Campsites may vary in terms of accessibility for those with mobility issues. It's a good idea to check in advance if you require an ADA-accessible campsite.

Contact Information

Before heading out to Tailrace Park Campground, it's advisable to contact the local managing agency (such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or a state park service) for the most current information on campground status, reservations, fees, and regulations. This ensures a safe and enjoyable camping experience.

Note: This information provides a general overview of Tailrace Park Campground in the John H Kerr Dam and Reservoir area. For specific, up-to-date information, always contact the campground or visit the official website before your trip.

Location of Tailrace Park Campground
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