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Cabins at Staunton River State Park get upgrade / July 23, 2020

Ditch the tent and enjoy nature from the rustic charm of Virginia State Parks cabins. At the two Virginia State Parks on Kerr/Buggs Island Lake, Occoneechee and Staunton River, cabins provide the comforts of home while allowing you to immerse yourself in natural surroundings as the mood suits.

This summer, Virginia State Parks is renovating and restoring the cabins at Staunton River State Park. Many of the cabins at Staunton River are more than 80 years old.

Renovations are moving forward with great care to preserve the rough-cut charm of the originals.

“It’s a fine line we had to walk to keep the historic feel of our cabins,” said Cameron Lipscomb, Staunton River State Park ranger.

Attention to detail has gone into updating the cabins without losing the character of the original facilities, as defined by the stone patios, hardwood floors, and interior wood paneling. Some paneling has been removed and replaced to brighten up the rooms. Original fireplaces, chimneys, and wood beams that run across the ceiling remain in place, preserving the cozy feel that a cabin in the woods should offer.

“We feel it’s a perfect mix of rustic and modern touches,” said Lipscomb.

The total renovation project costs $1.6 million and is being paid for through the parks’ maintenance reserve fund. All eight cabins at Staunton River are being remodeled — some of the work has been completed, and the last two cabins are due for completion by October. Cabin #1 will be completely ADA-compliant to accommodate campers with mobility issues.

“We were glad to get it done,” said Lipscomb. The cabins were “a little outdated.”

The state park cabins are open year-round and are equipped with central heat and air conditioning. Over half of the cabins received new HVAC systems with this upgrade. The cabins sleep two or six people and include a full kitchen with pots and pans. You will need to bring your own coffee and linens. Although if you forget something, the SRSP Visitor Center has you covered.

Staunton River State Park encompasses 1,597 acres along the shoreline at the convergence of the Dan and Staunton rivers at Buggs Island Lake. The park’s many attractions include camping, cabins, picnic shelters and nature trails. SRSP also is an International Dark Sky Park, making it one of the best sites on the East Coast for stargazing.

Rangers hope the outdoor Olympic-size swimming pool and wading pool will reopen next summer; swim facilities are currently closed for safety concerns due to the coronavirus.

During the Great Depression, between 1933 and 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was created, part of the New Deal wave of programs to get America working again amid the Great Depression. The original builders of the park took great pains to create a lasting recreational asset while preserving the area’s natural and historical resources.

Staunton River State Park opened in June 1936 and became a National Historic Landmark in 2007. It was part of a then-new system of state parks that included Fairy Stone, Douthat, Hungry Mother, Westmoreland State Parks and Seashore (later renamed First Landing State Park).

For more information on Staunton River State Park or renting a cabin, visit their website at or call 434-572-4623. Staunton River State Park is located at 1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg. For information on Occoneechee State Park, situated on the banks of Buggs Island Lake in Clarksville, visit or call 434-374-2210. The address is 1192 Occoneechee Park Rd., Clarksville, just off U.S. 58.

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