As one of the industrial backbones of the country, West Virginia has always been recognized and appreciated for its diverse geography consisting of towering plateaus and endlessly rolling mountain ranges. Located partially between Upshur County and Barbour Country, Audra State Park boasts 355 acres of unspoiled forest, diverse ecosystems, and unique caves and river runs. While much of the surrounding region has suffered the consequences of mining and deforestation, this park preserves 355 regional acres of natural beauty for anyone to enjoy.
Audra State Park has long served locals as an affordable way to recreate, with a variety of fun activities to partake in. Hiking, cycling, fishing, and even geocaching are all common activities that can be easily enjoyed here on a budget. Furthermore, during the summer months, the Middle Fork River comes alive while families, kids and teenagers enjoy the many natural swimming areas available throughout.
Hidden along 3 miles of groomed trails in the park lies Alum Cave, a natural geological rock feature which hangs over the river below. In the winter, large icicle spires form down the cave canopy making this an ideal spot for Photographers.
For those looking for an experience indoors, the West Virginia State Wildlife Center is a modern zoological facility dedicated to preserving and showcasing the regional wild-life. Nearby, the town of Buckhannon offers an array of small town attractions, including a movie theatre and local eats. If you’re visiting in May, be sure to check out their annual Strawberry Festival!
The campsites are spacious and fully functional for those intending to utilize a tent. Open from April through October, there are 67 available with thirteen of them offering electrical hookups. Furthermore, there are two fully-serviced bathhouses with warm-water showers, and coin-operated laundry available. There is also a well stocked camping store, which offers normal conveniences as well as firewood for purchase. All reservations are first come first serve, so be sure to make your plans well in advance.
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.
Small camp area but definitely great if you can get a spot. We were fortunate to find one along the river which was great to sit by a fire while the kids swam. Across the road is a day use area for swimming and tubing - bring your own or rent one. The camp has a decent bath house and playground. We plan on going up early in the morning hoping to snag a spot. Oh don’t forget to hike - beautiful trails with gorgeous views. Each site has a fire pit and picnic table.
I was very impressed by the grounds, clean and well marked. You can hear the river flowing past the grounds. There is on site laundry between the main shower house, and a nice general store for ice, wood, or any other supplies you may have forgotten. No reservations, first come, first served.
RANGER REVIEW: Midland X-Talker Extreme T77VP5 Dual Radio Set at Audra State Park, WV
Audra State Park is located south of the city of Buckhannon about 15 miles, with 355 acres situated beautifully along the picturesque Middle Fork River.https://wvstateparks.com/park/audra-state-park/
Owned by the state since the late 40’s and opened in 1950…time has wonderfully stood still at this park. Well-maintained and operated…Audra has been our favorite over the past four years…tallying 60+ days camped in the months of May, August and September.
The staff is spectacular! Friendly, informative and over-the-top helpful. This is my second TheDyrt.com campground Review on Audra SP, but felt it was well worth a fresher look.
Audra State Park property sprawls across both banks of the Middle Fork River, in areas…so it remains quite linear along the river valley. Campground elevation is around 1750 ft.
Spring and fall rains attract whitewater paddlers from the world over as the Middle Fork River rages…feeding the Cheat River. During other times the river is crystal clear with anglers trying to hook rainbow or golden trout. Locals flock to Audra S.P. Day Use areas on weekends to cool off at several park swimming areas.
Trails undulate with the terrain. The short trail within the campground area is steep in areas but offers some nice views. Both the upper and lower Alum Cave loops essentially end at the furthest point of the state park property along the river and then offers a sharp right turn that climbs up and back to both of the picnic area loops in big circle. From the campground the entire loop is just over five miles, offering epic views along the river. The forest teems with wildlife.
The campground offers 67 sites. In mid-May 2018, electric was in the process of being run to nearly all the inner loop and most river sites. Water is still located throughout the park. Two showerhouses have modern conveniences. The biggest park news was the installation of cell phone service, which is virtually nonexistent in WV other than in big cities. I personally prefer the “unplugged” version so people don’t have their faces glued to a screen.
Campground sites offer some foliage to separate from site to site with a fairly dense forest canopy, but you can see and hear your neighbor. There really aren’t many unfavorable sites, but #3 offered the largest area with wrap around foliage for great privacy. The area in the second loop where we normally choose to camp was temporarily closed for the addition of electrical posts (to be completed by Memorial holiday weekend).https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qq4bndH_IsA
A few things to keep in mind:
•Big/long RV’s (driven or pulled) have difficulty navigating this narrow, curvy campground road pocked with rocky outcroppings. Park in the day use parking by the bridge or picnic area and scout it out first to avoid frustration and personal property damage.
•Riverside sites can and have flooded during high rain periods as the Middle Fork swells its banks.
•Nice weekends from May to October fill up fast and Day Use areas are packed full. The park may start the reservations program in the future, but it’s first come-first served presently.
Bikes are permitted on the trails according to the state park website, but realistically only in a few areas would it even be feasible…let alone enjoyable.
The river views are amazing along the Alum trail. Alum Cave reminds me of Ohio’s Ash Cave near Hocking Hills…as both are very similar. Alum Cave has experienced erosion. Water constantly passes through the sandstone, so when it freezes it can cause large chunks of rock to fracture and drop. It’s fascinating but walk under it at your own risk.
The Civil War history that surrounds this area is incredibly interesting, and the first land battle was not too far away in Philippi…along with its historical covered bridge.
Camping is wet, wild and wonderful in West Virginia!
Midland X-Talker Extreme T77VP5 Dual Pack Radio Review
As a Review Ranger for theDyrt.com, Midland https://midlandusa.com/ provided this product for review.
•Secure Plastic case
•Two T77VP5 radios
•USB charging cord
•USB AC outlet adapter
•USB car adapter
•Two Detachable radio clips
•Two Rechargeable battery packs
•Two boom style earpiece/microphone
The Midland X-Talker Extreme T77VP5 features and specifications can be found at: https://midlandusa.com/product/x-talker-t77vp5/
Having spent my career dependent on “hand transmitters,” I know, firsthand, of their benefits and importance…I have also learned of their strengths and shortcomings.
I am also realistic in my expectations when it comes to the differences between recreational and professional grade “hand transmitters” (HT’s).
The Midland X-Talker Extreme T77VP5 occupies the recreational radio spectrum.
First and foremost, do your homework when considering portable radios. Don’t expect a recreational radio to perform like a professional radio, especially professional one that operates with repeaters…or you will be sorely disappointed and wrongly blame the product. I have lost reception with teammates when using professional HT’s separated by multiple floors in concrete structures.
Also read the manual and all the small print. Midland X-Talker Extreme has “38 mile range,” on their packaging but smaller print defines “up to” and “line of sight.” Deceptive? No. Partly smart advertising and partly the results of Midland’s product testing and development.
Know that obstructions such as buildings, dense forest, humidity, fog, and mountains all limit distance of use. Also realize that when inside buildings, clarity and transmission diminishes with each additional floor that separates. In a motor vehicle communicating with someone inside a concrete block home only worked effectively within a mile, in my trial.
Personally…I believe the Midland X-Talker Extreme T77VP5 has a solid place in the outdoor, backpacking, camping world. I can name 25 campground and Wilderness areas in West Virginia alone where cell service is non-existent…yet you can still communicate with this Midland radio (within certain distances). Communication is life…and a huge part of survivability. It certain career fields, you do not proceed with a mission without comms.
I was able to communicate effectively at varying distances with the Midland X-Talker Extreme. The myriad of channels assists in finding one where you aren’t “stepping” on someone else’s communication, and you can enjoy a somewhat ‘private’ conversation. These channels are not encrypted, so transmissions can be heard by others that have the same channel availability. However, if you have several Midland radios on the same channel, you do have the option of privacy codes to limit listeners within that select group.
I will not dispute Midland’s “range” claims, but I was unable to duplicate it’s distances. In heavily forested eastern mountains with dense understory, a half mile of clear reception was all we could pull from the pair of HT’s with fully charged batteries.
We also tried my own version of ‘line of sight,’ along a long, curved stretch of Gulf beach. These were my results:
• .5 mile excellent reception
• 1 mile excellent reception
• 2 mile was unreliable…hit and miss
Scientific results? Nope! Only what I experienced. Humidity, impending storms, pressure, and sea state may have caused ducting affecting range.
Negative results? Nope! You learn to work within the parameters dealt. The Midland X-Talker Extreme T77VZP5 is still an effective, feature-rich hand transmitter set!
Trying to keep tabs on the kids while camping, give them a radio, operational instructions and clip it to their belt or pack. Kids love electronic gadgets, so it’s likely they’ll quickly be instructing you of its many features and usefulness. Peace of mind and quick communication…just a button push away.
Vehicle caravanning and communicating with the Midland X-Talker Extreme works easier, quicker and far more effectively than cellphone communication. If you utilize the earpiece/boom mic, it’s easier still.
The NOAA weather channel is invaluable. I received two different weather channels. Both of which gave pertinent local area information. Wherever you choose to camp, hike, bike or paddle, being informed of current or future weather can be critical.
Other features include:
•Selectable call alerts
•Battery level indicator
…and the list goes on.
For the dollar, value and worth is high for this pair of full function radios.
The most scenic campground I have stayed in to date. The whole things is along a beautiful crystal clear river that runs along large rocks. There is great trout fishing in the area and great hiking trails within the park. The individuals working the campground are very nice and accommodating. There are laundry facilities and bathrooms that are well maintained.
Nice and clean with great water access.
Half the sites are riverside. The other half are very small and uneven. You have to get there during the week to get a good site. They are first come first serve. They do not take reservations. We came in on a Wednesday and only 6 other sites were occupied. But we arrived after school started again. This place is beautiful and quiet. Lots of hiking around. Sleeping along side the river was very peaceful. Bathrooms are decent. Could use cleaning, but they are ok. Water pressure was the best I've ever had camping. I will definitely come back!!!
Love that you camp right next to water. Great park to take the kids. Hiking trails provide scenic views. Friendly staff, clean and well kept.
Used to go here all the time while in college. Such a beautiful, fun and awesome place. Some of my best memories from college
Audra State Park, is a bit off the beaten path but well worth the journey. Tucked away, just outside of Buckhannon, WV…home of West Virginia Wesleyan College.
There aren't any other campgrounds close to Buckhannon, so you can either drive a twisty hour south to Holly River, or a half hour southwest off I-79 to Stonewall Jackson Resort…or enjoy Audra State Park.
If you read up on the history of Audra, its been a state park since 1948…and is situated along the Middle Fork River.
I've had opportunity to camp about 50 days in Audra over the past two years, both in spring and fall. I enjoy its uniqueness and variety.
If you plan a trip to Audra, I will encourage you to choose your weekends wisely during peak times. I ordinarily attempt to stay during the week…and locate more primitive camping on the weekends. This past spring, it rained 19 of the 21 days we camped there, but it was still enjoyable.
As state parks go, it is spartan. For some reason, the state doesn't put too much money into this park. You will not enjoy wifi…but there is a payphone outside the campground in the parking lot across from the entrance. Despite its few amenities, the staff is awesome.
Most of the 67 campsites are along the river's edge, or have visual of it. There are a few situated on the outer loop but it takes about a minute to walk to the river from any of these. Check out http://www.audrastatepark.com/camping.html for greater details.
The campsites themselves don't offer a great deal of privacy, but during the week or driving rain…you don't have to concern yourself with neighbors. On nice weekends though, locals swarm the campground and tend to be raucous. There is no full time ranger or security…so you either have to guardedly be confrontational or lump it.
Even with the relentless rain, the ground soaked it up and I didn't experience any pooling under the tent. With the river so close, everything drains right off and into it. The Middle Fork River was at a tranquil flow when we first arrived, but after several days, it swelled into a wild ride. That was pretty remarkable to witness.
I met several whitewater paddlers that convened on Audra during this rainfall to run the rapids. Paddlers from all over the country…and one from Germany. Pretty cool stuff.
Fortunately, it wasn't nonstop rain, so each day we were able to get out and explore. Audra has a nice short trail loop (Rock Cliff trail) in the campground that takes you up onto a small bluff. Enjoyable, picturesque, but brief. It is challenging, but very doable…in wet conditions you lost your footing frequently.
Just outside the campground, across the road and starting along the river is the longer trail (Alum cave trail)…much longer. The terrain is undulating and also traverses a wooden boardwalk under a natural cave outcropping (thus the name, Alum cave trail). The views of various parts of the river were spectacular.
Once you hit the trails end along the river…a hairpin right begins your climb…and up you go. That trail will deposit you in a picnic area aboe the campground. Plan on an hour or so for that hike…and you might benefit from using trekking poles if its wet…the trail was slick.
In warmer climes, the river is a welcomed respite…soaking weary muscles and cooling off.
Overall, I enjoy Audra and local Buckhannon. There are some great little eateries in that college town.