Hidden Valley Campground

Hot Springs, Virginia

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1 Review
2 out of 5
Tucked away in far-western Virginia at the base of Back Creek Mountain, Hidden Valley richly deserves its name. Looking out across the pasture adjacent to this wooded campground, moviegoers might recognize Warwickton, the antebellum mansion that provided the primary setting for the 1993 movie Sommersby, starring Jodie Foster and Richard Gere. Publicity releases said Hidden Valley was chosen as the location because “you could shoot 360 degrees and not know you were in the 20th century.” Judge James Wood Warwick built the mansion in 1848, and it is considered one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in western Virginia. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. When the Forest Service acquired it in 1965, the building was in a state of disrepair. The roof was replaced, but it wasn’t until 1990 that new life was given to the structure. Pam and Ron Stidham of Ohio visited the area and ultimately entered into an agreement— the first of its kind in Forest Service history—to refurbish Warwickton and operate it with the Forest Service as the Hidden Valley Bed and Breakfast under a long-term special use permit.
Best Tent Camping: Virginia

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Tent Camping: Virginia

by Randy Porter (Menasha Ridge Press)

Tucked away in far-western Virginia at the base of Back Creek Mountain, Hidden Valley richly deserves its name. Looking out across the pasture adjacent to this wooded campground, moviegoers might recognize Warwickton, the antebellum mansion that provided the primary setting for the 1993 movie Sommersby, starring Jodie Foster and Richard Gere. Publicity releases said Hidden Valley was chosen as the location because “you could shoot 360 degrees and not know you were in the 20th century.” Judge James Wood Warwick built the mansion in 1848, and it is considered one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in western Virginia.

It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. When the Forest Service acquired it in 1965, the building was in a state of disrepair. The roof was replaced, but it wasn’t until 1990 that new life was given to the structure. Pam and Ron Stidham of Ohio visited the area and ultimately entered into an agreement— the first of its kind in Forest Service history—to refurbish Warwickton and operate it with the Forest Service as the Hidden Valley Bed and Breakfast under a long-term special use permit.

©  Randy Porter/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Campgrounds
Nearby City: Hot Springs
Season: Mid-March–end of November
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Hidden Valley Campground

Recent Trail Reviews

6/25/2010
0

Disappointing. Not much better than camping in the backyard. We looked forward to a weekend of “tent camping” and stream fishing away from the noise but found a campsite with RVs and campers running portable generators for hours on end. Even the “on site” Forestry Service volunteer had a generator running. Really great for yelling across a campfire to each other. The “river” is not a river during the summer months. Trout fishing is posted from Oct 1-June 15 so I’m guessing there is actually water running in it during the winter months. There is a reservoir and damn about a mile up the road so there was plenty of traffic passing through the area at night as people went up to picnic (drink). Positives: the directions were great and hiking trails were nice. Might try it again in December or January because I never learn my lesson the first time. Have to believe the river will be up and the cold weather should offer privacy. Bring some firewood with you. The entire area has been picked clean.



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Apr 2018