One fascinating part of West Virginia that you can never miss is the abundance of mountains—the foremost being the Appalachian Mountain Range. But the state is not all about mountains. There are valleys, waterfalls, and rivers that combine to place a haven for the nature lover.
Every year, hikers, mountain bikers, and skiers flood into the state to revel in the beauty that can be found wherever you look. The mountain state also has some of the best campsites in the country.
For the most fantastic outdoor fun, you can visit the Seneca Rocks or hike your way through the Greenbrier State Forest. Adventure lovers can find state park campgrounds, exclusive RV parks, and private campgrounds in every corner of the state. During the summer months, it can be challenging to get an ideal campground due to the influx of campers. You might want to book a reservation to avoid the mad rush. But first, let’s take a look at the best camping destinations in the state.
1. Audra State Park
There are spectacular campgrounds, and there is Audra State Park. Sitting on a 350-acre expanse of land, the state-owned park occupies what could be called West Virginia’s spine.
So much history lies in this park. Originally built as a mill powered by water, the area has gradually metamorphosed into one of the state’s most scenic locations. There are lots of water bodies around Audra State Park to have powered these mills, and up to date, water still attracts lots of visitors to the park.
Audra State Park has 67 campsites that can be used by recreational vehicles and tents alike. 13 of these sites are equipped with electric hookups. Boating, kayaking, fishing, and swimming are activities that can be done in the area surrounding the campsites. Others include white water rafting and biking. Although you might have to be careful about the weather, as the currents can become very strong when it rains
Kids will thoroughly enjoy the swimming holes, and if you ever get tired of the lake, you can go for a good old hike on any of the many hiking trails available in the area. These tricky trails will give you a good workout and are lovely and something to keep the kids occupied.
2. West Virginia Adventures Campground
Camping in a tent, a cabin, or a recreational vehicle? It doesn’t matter because, at West Virginia Adventure Campground, every type of camper has a place to stay.
The campsites at this location all have one thing in common, plenty of space, and every site has a fire pit and picnic table. Recreational vehicles have 16 acres dedicated to them, and there is a full electric hookup at the sites along with back-in and pull-through spaces. They also offer sewer hookups. Amenities at the campground include a laundry spot, showers, a picnic area, and a soda machine. Pets are welcome at this scenic campground, although the owners are tasked with cleaning up.
The real highlights of the location are the cabins and the hilltop. The cabins, which are old school studio types, all have bathrooms, a sitting porch, and a mini-fridge. These studios are something close to regal-style camping. On the other hand, the hilltop, where most of the camping facilities are located, occupies a 5-acre space, from where you can view the entire area surrounding the camping site.
3. Chestnut Creek Campground
Situated in Lansing, West Virginia, Chestnut Creek Campground is a serene and quiet campground that is less than a mile away from the New River Gorge Bridge. The camping destination is majorly for primitive campers and those looking for more natural experiences in the forests.
There are 34 campsites located in the location and a large area that groups can use for camping. Every site comes with a fire ring and a picnic table. The sites are well spaced, and each of them occupies a kind of private area in the woods.
There are minimal amenities here, such as a bathroom and kitchen area. Trailers, recreational vehicles, and tent campers can find a place to lodge here. Rustic campers would find this location fascinating, as there are no water or electric hookups. However, visitors can get ice and firewood at the camp store.
If you wish to hike the area, a few trails are surrounding the campground. Alternatively, you can make the short distance to the river and take a swim, fish, or boat. Further ahead, you can find a burrito bar and a store for camping essentials. RV drivers wishing to explore the town can take a 5-minute drive to the fantastic Fayetteville neighborhood, where they can find local businesses and restaurants.
4. Bear Heaven Campground
If you are looking to get some quiet time while reveling in nature, then the Bear Heaven Campground is a perfect match for you. Its location in Elkins means that this beautiful campground is a bit unknown, perfect for the lone camper.
Bear Heaven Campground is truly a hidden gem and attends to only vans and tents. The campground, which operates on a first-come, first-served basis, has just eight campsites. With lots of distance between each site, it is possible to achieve the solitude which brings campers here in the first place.
Every site is equipped with a tent pad, fire ring, lantern holder, and a picnic table. There is no dump station at the campground, but campers can utilize the vault toilets available. Campers can hike in the wilderness nearby, which has a whopping trail length of 45 miles. The Middle Road Trail measuring 3.7 miles is also a shorter alternative.
If you are visiting Bear Heaven Campground for the first time, make sure to pack every item you would need, water included, as you would be responsible for yourself.
5. Glade Creek Campground
There are eight camping destinations around the iconic New River Gorge, with Glade Creek Campground as one of them. With the New River running along the edges of the campground, and the Glade Creek On the other side, the campground is firmly lodged in the middle of two water bodies.
One thing that’s ever-present at the campground is the sound of flowing rivers. Glade Creek is over 5 miles long and offers the camper numerous opportunities to fish. Following the traditions of the primitive sites around the New River, Glade Creek Campground has very few amenities, which come in the form of a vault toilet. The campground, which sees very little traffic throughout the year, has no coverage for cell phones.
During the summer, campers can swim in the Glade Creek, but the New River is a no-go, especially for newbies, as the current is pretty strong.
6. Babcock State Campground
Located close to arguably the most famous town in West Virginia, Fayetteville, Babcock State Park is an attractive camping destination with over 50 campsites. Since the New River Gorge Bridge is also located in the same environment, there are many opportunities to explore the outdoors. If you plan to visit the campground during the summer, it is advisable to book a spot very early as this location fills up pretty fast.
Babcock State Campground is segmented into three separate sections. The central section, containing the first 21 campsites, is well spaced with shades and is great for tents and small trailers. Although the parking pad is relatively short and does not have a level surface, this section is the most enjoyable. Next is the section on the left, containing 17 campsites. There is a complete electric hookup, and the sites are great for trailers and big rigs. Finally, the third loop is a rustic portion, with no bathrooms and no electricity. The sites are also jam-packed. This area is not suitable for tent camping, except the camper is self-sufficient.
Campers can get ice and firewood at the camp station and as there is no other store around, you might have to pack all you need. There are showers and a Laundromat on the location. Kids can also enjoy the beautiful playground.
7. Blackwater Falls State Park
Open from April to October, the Blackwater Falls State Park is a highly frequented state park that is filled up almost every weekend. Located close to Thomas and David’s towns in West Virginia, the campground has 65 camping sites divided into two sections.
The first 30 sites on the right loop have electric hookups and are gobbled up by Recreational vehicles, while the remaining sites on the left tend to favor small trailers and tent campers. If you love a quiet space while camping, then the left section is made for you.
On both sections, there are old clean bathrooms containing showers. The dump area is located close to where the tent is. Children can take advantage of the small playground on the camp. Ice and firewood can be gotten at the camp store, along with other camping essentials.
Campers looking to stay active can explore the several short trails around the area or head out to Lake Pendleton, where there are rentable boats in the summer months. The falls here are also a significant attraction, alongside a nature center and golf course.
8. First Landing State Park
Situated in the northern portion of the First Landing State Park, the campground bearing the same name is a special place to go camping. The campground is known for its well-groomed facilities and clean area. Each campsite here is quite different from the next: while some have shrubs and sand all around, others are encompassed by oak trees on every side.
Dunes, which are a significant attraction to the campground, have multiple pathways passing through them. You can access the various beaches around the campground using these paths. There are flush toilets on the campground, and visitors can take hot showers at the bathhouses. Close to the visitors center, there is a coin-operated Laundromat.
First, Landing State Park’s location close to a military station means you get to hear (and see) lots of aircraft flying around, which can be a bit noisy. But otherwise, the place is generally peaceful.
9. Braley Pond Campground
Some of the most incredible campgrounds are not the most popular, and Braley Pond falls into that category. Located close to Shenandoah Mountain, the campground is a small area that only a few campers have discovered. Since hiking and mountain biking are famous, this camping destination has provided shelter to hikers and bikers for years.
The campground is a primitive-styled location and has no water, electric, or trash amenities. However, there is a vault toilet, which the five campsites can access on the site. A pond and well-groomed picnic spot combine to complete the list of limited facilities available here.
Fishing is a popular pastime on the campground, as you can get bluegills, largemouth bass, and rainbow trout in the well-stocked pond. Mountain bikers and hikers are sure to enjoy the many trails surrounding the campground. The campground is only for the brave-hearted and those interested in rustic camping.
10. Red Creek Campground
Situated in the Monongahela National Forest, the Red Creek Campground is a unique camping destination with lots of scenery and much more activities to keep the camper smiling. The campground provides access to adventurers planning to hike the nearby Dolly Sods Wilderness. Also, it has a great viewpoint from where you can see all the beauties of the Potomac River.
Tent campers and Recreational vehicles usually frequent this rustic campground. There is no electricity, water, or even flush toilets, although two vault toilets are open to usage by the campers. Mobile network coverage is inadequate here, and if you needed a place in West Virginia where you could escape civilization, Red Creek Campground is your best bet.
Don’t be fooled by the rustic nature of Red Creek; it attracts lots of campers and can be extremely busy. One explanation for that is the picturesque nature of the campground. As the destination makes no provisions for reservations, it operates on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning you would have to go very early to secure a spot.
Above are just a few of the best campsites in West Virginia. But these are not all the campgrounds in the state. There are many more exciting areas to explore whenever you visit the mountain state; however, these are the outstanding ones. The choice is yours. Pick a campground, pack your camp gear and explore all that West Virginia has to offer.
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