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!
Beautiful tent sites along the creek! I was there in late summer, but I plan to return in late spring when the rhododendrons would be in bloom. Access is by about 6 miles of dirt/rock road. There are many trails at all hiking levels.
I went camping here for a weekend to do some rock climbing at Seneca Rocks. The tent sites we're nice and spacious and each had a large fire pit. A bathhouse was close by and clean enough. It was easy to find our site as they are well labeled and plenty of parking too. As an added bonus, Yokum's general store is 2 minutes down the road and has just about whatever camping food you might need as well as light supplies. This location also has a stunning view of the rocks. Definitely recommend!
Tucked away by the river past Thurmond. Great secluded sites. Trailhead for hiking from camp. A bit of a drive to visit any of the sites around New River but worth it to be away from it all. 6 sites all walk-in first come first serve. We were there in fall so no crowds at all. primitive, beautiful, and, a hidden gem
This campground is mainly for RVs, tent camping here is not the best. With that being said it is one of the only campgrounds that is actually on Summersville lake which makes it nice for easy access to the lake and cliffs. It is also a super popular campground so reserve ahead of time to make sure you’re guaranteed a spot at one of the 110 campsites. They also have seven walk-in primitive camping sites that are nice but still fill up quickly on weekends. They have a bath house with flush toilets, water spigots, laundry, and a dumping station. Because this is on the lake you can dock your boat at their own docks right off of your site- which is also convenient.
While the lake does allow power boating, kayaks and paddle boarding are still very popular as this is an immense 2790-acre lake. It is one of the clearest lakes in the east, so scuba diving is also very popular here. Rock climbing is also a great use of these cliffs that surround the lake as well as cliff jumping, this is at your own risk as there are large rocks/boulders in the water below. However, you will notice most locals know where the best swimming and jumping are. Overall, great place to come and explore.
This campground offers views of the gorgeous Seneca Rocks. This campground not only has the view, but it also has everything you need for a comfortable stay: showers, flush toilets, water, and electrical hookups. Each site has a tent pad, fire pit, and picnic table. This is a large campground but can fill up quickly, they do have walk in campgrounds that you are not able to reserve. The campsites do vary in price so be weary cause they can range from $17 a night all the way up to $36 a night. They also have a dumping station which is nice for those in RVs.
Seneca rocks is usually the main attraction at this location with 900 feet of rock sticking out of a mountain. You can hike up to the rocks, take horses, or even do guided rock climbing up to their peak. If you aren’t up to doing any of those, the fishing around there is also super popular among fly fishermen- it is mainly catch and release.
This is the largest state forest in West Virginia, it has a total of 25 sites that vary in their privacy. Each site has electrical hookups, picnic tables, fire grates, and utility post. The sites in the middle of the loop lack privacy that the outer loop sites have. There is one bath house that has hot showers, flush toilets, water spigots, and now WIFI. Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash. There are gravel pull-ins for the sites, there are a couple of pull through sites for RVs.
The campground gets busy during the fall because it is so close to Morgantown and Mountaineer games. There are lots of hiking trails, coopers rock is definitely a must to see during sunset. Ravens rock is also a beautiful look out trail. Rock climbers have a lot of rock outcroppings on short trails for climbers to utilize. Fishing, biking, and hunting are also popular activities that can be done here.
This campground has plenty to offer for the whole family. The privacy of each site varies, on the weekends it is very busy though. There are 88 campsites with electrical hookups, picnic tables, and fire ring. There are 2 sites with primitive campgrounds. They only allow one tent or trailer on a site. The campground has 4 bathhouses that are centrally localized, it contains flush toilets, hot showers, water spigots, and coin laundry. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
This park has lots of hiking trails, waterfalls, biking, fishing, and horseback riding. The park has a total of 4 waterfalls to explore. They have basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, and a pool for campers to enjoy. They also have cabins to rent if you are not feeling up to camping.
Spruce Knob is the highest point in West Virginia and offers great views. You can drive all the way up to the summit and hike around the small loop trail that leads to the observation tower and then to a small wooden look-out on the far side of the loop. The trail is only a ½ mile and well worth the drive. There is a picnic shelter that has picnic tables, no running water, but there is a pit toilet.
We camped off the Huckleberry Trail, which has lots of camping spots off the trail. The forest is silent and beautiful, looks like it belongs out west in the PNW. The moss-covered ground and rocks make it the perfect oasis for a weekend trip. You can even backpack the trail as it leads down the mountain. This is a must see any time of the year!
Harper's Ferry is a little town in WV nestled right next to the Potomac River. It's also a convenient halfwayish point on the Appalachian Trail. One of my friends and I stayed here while we were section hiking the AT. The campground is pretty nice, with cabins, tent sites, and RV sites. It's also got a lot of extra activities that you can do. Zip lining, tubing, rafting the Potomac, and even an adventure park, you name it. You definitely won't be bored wile staying at this campground.
Harper's Ferry is a pretty neat place too. There are some great restaurants, cool shops, and make sure to make a stop at the AT Conservatory. There you can see cool pictures of all the people who have through hiked the AT and learn more about it.
Speaking of the AT, there are great hiking and biking trails right around Harper's Ferry. You can even say you hiked all the way to Virginia from West Virginia. Just don't tell anyone that Harper's Ferry is right on the border.
This is getting back to nature! I love it here! Campsites are rustic and not on top of each other. It gets darker than dark and the stars go on forever….
Did a four-day hike of the 26-mile loop in Dolly Sods Wilderness, first night we camped was at Ravens Ridge. There were some camps already in that area but in the woods, however we chose to set up camp on the ridge with a view of Canaan Valley. The next day we hiked to Big Stone Coal Creek, where we set up for the night, a campsite had been left from other hikers with a makeshift fire pit and stone chairs. On day 3, we hiked up to Lion’s head where there were lots of campsites from past hikers, but we continued on to Red Creek where we camped for the night. Lots of weekend warriors’ hike into Red Creek for the weekend, so lots of campsites but also be weary of the people who don’t know how to use the restroom in nature, lots of flies and toilet paper lying about. The trails were all well marked, I would still bring a map of the trails and know which ones you want to take before heading out into this vast wilderness. Also, be aware that during the summer lots of rain fall so trails will be muddy and some trails almost completely underwater, Dobbins Grade is one of the trails that typically is wet and muddy most of the summer and fall.
You can backpack in any season of the year here, but both roads (Forest Road 19 and 75) leading to Dolly Sods are winding and steep so in snowy or ice conditions could be dangerous. You can park at Bear Rocks or right in front of the trail head, you will see a good majority of cars parked in those areas from people backpacking in or day hiking. There are multiple ways back into the wilderness, the first is close to Red Creek campground along the Blackbird Knob Trail, Dolly Sods picnic area has the trailhead for Rohrbaugh trail, Red Creek trail starts on Forest Road 19, then Forest Road 19 turns into 75 and you have multiple Trailheads along that route until Bear Rocks.
This was our first stay in a state park campground in West Virginia and it was a great stay. Arrived during a steady downpour and rented a cabin for the first night but camped the second night. Two loops - one with electric sites and one without. Very reasonable rates - $25 for electric ($22.50 with senior discount) plus you don’t need a state parks sticker as you do for other states. Rates are also the same for residents and non-residents. Not all sites are level and some are very close together (which would be good for people camping together). Inside sites have no privacy between them; some of the outside sites have some trees offering privacy. Flush toilets and showers plus coin laundry. Bathrooms were clean but although the showers appeared to have new shower heads, they were a bit sketchy looking (shower shoes would be a definite). Very limited cell service but WiFi is available in the lodge and cabins. Great hiking trails.
This campground is pretty small and rustic with only 12 sites. They only have vault toilets and a water pump. Each site has a picnic table, fire pit, and utility post. No electrical or water hookup. The cost per night is $11 and it’s a first come- first serve basis. The campground is a place to just rest your head as there are over 10,000 acres of wilderness to explore with lots of trails to choose from. Late July and early August there are lots of berries to pick along the trails, while the Fall months are some of the most beautiful with the views at Bear Rocks.
This campground is deep in the woods of Buckhannon. There are 67 campsites with picnic table, fire grate, and moveable bench, 13 of these sites have electricity hookups. There are two bath houses in the campground that have hot showers, flush toilets, and coin laundry. Pets are permitted. There is an onsite dumping station as well. The outer edge of the campground has sites next to the river but be weary of low sites during rainy days as the river rises rapidly. It is $25 a night and sites can be reserved over phone, but first come-first serve basis.
There are a couple hiking trails that offer beautiful scenery and views of the river, along with the Alum Cave. It is a popular spot for fishing, also a big swimming area for those that live in the area.
This campground is the highest in West Virginia, it has a total of 65 campsites 30 of which are electric and 35 are non-electric. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit, most of the campsites are open and have little privacy from neighbors. No tent pads, but no more than two tents permitted (but may be charged for the second tent). It has a bath house with hot showers, flush toilets, and coin laundry. There is a dumping station. Reservations can be made by phone or at campground registration but is otherwise first come-first serve. Pets are permitted. The sites are $25 a night.
The park has tons of hiking trails to choose from and two viewable waterfalls. There is a lake that is open to swimming, volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts are in the vicinity as well. Fishing is a large draw as well to this area, both catch and release and catch and keep permitted on the Blackwater River.
This campground can be a little tricky to find, but this is such a fun campground. There is a total of 46 sites with varying privacy at each. Every site has a picnic table, utility post, fire pit, and only the river loop has tent pads. The campground has flush toilets, hot showers, and water spigots. It’s a first come- first serve style with getting campsites, can reserve through by phone to the campground host. The upper loop is $12 per night and river loop is $14 per night. Pets are allowed.
The South Branch Potomac River winds around the campground, so bring rafts, tubes, or kayaks to float on. There is also a rope swing around the corner you can hike or float to. Fishing is popular there as well.
Right on the bank of the the Muddy river and a short 2 minute walk to the Cheat River. This is also right next to the Cheat River Festival grounds. The sites are all super open, so if you want privacy, this isn't the place for you, but except during festival weekends, there won't be a lot of people around. The bathrooms are super clean and always restocked with toilet paper, soap and hand towels. There is fresh water on the side of the bathroom building. Spotty at best cell phone service, so check your email before getting there. This campground is also where most whitewater kayakers kayaking the Cheat Canyon stay.
The hike that leads to the lookout about harpers ferry was fantastic. This hike takes you well above the town settled in West Virginia. While some points are pretty steep don’t let this deter you from completing it. The trail is well maintained, marked, and exciting. It is filled with tons of history and when you walk across the bridge from the town be looking out for all the locks on the bridge that have been left behind by other avid hikers
It has tent and RV camping. The managers are really nice and you’re not that far way from several attractions. Some really great beer places close by as well. Nice a shady too. I’d like to go back and do some exploring around the area. Just be careful with what gps app you use. Mine took me an interesting route that ended in someone’s drive way.
This campground is not full of luxuries, but it is full of beautiful forest. It's very close to the lake, and Spruce Knob peak is accessible via trails (an approximately 8-mile hike), or by gravel road. Unfortunately, we were not blessed with good weather while there, so we drove to the parking area near the peak, and to the Lake. There is potable water available, and vault toilets. The toilets were actually pretty clean, as far as vault toilets go. The caretaker, Mike, is a very interesting, congenial, and resourceful individual. Spruce Knob area has some of the darkest skies in the Eastern U.S., and we went there with the hope of some astrophotography. Mother Nature intervened, but regardless, we enjoyed our stay at the Spruce Knob Lake campground. I would highly recommend this beautiful place to anyone who doesn't mind the lack of showers, etc. The drive to get to the campground is a mix of narrow paved roads, and narrow unpaved roads, but the drive is also full of stunning forest views, as like the picture I have included which I shot through the passenger side windshield while the husband was driving.
This is a very well thought out campground and is a great option for climbers visiting the area. each site has a wooden tent platform (10'x10') to set up on, which is a huge plus since the ground is so uneven throughout. Each site has a picnic table and a parking space as well.
There aren't group sites available, but whoever in our group was organizing managed to get multiple sites next to each other, which was nice.
We ended up doing all of our cooking and eating in the big covered communal porch on the shower house with lights and big kitchen sinks for cleaning up as it was a very rainy weekend. It's handy to be able to cut through from the lower to the upper sites on little foot trails to get to the common areas.
Showers are quarter operated but I was too much of a cheapskate to partake. But the facilities were clean!
The landscape was serene and beautiful, the camping was great The hike was diverse but a swamp in more parts than bearable. We were prepared for muddy washed out areas…this was needing knee high rubber boots to leisurely get through swamp areas. I think that alone deters me from this destination being hiked again.
I have stayed at this park numerous times, in tents and camper. The history of the area is really interesting and if you're lucky enough to talk with the park manager he'll be happy to give you a little house coal history. I've heard rumor however that the park is losing funding. Great hiking and biking trails. Loved going through the creek!
Camped here two nights: first night in main area near bathrooms, second night across the street in the overflow camping area. We actually preferred the second night more than the first! Even though there were lots of hikers during the day, in the evening it quieted down and was lovely. I recommend you start your hikes to early, right after breakfast before the day hikers start, and that you visit Wardensville and the Lost River Trading Post!
Kanawha State Forest is a great place close enough to town if you need something but situated in a nice quiet country setting surrounded by a beautiful forest. Camping offers electric and water at most sites with a couple nice bathhouses. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. There is a public pool with reasonable rates and great food, small areas to fish, a free shooting range and tons of hiking trails. There is a horse stable but we did not visit it. The kids loved wading and rafting in the creek and the playground areas.
Plum Orchard Lake is a wildlife management area with rustic tent and camper sites. You do need to obtain a permit from the manager. This is a beautiful area with plenty of fishing and hiking areas within a 20 mile radius or so. The trees are a beautiful array of color - greens, reds and yellows. The lake is good for swimming but you’re welcome to bring your boat, kayak or canoe too. We took a couple day trips around too. We were able to see deer, raccoons and some nice looking birds.