With over 40 state and national parks, West Virginia’s vast mountainous wilderness begs to be explored. In less than a day’s drive from the Mid-Atlantic’s urban corridor, you can be paddling in swirling whitewater, camping in pristine mountain forests, or stargazing in some of the clearest night skies in the East. It’s time to plan your trip camping in West Virginia!
West Virginia’s inspiring geology has been carved by some of the world’s oldest rivers. Experience these ancient natural forces up close by exploring the nation’s premier whitewater rafting location, New River Gorge. The New River Gorge National River, part of the United States National Park System, extends 53-miles in southern West Virginia. Along with some of the best paddling in the country, rock climbers flock to the 1,400 established climbs in the sandstone cliffs. 70,000-acres of wilderness offer free riverfront primitive camping spots, while campers who want more amenities can take advantage of several private campgrounds in nearby Fayetteville, WV.
If you find yourself camping in West Virginia’s New River Gorge in October, you might catch Bridge Day, the world’s largest extreme sports event. Cheer on BASE jumpers as they leap 900-feet from the top of the river’s bridge while you enjoy local food and craft vendors, live music, and great mountain views.
When planning a trip camping in West Virginia, don’t miss the chance to take in the views from West Virginia’s most famous landmark, Seneca Rocks. Located in the Monongahela National Forest, and renowned for its incredible beauty, this natural landmark rises nearly 900-feet above the North Fork River. Especially well-known in rock climbing circles, the impressive rock formation offers 375 of the most technical mapped climbing routes in the eastern United States. Non-climbers can take in the view from the top by lacing up their boots. The Seneca Rocks Hiking Trail climbs the observation platform and is a day hike suitable for all ages.
Facilities for tent and RV camping, rental cabins, and primitive campsites are available nearby. A local favorite, Seneca Shadows Campground, offers views of the rocks from your campsite, as well as modern facilities including flush toilets and picnic tables. No matter where your outdoor adventures take you in the Wild and Wonderful state, with The Dyrt you’ll find the best camping in West Virginia along the way!
This place is amazing!!!. If your into primitive camping at it's best this place is it. This is where me and wife went on are first tent camping trip and ever since we compare every other tent site to Spruce Knob. As of know nothing has compared.
We were there 4 days extremely peaceful ..only one other camper .. not much shade but beautiful night sky !! Minimal cell service .. 1 mile curvy mountain climb to get here but our 30 ft class A made it just fine !!
John and Joyce Bowers are awesome folks and are very caring and considerate. They go out of their way to make you feel like family. We camped along the wood line during a very busy weekend and had shade almost the entire time. John always made time to stop by and ask us if we needed anything. He was awesome.
Nice place in my hometown. Disconnect between the park headquarters and campground check in. Was told no golf carts on campgrounds per the host. However, HQ has written guidelines stating all vehicles must be licensed. Some rules enforced, others are not. Overall we would stay again.
Great park. Nice playgrounds clean lots 30 and 50 amp service as well as boondock sites. Waterfalls are easily accessible. Did notice people leaving trash and clothing around them. Garbage cans are all over but people just don't care.
Backpacked and Camped here multiple times for both hiking and fishing. The main trail is graveled and very easily accessed. It runs along the Cranberry River with beautiful views all along the way. The River offers both stocked trout fishing along with wild trout tribs in a few places. You can pretty much camp where ever you’d like and there are also Adirondack style shelters in various spots along the trail. One thing to remember is always hang your food at night. Bears will come in and make themselves at home! Lol
Have been camping at Horseshoe annually for six years. Quite and remote. Great place to connect with family in the wide open spaces of West Virginia. Very nice bathroom facilities,no bath house but plenty of water. Activities; hiking, tubing, swimming, fishing, and any game you can think off to play in the wide open fields.
Cost is getting ridiculous per night. Don’t leave your site to go to bath house, you’ll likely come back to the hot coals in your fire pit cleaned out. Employees aren’t pleasant. We’ve been camping here for years, but this last time was the last for us. Wouldn’t tell us what site we were being put on - yet told a friend (could’ve been total stranger as far as they knew) exactly where their site was AND ours. They cater to everyone on resort property, EXCEPT campers.
Truly a beautiful place and peaceful but it needs improvement in various areas.
Stayed here 2 nights with all our children and grandchildren. We had a great couple days with rain at times. Site was large with lots of trees. Seth was very friendly and helpful. This is a nonelectric site campground and I found that appealing. There are flush toilets and showers. We hiked Endless Wall Trail and Glade Creek Trail to Kate’s Falls
I camped here 20+ years ago when I (a city girl) had just started camping and I still think about how awesome this place was. One day I'll definitely get back here. It was very secluded, quiet, and well-maintained. We had fun exploring around the campground climbing the boulders, and there were tons of trails nearby, plus overlooks with beautiful views. This place helped inspire my love of camping and being outdoors.
Tawney Farm is part of a growing trend of agrotourism in West Virginia where farmers allow visitors to camp on their land.
The proximity to the Gauley River makes this primitive campground an ideal place for kayakers to stay during the whitewater season in September and October. That's when the meadows and hills around Tawney Farm will be filled with tent campers ready to ride the rapids.
James and Susan Tawney are the perfect hosts because they're super nice and sincerely interested in talking about their sheep farm, the history of Panther Mountain, and the best places to swim, fish and kayak on the Gauley River.
I enjoyed a couple nights of "glamping" when I stayed at the Tawney Farm "Nut House," appropriately named because James crafted it from recycled wood, including cherry, beechnut and black walnut.
The primitive cabin has electricity, a full-sized roll-away bed and a futon. There's no bathroom or running water, so I used the clean port-a-potties and community propane-heated shower and had access to a fire pit and charcoal grill.
Great hospitality! James prepped my fire pit with free wood and Susan made sure I had plenty of charcoal, then loaned me BBQ tools so I could grill my dinner without scorching my hands.
The Wild and Woolly Primitive Campground includes a group area where guests can cook, wash their dishes, and hangout. There's a small store with raw wool crafts, fresh farm eggs and black walnuts, plus and a stage for live music during the peak season.
I wanted to make sure I got some nice photos of their sheep, so James and Susan brought the flock down for a closer look and encouraged some young guests to pet them.
The access road to Tawney Farm is gravel with a tree growing in the middle, so take caution at night. The nearby roads leading to the Gauley River National Recreation Area are in good shape but a little nerve-wracking because they're so narrow there's not much room to get out of the way when you come face-to-face with tour buses shuttling paddlers to and from the Gauley River.
I checked out Mason Branch and Woods Ferry where I enjoyed some nice hiking, paddling and swimming. Since it was summer, the kayakers I spotted were using "rubber duckies" so they could negotiate the rocky river without getting stuck.
Mason Branch has an unmarked, unmaintained trail near the parking lot where you can see a couple of nice waterfalls. There's a trail to the left of the lower falls that takes you to a higher waterfall the locals call "Janie's Hole." The story I heard is Janie was a young lady who died after she either fell or jumped from the top of this falls.
There's another interesting local story about the nearby Summersville Lake. This crystal clear lake was created when an earthen dam was built that covered the small farming community of Gad with water. My 98-year old mom says no one wanted to call it the "Gad Dam" because it sounded like they were using the Lord's name in vane, so they settled on the next closest town and named it the Summersville Dam. Water released from this lake in the fall is what creates the world-class whitewater on the Gauley River.
Beautiful primative camping,very clean toilets
Stayed for 8 days. Arrived for first night on site 7. It had alot to be desired. Although it backed into the woods as soon as we stepped off our steps it was on the ledge of the pad. We moved the next morning to site 9. Site was much better and with a little more room for hanging out. Electrical hook up was on the opposite side of where they should be and in the middle of the small area. Water pressure was good and there was sewage hookups. Overall the full hookup sites , though we're not horrible they are very out dated for the newer larger rigs. Tent are was super nice and the area with just water and electrical could use upgradeing. Plenty of hiking trails but many are muddy messes due to being shared with the horses. If you are camping you have to pay to use the pool at the lodge. Also there are inflatables in a lake, also must pay. Outside of the veiws the highlight of our stay was when we treated ourselves to dinner at the Mountain Creek dinning room. You take a tram ride down and if you eat you get to ride back up for free, normally $7 per person. They have put put, horseback riding swimming pool, and at the lake. A nature center and. hiking trails. Overall had a nice week and recommend the park.
This state park offers nearby hikes with great views such as vistas and waterfalls . The only complaint is that the camping area was very small. Felt like we are were camping so very close to each other. Small sites. Also the facilities I don’t think have ever been updated. Showers and toilets old.
Very remote. Two small circles of sites the only amenity is pit toilets. The stream is stocked with trout in the spring and fall. My wife and I spent our honeymoon here 25 years ago and plan to return there this fall. Our son was married here in the stream in waders and we all went fishing after the ceremony. Lots of memories here. Maybe you can make some too!
Beautiful especially in the fall. Lake is stocked with trout spring and fall. It is an easy drive to many of the local trout streams such as the Gandy, the Glady and Shavers Fork. Many hiking opportunities with excellent birding especially in spring or fall during migration.
We loved our stay here! The owners are so friendly and welcoming. They had so much for kids to do: a swimming pond with inflatables, gem mining, banana bikes, and more. They showed a movie at 9pm on a big inflatable movie screen outside. Lots of other families there to hang out with.
The only downside was that the tent sites are close to the interstate, so there was A LOT of road noise all night. Otherwise, it was a great camping experience!
Stonewall Jackson is very established. There are well maintained roads and facilities. Plenty of space and hookups for RVs. Not the most remote location. Wouldn’t recommend if you’re looking to get out into the great outdoors. You’ll likely see your neighbors and other RVs. Still a pretty view of the lake.
Babcock State Park is one of the greatest parks in West Virginia. Most people come to see the grist mill, and it’s nice, but if that’s all you do your missing out.
For starters, most of the sites at the campground are great: fairly flat with soft ground and good tree coverage. The campground is split by Old Clifftop Rd, with the majority of the campground south of the road. We stayed on Site 15 (non-electric site), which I thought was one of the best sites. The campground was quiet, family-friendly, and clean. Some of the campsites were small and right on top of each other.
The campground is served by one bathhouse, centrally located in the middle of it. The bathhouse was fairly clean but well-used and includes flush toilets, showers, and hot water. A fairly new playground sits right next to the bathhouse. All the equipment was well-maintained and freshly mulched. Our site was close enough to the playground that we let our seven-year-old go by herself, since we could still hear her.
We only hiked on two trails, but it was some of the most fun hiking I’ve ever done. Mann’s Creek Gorge Trail is a two-mile walk from the campground to Camp Washington Carver. About a quarter of a mile you come the creek with a great swimming hole. We didn’t make it past the swimming hole but I’m looking forward to finishing the trail in the future. Island-In-the-Sky is a great climb through a tunnel of rhododendron that eventually winds up and around a rock shelf. To get to the top you have to climb up a couple ladders and over rocks. There are also several spurs off the trail that lead to overlooks and one that leads to a good size cave the size of the room.
I highly recommend that anyone looking to camp in the Fayetteville-area consider Babcock, you won’t be disappointed.