Adventures always start with just one thought that turns into a mission. A few months ago, I was just sitting at my computer in New Jersey, and I looked out at my Jeep. I wondered where I could go overland camping in this area, since most overlanding trails are out West. I did a little bit of searching around the national parks near me and found Shenandoah to be the closest. After a bit of research on AllTrails, I came across Big Levels Jeep Trail. Perfect! 17 miles of pure off-road! This trail wasn’t like anything I’d seen in Jersey. It had a nice elevation gain of around 3000 ft. and some nice views along with some interesting obstacles. This trail wasn’t anything too crazy. You could get through in a slightly modified 4×4. The end of the trail spits you out on Skyline Drive for another nice scenic view! (scenic campsites are available near the end). Overall, this trail is a great way to get some overlanding in over the weekend.
There is camping on Western side of the trail about a 1/2 mile from the Blueridge Parkway. The views looking over the mountains are phenomenal! All campsites are large, primitive sites with fire rings and easy 4×4 access. These sites are definitely worth the drive.
Note: The best roof top tent for this journey would be the WoodsBuilt Mountaineer due to its durability on the trail. Small branches don’t stand a chance! Learn more!
The off road driving on this trail can be difficult at times with narrow paths, sharp turns, and big rocks. This trail is moderately trafficked so there may be areas in which you’ll have to pass other drivers in tight areas. There are smaller puddles, but not enough to get your 4 x 4 stuck. Airing your tires for this trip is recommended.
Coming from the North/South – Start by getting on I-81 toward Staunton. Exit onto route 64 east. Make a right onto Mt. Torrey Rd. Make a right onto Coal road and you’re there. You’ll see signs for big levels jeep trail.
East – Enter onto route 64 east. Make a left onto Mt. Torrey Rd. Make a right onto Coal road and you’re there. You’ll see signs for big levels jeep trail.
West – Enter onto route 250 East. Exit onto route 64 east. Make a right onto Mt. Torrey Rd. Make a right onto Coal road and you’re there. You’ll see signs for big levels jeep trail.