I stayed away from such groups until I moved to Smith Mountain Lake. Within a year, I joined the Lake Writers and found a lively but varied group of people passionate about the written word. We have poets, essayists, novelists, playwrites, and non-fiction writers.
Then I joined the Valley Writers in Roanoke. That's not as convenient, since it's about 25 miles each way; however, I carpool with two fellow writers. There is some overlap in membership.
Here's what I like being a member of both groups:
Put these folks together and you have a terrific critique group that works with you to help you become a better writer. I have found my critique group home.