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A friend and I stayed here 3 nights while visiting Marlinton for the annual Roadkill Cook-off. Facilities are decent however Wi-Fi is extremely weak if you are more than a couple hundred feet from the restrooms. Because this entire area of WV is in the National Radio Quiet Zone, there is zero cellular service with 1-2 hours drive in any direction. If you can't get the weak WiFi service, you won't be using any data services. (Not necessarily a bad thing, but don't expect to notify family that you have arrived or are ok. Also, make sure any electronic devices you will be using for navigation have offline maps loaded before visiting.) One huge gripe is that technically you are limited to 1 sleeping unit per site, even if you only have 2 or 3 people sleeping in individual 1-person tents or a hammock. This either is not listed in the reservations information or is buried in the small print. The person checking us in told us about this, but allowed the 2 of us to camp in the same site. Being strictly a motorcycle camping person, neither I nor any traveling companions would be packing s large tent that could house all of us. The same thing could be said of 2 or 3 backpackers traveling together. For the nearly $30/night charge, this would become FAR too expensive and I'm not likely to stay here again simply because of the fear that the campground's silly rule might be enforced the next time.
It is rare that a campground is close to all the amenities it has to offer without moving your vehicle but Sherando Lakes is one of them. You can access two lakes and multiple hiking trails from any of the three loops. One lake (Upper Sherando) is for fishing only and the main lake is for swimming (in season) and fishing. We were there in October and the fall foliage was stunning.
This campground gets five stars because of the awesome volunteer hosts. Ron started a fire for us while we were waiting for our firewood to be delivered (yes, you read that right!) and the next night, came over to our site bringing additional wood to keep our fire going long after we expected it to last. Gene and Deb were awesome in describing the trails to us.
I was surprised to find showers and flush toilets in a National Forest Service Campground but Sherando had both. Also, if you stay in the B or C loops, there are electric hookups, something else I was surprised to see in a NFS campground. We stayed in the A loop (no hookups) and this loop is more suitable for tents, but we were fine in our 17-foot campervan. The tent pads are large and flat. These spaces might be tight for larger RVs. If you have young kiddos, the C loop is closest to the playground. Sites are generously sized and have good separation. Firepit, large picnic table, lantern hook and what I’m guessing was a food prep “counter” This was awesome to be able to put our camp stove on and something I have never seen before.
LOVED this campground, the hikes, and awesome volunteer hosts.
Misty Mountain offers something for everyone - spacious, level well-maintained full hook up sites that can accommodate any size trailer or RV, more rustic tent camping sites, quiet creekside camper sites with electric and water, and both modern and rustic cabins. The camp store is well stocked and even offers a very nice wine selection, plus local canned salsa, spaghetti sauce, and pie! There are many amenities for families - a huge bouncy mat, a fishing pond, playground, large group campfire, sports area, and a nice rec room. They have free donuts and coffee on Sundays, and special events many Saturdays. The shower and laundry facility is very new with modern, clean amenities. The showers are private suites and are large and nice enough that some people with showers in their campers still choose to use the camp ones instead. The site areas closest to the camp store and recreation area are the nicest - the RV sites up the hill by the cabins are smaller and closer together. The whole facility is very well maintained and the camp hosts live on site.
This was a nice little campground, and my friends and I had a great time here. Originally I picked this place because most of the other campgrounds in the area were already booked up. We went in the middle of October when the leaves were changing in Virginia. It was a good place to stay overall. We stayed in one of the "primitive" campsites with no water or electric hook ups. For these you park at a small parking lot and walk a few hundred feet or so to the campsites. The sites in this area were pretty close together, some closer than others. We stayed at site 7, which was a little closer to some other campers than I would have liked. It was flat and grassy and the woods were very nice though. There were also some rv sites in the campground, which also seemed a little close together.
I wold say the best thing about this place is how close it is to stuff. Crab tree falls and spy rock are both really nice hikes right in the area. Bold rock hard cidery is about 40 minutes from the campground. All around a really awesome area with plenty to do. I would recommend it.
Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak and on a clear day offers breathtaking 360 degree views from the Observation Tower. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mnf/recarea/?recid=7053
Because of the thick conifer growth, long mountain views don't occur till nearly to the top and that only along the western roadway…but once you climb the observation tower…(as mentioned, on a clear day) you are rewarded with wonderful views of WV and VA mountains. Watching storm clouds or simple clouds roll in and envelope the Knob offers a wonderful experience.
I've taken the opportunity to camp on Spruce Knob on several occasions, once to the NE of the parking lot just into the pines, once a couple hundred yards down the Seneca Backcountry trail to the right and once directly south of the Tower in the pines. Each offered a differ experience. There is no cost, which is a huge plus!
In the pines, just below the summit, it is eerily quiet and muffled. I've never seen another camper when I've stayed, so the solitude is glorious.
If you want shelter and a picnic table for cooking/eating…they are available, but only along the parking lot. Pit latrines are nearly on the summit in the parking lot near the trailhead for the Observation Tower. So practice leave no trace when camping and hiking!! No water, so bring enough with you. There are waste receptacles but be wise and take trash with you.
There are two levels to the concrete Observation Tower…and best views are from the upper level. I've often though about cowboy camping on the second level after the last sightseer has left for the night, but haven't seen, heard or read if its forbidden or permitted…so I haven't…yet.
Obviously, on a clear night, star gazing is incredible as there no ambient light. It is much cooler at this elevation, even in the summer…and the winds on the summit cut through like a knife.
Note: utilize good camping practices and set camp on a previous location where there is an established fire ring. Again, use caution with campfires because of the wind.
If you desire a more established campground, Spruce Knob Lake Campground is not too far away…down the mountain.
Spruce Knob summit camping is a family highlight!
The Spruce Knob Lake Campground offers extra-large camp sites with lots of shade and so much undergrowth I only saw my neighbors when I took a walk to check out the campground. There are 45 campsites, with pit toilets and a solar-powered pump house for drinking water. No electric or sewer hook-ups, but you’ll find free apples growing at some of the sites. Sites#31 through 41 are walk-in sites for extra privacy if you’re tent camping.
This is bear country, so don’t leave any food sitting out. Dogs are allowed as long as they’re kept on a leash.
Spruce Knob Lake is less than a mile away and a great spot to kayak, fish, and star gaze because you won't have any city lights to interfere and trees won’t block your view. There’s a boat dock and wheelchair accessible fishing pier with the lake stocked with trout several times a year. Electric motors only; No swimming allowed.
There are at least 60-miles of trails in the surrounding Monongahela National Forest, including the very pleasant, 1-mile, Big Bend River Trail accessible from the campground.
If you’re up for a hardy hike, you can walk 8-miles east to Spruce Knob, the highest place in the State of West Virginia at 4,863-feet. There’s a cool lookout tower at Spruce Knob where you can get a good view of the rugged mountain ridges where the red spruce get so hammered by the wind and rough weather, one side of the tree is missing. The plant life is pretty unique too, with reindeer moss visible along the Whispering Spruce Trail.
The drive to the Spruce Knob Lake Campground is on a combination of narrow, winding, mostly unpaved roads. Go slow because there are plenty of blind curves. My A/C was out on the day I arrived, so I ate a fair amount of dust with my window partially open… Lol….
Directions from the Recreation.gov website:
From Riverton, WV, take U.S. Route 33 south 2 miles to Briery Gap Road(County Road 33/4). Turn right onto Briery Gap Road. Go 2 miles to Forest Road 112, turn right and continue for 13.5 miles. Turn right on Forest Road 1. The campground is 1/2 mile on the right. From Elkins, WV, take U.S. Route 33 to State Route 29, which is 1 mile west of Harman. Turn right onto SR 29, go south 18.6 miles and tum left onto Forest Road 1. Follow FR 1 for 2.5 miles.
Note: Seneca Rocks is less than an hour away and well-worth a visit!