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Stayed here in February 2021 at the Whispering Pines camp. Facilities are great, sites are close but not right on top of each other. Camping pads are as expected from state park. Great off-season camping as we shared the whole grounds with only a few other campers.
Only complaints are Whispering Pines is near enough to the main road that you get a lot of road noise, and the walking path to the lake has un-maintained stream crossings, which is probably ok in summer… but not as fun in winter.
Our family has camped here multiple times. Great place to stay due to clean facilities and well kept sites. The lake is perfect for little ones and even grownup kids. Also love the trails that surround the campground. Would definitely recommend for a camping trip.
We stayed here 4 days and 3 nights in November. We use a teardrop camper so we appreciated the water and electric hookup (although we disconnected the water at night to prevent freezing). The sites are large but there really aren’t trees between sites although we were on a corner and so had some sense of privacy. The bathrooms were incredibly clean and heated. Showers were terrific as well. Staff were kind and knowledgeable. A stream runs beside the campground and the lake, though small, is nice to paddle around in a kayak. We arrived the day after trout stocking and so there were quite a few fishermen in the stream and on the lake. I caught a few large trout in the stream on a fly but it really was a bit like fishing in a barrel. There are many hiking trails nearby with a variety of difficulty. We chose a couple that provided nice views. I imagine it would be a great place for kids.
This was by far one of the best camping trips ever!! I took my grandkids tent camping and we had a fantastic time. The hiking and lake is amazing. We spent a lot of time at the beach and it was so beautiful plus it has a water playground, a diving dock, trees close by so there is shade on the beach in the afternoon, and a snack shack. You can rent boats too. There are multiple camping areas which include one water side so you can have access to the water with your canoes and kayaks, one for big rigs, one for equestrian, and one for tents and smaller campers. This place is beautiful and quiet. We loved it here!! Make reservations because it books up quick. Also, they have many cabins and they are placed wonderfully on the mountain. We went to the Humpback Bridge and a cool train museum that were close the campground.
This weekend was a great adventure in SW Virginia. We stayed in a Yurt. It has no electricity or water but the bath house was close. The yurt has a double bed, a twin trundle, a couch and some chairs, and a table and chairs. It also has a large wrap around deck with rocking chairs. A picnic table, lamp post, and fire ring are also provided at the site. We hunted and found fairy stones which made the trip that much more fun. It was just after covid 19 started and lessening restrictions began so the beach was closed and there were few people at the campground but we had a great time riding bikes and hiking. We even went to the Creeper Trail and rode our bikes from White Top to Damascus.
We spent this weekend camping at Pipestem Resort State Park. The park is super clean and very well maintained. We hiked up to the tower for a great view of the area. We rode the tram at sunset. We sat by the river in at the base of the tram and enjoyed the quiet serene views of folks fishing, deer grazing, and watched the sun go down. The campground was nearly full. It was well maintained, but the sites were small and very close together. We spent time in the park and saw many of the local waterfalls (Pipestem Falls, Sandstone Falls, Brush Creek Falls, Mash Fork Falls, Campbell Falls). The night sky was amazingly clear and stars were bright. It was a great weekend and a great park.
Greenbrier River Trail Mile Post 49.3 Primitive Campsite, Watoga, WV
West Virginia's Greenbrier River Trail (GRT) stretches from its Northern Terminus at the Cass Railroad Station, Stumptown 78-80 miles (depending on what resource you read) to it's Southern Terminus in North Caldwell. The Greenbrier River Trail is a Rails-to-Trails initiative, so being a former track bed, the surface is predominantly ballast, though there are some black-topped areas. Some locations of the trail that either see more sunlight or less traffic have seen grass overtake the trail to form a "two-track" or at times a mown grass trail. Most parts drain well and easy to navigate, while some heavily wooded areas adjacent to rocky cliffs see more puddling and thus muddier…but all navigable.
Because of it's relative remoteness and light traffic, wildlife flourishes along the GRT. This is bear country so I would recommend utilizing a bear bag or bear canister for your food and toiletries. I used a BearVault BV500 that I strapped to the Salsa EXP Anything Cradle attached to my handlebars…worked great. Eliminated concerns about losing food items and attracting Yogi and Boo-Boo. A Father/Daughter duo trailing us observed a juvenile bear not far off the trail mid-day. But bears aside, raccoons, chipmunks and other rodents can wreak havoc on panniers or backpacks containing food and fragrant toiletries.
At the time of our visit there were 15 Primitive or Rustic Campsites along the Greenbrier River Trail. Each person traveling the Greenbrier River Trail will determine which primitive campsite they prefer for a night's rest.
All the primitive campsites positioned along the Greenbrier River Trail (GRT) are free, first-come, first-served. Note that some offer more amenities than others, so those will likely be the sought after locations.
Traveling West Virginia's Greenbrier River Trail is a highlight whatever mode of travel permitted, whether on foot, horseback, bicycling or even paddlecraft…no motorized vehicles are permited. The Greenbrier River Trail was chosen by Backpacker Magazine as one of the top ten best hikes in the U.S. of A. That's quite the billing to live up to.
I will add that we chose to bikepack the GRT, so I felt we did not stop at all the available sites, cascades, waterfalls, bridges, etc purely because we were a little spread out and by the time you past by a special site, the others were too far down the trail. While I absolutely loved our entire GRT trip…had I been on foot…more exploring would have taken place.
- Raised fine gravel tent pad
- Nice, clean, maintained and stocked pit latrine
- Picnic table
- Metal fire ring
- Metal Bear-proof trash receptacle
- No cell service
- No water pump
- No cell service
- Tent pad located very close to elevated trail
- Town of Marlinton
- Watoga State Park
- Greenbrier Resort
- Snowshoe Mountain Resort
- Cass Railroad
- Seneca State Forest
- Seneca Rocks
- Spruce Knob (WV highest elevation)
- The Wild Bean Cafe and Thunderbird Taco (Lewisburg) (Suggestion: Order the Guacadilla!…thank me later)
The GRT Mile Post 49.3 Primitive Campsite does not offer a well water, so fill up before you get there. Although, if you utilize a filter, you can draw water from the river or the tributary down the trail several hundred feet. Even though Mile Post 49.3 tent pad is directly alongside the trail, traffic is so light that it is really a non-issue. There is not a large clearing and with dense vegetation…pack your bug juice.
This is West Virginia, so even in populated areas cell service can be spotty…but on the trail, I would not count on it. This is both a blessing and a curse. However, for safety purposes, I do carry a Garmin InReach Explorer + in case of emergencies.
The GRT Mile Post 49.3 Primitive Campsite makes for a great overnighter from either Marlinton or a nice out-and-back from Cass Railroad from the north or from North Caldwell from the South…eliminating the need for a shuttle.
Final Thoughts: Whether you chose to spend the night at Mile Post 49.3 or not, is not the point…all the primitive campsites along the Greenbrier River Trail are great choices…the point is, mark your calendars, plan this trip and travel West Virginia's Greenbrier River Trail!
Stayed here for 5 nights in our 37’ travel trailer. Beautiful property, well maintained, with lots to do. We enjoyed many of the parks amenities including a horseback ride on the trails, the giant inflatables at the lake, the nature center & hiking.
Campground specific- we stayed in site 21. Full H/U
Pros: Wooded campsites Quiet Amenities Picnic tables & fire rings at each site Trash cans have raccoon lids & are picked up daily Helpful campground staff Kids loved biking around campground, very safe
Cons: Tight spots to maneuver with bigger camper
GREENBRIER RIVER TRAIL MILE POST 9.5 PRIMITIVE CAMPSITE, KEISTER, WV
Greenbrier River Trail Primitive Campsite at Mile Post 9.5 is close enough to North Caldwell, WV…the GBT Southern Terminus…that you could make a quick journey north from the parking area for an exceptional night of camping.
Traveling West Virginia's Greenbrier River Trail from it's Northern Terminus at Cass Railroad, Stumptown to it's Southern Terminus in North Caldwell has created a thirst that can only be slaked by multiple future returns. What a fantastic trail!
The Shelter is so new its not even noted on any but the newest Trail Map. It appears that individuals or families have either constructed or donated for the construction of both shelters and several protected bench areas. The Dale McCutcheon Shelter was so clean and comfortable, it's hard to call this primitive camping. Note: All campsites on the Greenbrier River Trail are first come-first served…no reservations. Backstory on McCutcheon Shelter: https://www.wvnstv.com/news/west-virginia-news/greenbrier-county/new-shelters-built-along-greenbrier-river-trail/
- Adirondock Style Shelter (New)
- Raised Tent pads
- Picnic Tables
- Metal Fire Rings
- Large, clean Pit Latrine
- Hand pump well water
- Metal Bear Proof Trash Receptacle
- No Cell Service
- Great Swimming Rock Trail South
- No Cell Service
- Hand pump well water was inoperable during our late June 2020 visit
- The Greenbrier Resort
- The Wild Bean - Lewisburg (restaurant)
- Seneca Forest/State Park
- Snowshoe Mountain Resort
- Cass Railroad
- Spruce Knob
- Seneca Rocks
In late June 2020, weather along The Greenbrier River Trail was cooler, with late afternoon/early evening rain showers. Only the last day did we enjoy warmer weather with blue skies. Which made the allure of a nearby swimming rock a great temptation. Several mall cascades lined the West side of the trail, which is ordinarily the side cut from the mountain for the railway.
With a few short miles until the journey ends at the Southern Terminus…we slowed our paced and stopped more frequently to enjoy all the sights and sounds.
Trail conditions got soft and muddy after the previous night's deluge through the more heavily wooded areas, once the trail was exposed to constant sun, it dried quickly. Blow-down did slow us down a few times. Interesting note: This campsite area is a relocation of one destroyed by the heavy rains and buried by landslide of 2016. The Greenbrier Trail itself travels between the Greenbrier River and was, in many places, hewn from the mountainside. It is these areas where heavy rains soften the soil and old growth trees dislodge and cause trail blockages and/or mudslides. Oftentimes, when bicycling, one keeps his eyes forward to the trail/road in front of them…but if you gaze around you on this trail…there is much to see all around and often above!
Overall, it is a must-do…and I can't wait to ride the Greenbrier River Trail again!