George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forests

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forests

Quick Facts

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forests


(540) 265-5100

Map Directions

Things To Do


These two forests stretch from one end of Virginia to the other, as well as extending into West Virginia, along the ruggedly beautiful Appalachians. Virtually every type of outdoor recreation activity you can imagine is available. Of course hiking, fishing, mountain bicycling and camping lead the way, but don't forget hawk watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding and nature photography.

Map of George Washington & Jefferson Nat'l Forests

Latitude, Longitude: 38.341651, -79.282620



  • Boating

    Nearby Bolar Mountain Including Sugar Ridge offers Lake Moomaw access with swimming beach, boat ramp, marina, playground, and hiking trails. No gas powered boats longer that 25 feet long allowed on the lake. Reservations for large groups using the camp ground.

  • Bicycling

    There are many mountain biking trails throughout the National Forest. Most of the trails reside in the central portion of GWJ Forest. Check the website for details about specific trails.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Please contact the park for information on auto/motorcycle tours.

  • Camping

    Camping for tents, campers,RVs is allowed throughout the Forest. From primitive camping to campsites with water and electric the forest has it all.

  • Fishing

    Fish for wild trout in the forest's hundreds of miles of streams and rivers. The fly-fishing on Jackson River offers you a shot at hefty rainbow and brown trout, while smaller mountain streams harbor native brookies. The forest's ponds, lakes, and riverways are home to nearly 100 species of fish, so no matter where you dangle a line, you probably won't go home empty- handed.

  • Hiking

    Hikers, bikers and equestrians will find over 2,000 miles of trails covering various types of terrain from streamside walks leading to waterfalls, ridgetops with panoramic views of valleys as well as single and double track for a challenge. A majority of the trails are multi-purpose so visitors are asked to be courteous and obey some "rules of the road" to help make everyone's visit to the forest a good one.

  • Historic Sites

    Please contact the park for information on touring this historic forest.

  • Horseback Riding

    Most of the trials open to hikers and mountain bikers are also available to horseback riders. Check the official website for the list and location of trails.

  • Hunting

    Both big and small game hunting is allowed in certain areas of the forest. ld Virginia Group Horse Camp is a primitive camping area located in Fairwood Valley and only minutes from the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail. Big and small game hunting is allowed at this location. Small game hunting is also allowed at Bolar Mountain Including Sugar Ridge and Laurel Fork Trails- Warm Springs Ranger District both located in the GWJ central region.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    OHV (Off Highway Vehicles) are permitted on certain trails throughout the central and northern region of the forest. Check website for specific locations.

  • Picnicking

    Check the website for the list of picnic areas, both group and single picnic areas.

  • RVing

    Several nearby campgrounds and recreation areas offer RV sites. Contact the park for more information.

  • Winter Sports

    Contact the park for information on skiing and snowboarding opportunities.


Forest is open year round. Activities that are permitted may very from season to season.

Park Partners

Virginia Wilderness Committee

The Virginia Wilderness Committee is a non-profit citizens' group dedicated to the preservation of Virginia's natural heritage. VWC was organized in 1969 and works closely with the congressional delegation from Virginia to pass legislation under the 1964 Wilderness Act, which provides permanent protection to outstanding wild areas on public land in Virginia.



George Washington Forest is on Interstate 64, about 93 miles west of Charlottesville, 180 miles west of Richmond, and 102 miles north of Roanoke


The nearest large regional airports are Roanoke Regional Airport and Charlottesville-Abemarle Airport.

Public Transportation

No public transportation is available.

Phone Numbers


(540) 265-5100



Currently working as campground host at Hardin Ridge Recreation Area, Hoosier National Forest, and my husband are looking for winter employmet, of similar nature.