As the site of the country’s first Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC), Camp Roosevelt Campground is quite historic. Named for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the founder of the CCC, the campground is a living monument to the Depression-era effort to revitalize the American economy and infrastructure. The CCC was established to help kick start the economy and give hope to many young men with meaningful jobs and a sense of purpose. The CCC built many of the trails and infrastructure in the area, and ruins remain of old camp buildings decorated with Forest Service plaques describing the camp and its history.
Extensive hiking is available from the campground or via a short drive to additional trailheads. The steep, rugged 71-mile Massanutten Trail circles the inner valley and ridges of Massanutten Mountain and provides days of hiking with numerous views. It passes within several hundred yards east of the campground, where there is a small trailhead parking lot. The southern terminus of Stephens Trail is at the same trailhead and provides an easy loop hike from the campground to the panoramic Kennedy Peak and back along the Massanutten Trail. Additional trailheads that provide access to Strickler and Duncan Knobs are just a few miles south along the gravel Crisman Hollow Road.
Also note, due to the sharp turns along State Route 675, there is a 30-foot maximum vehicle length coming from Luray, Virginia, up the eastern ridge of Massanutten Mountain. Mid-sized RVs should arrive from the west if coming from I-81 or north if coming from I-66 to avoid the restriction.
When you don’t want to deal with the crowds at Shenandoah National Park, Camp Roosevelt Recreation Area offers a fantastic alternative. Crowds are minimal. Fall colors are just as intense. Mountain peaks are just as scenic. Miles of hiking trails exist, maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Conference, which provides the best map of the area (PATC Map G and Map H: Massanutten Mountain North and South Half respectively).
The campground serves as a small hub for outdoor activities in the area. There are 10 campsites and a small picnic area. A short “history trail” with describes the camp and life in the CCC in informational signage. The campground has no RV hookups, and only one small restroom with flush toilets. There is a central water spigot for potable water. The sites are level with a fire ring, lantern post, and picnic table. Mid-size RVs can fit in most sites, but this is really a small RV and tent-camping area. An RV dump across State Route 675 from the campground is probably out of service. There are no reservations, and it costs $10/night. The campground is seldom full. It is open from late May to mid-October.