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Alderson, WEST VIRGINIA

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Most Recent Alderson Camping Reviews
Beautiful Lake 🛶

Stayed for three nights in October. We had site B9 which was near a group site - so be mindful of this! During our trip it was full of loud and unsupervised kids.

We paddled around the lake on Sunday; there are a couple of different boat launches in the park. The cliffs are freaking amazing from the launch closest to the park entrance. It’s so beautiful on the water, especially this time of year.

There’s also a camp store/visitor center. Our site included a fire ring, two lantern posts, and a picnic table. Firewood and ice are available at the entrance station (can use credit card), and wood is available from the camp host (cash only). Lots of hiking and bike trails throughout. Very clean restrooms and showers. We had a really great time and will totally be back in the spring 🍂🍁

Great State Park!

We stayed here for one night on our way back north. We got the last site available and it was pretty decent. Site 10 across from the bathhouse. The site was very level, as were most sites. Many have full hookups and several are right along the creek. The waterfalls are a short walk from the campground. Firewood is available and they deliver it to your site. The bundles are quite generous in size. We will definitely stop here again.

Small number of sites

Nice, first come, first served campground. Toilets were very clean, but just covered a hope in the ground. Beautiful morning, but seems to stay chillier than the surrounding area. It's in a valley and two sites back up to the lake. There is access to the lake for canoes/kayaks.

Nice campground.

Good spot. Nice sized sites. Could be better patrolled. There was a group of people that brought a drum and just beat on it until about midnight. The lower sites were a little closer to the road. There is a water pump, but currently broken.

Secret campsites along river!

We stayed one night at Cranberry Campground during Columbus Day weekend, it was busier than the other two campgrounds (Big Rock and Bishop Knob) and was primarily occupied by RV campers who tended to park nearest the toilets.  We found a good tucked in site (#27) that was close to the water pump and was surrounded by the woods.  The two walk-up site (#23 + #24) were also tucked away nicely and were not far at all from where a car would park, I would suggest this if you needed two sites and wanted some privacy.  $10 a night, has picnic table, water pump, toilets, and lantern thingy.  This campground was close enough to the river but the sites are not directly on the river side. 

With RVers comes generators and happily they complied with the 10pm - 6am quiet times.  However, my style of camping is back country seclusion accessible by car (and a picnic table and a water pump), I know I'm ridiculous.  So we moved the next day to an empty 5-site campground ($5 a night) right on the river and between Big Rock and Cranberry campgrounds.  Highly recommend the campsites along the river!  Access to fishing is directly from your campsite, the water sounds so nice at night, and I love the river side exploring.  

Additional bonus for those visiting in the fall is the periodic apple tree.  We had one right next to our site and happily snacked on a few.  

Monogahela- Gauley Ranger District… 

I found all three campgrounds easy to find and the signage from Forest Road 76 was suffiecient. We rarely had GPS on the back roads and mountain area in WV so be sure to print directions jic. Had service in Richwood though, which I recommend checking out if you have a rainy day or you need last minute camping supplies. They have an outfitter, Four Seasons Outfitter, that we purchased our firewood from(it rained so"dead and down" wasn't gonna help). They might sell fishing license too but we bought our fishing licenses from a different outfitter in Marlinton, WV. Marlinton is also a good pit stop. 

This area of Monogahela was lovely, there were tons of great spots along the Cranberry River to explore. We heard and/or saw some wildlife/signs of wild life. No bears which is good I guess, we were careful not to attract them to our campsite. I was surprised not to see or be visited by a ranger while were at Monogahela (two nights) especially given that it was a holiday weekend.

Quiet on Columbus Day Weekend

Bishop Knob Specific…

Visited the camp site Columbus Day weekend and it was empty but for one RV camper.  I imagine this site is a good back up if the Big Rock, Cranberry Campgrounds are full or you just wanted a spot that was quieter.   Very well kept and had all the basics, water, toilet, picnic table, lantern hook, and fire pit.  

The second loop was closed (presumably for the rest of the fall/winter season). The Monogahela National Forest website lists there being fishing nearby, but as far as i could tell you still have to drive to get to the water.  We wanted to fish off our campsite so we did not stay over night at Bishop Knob.

Monogahela - Gauley Ranger District… 

I found all three campgrounds easy to find and the signage from Forest Road 76 was suffiecient.  We rarely had GPS on the back roads and mountain area in WV so be sure to print directions jic.  Had service in Richwood though, which I recommend checking out if you have a rainy day or you need last minute camping supplies.  They have an outfitter, Four Seasons Outfitter, that we purchased our firewood from (it rained so "dead and down" wasn't gonna help).  They might sell fishing license too but we bought our fishing licenses from a different outfitter in Marlinton, WV.  Marlinton is also a good pit stop.   

This area of Monogahela was lovely, there were tons of great spots along the Cranberry River to explore.  We heard and/or saw some wildlife/signs of wild life.  No bears which is good I guess, we were careful not to attract them to our campsite.  I was surprised not to see or be visited by a ranger while were at Monogahela (two nights) especially given that it was a holiday weekend.

campground is really nice, as long as the locals are'nt in force,,,

really nice campground as long as the local crowd has'nt taken over. been there several times and left early as did other families due the disruptive nonsense of a few. if not for that, very nice campground

paradise

wonderful lil campground nestled away in the woods. quiet, peaceful and serene. pit toilet's and trash bins on site. lampposts, fire rings and picnic tables on each site. level gravel pads on most sites. wildlife galore. truly wonderful small campground.

Nice Trip

Camped at Douthat State Park. Great area for swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, etc. Nice Lake Moomaw views ☀️ ⛵️🛶

Peaceful

Very peaceful website. No shade and campsites are close but the setup is great.

Easy Access to Cranberry Wilderness

The Cranberry Campground is a semi-primitive campground located next to the Cranberry River which gets high-use during the trout stocking season in the spring and summer. It's first-come, first-serve, so there's often more demand than supply during the peak season. 

Each campsite has a picnic table, fire ring and lamp-hanging post. There are a couple hand-pumps to access well water, and some self-ventilating pit toilets which are surprising odor-free. 

The Cranberry Campground can accommodate tent campers as well as RV's and 5th-wheelers up to 40-feet long. There are 28-single campsites, plus 2 double campsites in 2-separate loops. No electricity, or hook-ups. There's a dump station for an extra$5 fee. 

If you're in a tent, there are 2 campsites across a bridge in a heavily-wooded area for more privacy. There are also good tent camping sites along the Cranberry River and more sites in the Bishop Knob campground, plus free shelters for backpackers long the 16-mile Cranberry Wilderness Trail, if you want to avoid a bunch of RV campers. 

No firewood for sale, but you're welcome to gather whatever limbs, logs, etc. that you find on the ground and in the surrounding forest. This is bear-country, so food needs to be kept out of reach of black bears. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash at all times. 

I camped in mid-September and only saw one other couple my entire stay. This is a great camping spot for easy access to numerous trails in the Cranberry Wilderness and Cranberry Backcountry. It's also a great location to access the Cranberry Glades Boardwalk, Cranberry Mountain Nature Center and the Highland Scenic Highway. 

If you drive the Highland Scenic Highway, I recommend a stop at the Falls of Hills Creek. The trail can be difficult, with dozens of steep stairs, but worth the effort to see the 45-foot middle falls and the 65-foot lower falls. Beautiful, even though the water was low during my visit. 

The water was too low for kayaking during my visit, but when it's up, the middle Cranberry River has Class-III and Class-IV rapids. 

Directions from Richwood: Drive one mile east on State Route 39/55, then 12.5 miles north on Forest Road 76. 

You can get a good maps here: 

Gauley Ranger District Office: 932 North Fork Cherry Road Richwood, WV 26261 Cranberry Mountain Nature Center near the junction of WV 150& WV 39. It's closed mid-week, but I was able to get a map from the outside literature rack.

Remote Campground Next To The Cranberry River

Big Rock Campground is a small heavily-wooded campground, with five-spaces, located next to the Cranberry River in Nicholas County, WV.  Each site has a picnic table, fire ring and lantern pole.

This campground is popular for remote fishing when the Cranberry River is up and it gives hikers access to numerous trails in the Cranberry Wilderness.  The water was very low when I visited in September, so I didn't have to compete for a camping spot.

No reservations, so it's first-come first-serve.  Big Rock Campground uses the "honor system" where you self-register and pay a $10 fee.  

If this campground if full, there are at least ten camping spots located next to the Cranberry River where the access to water and toilets is rather random, but the fee is only $5.  Rangers describe these spots as the "Cranberry Bottom." 

Big Rock Campground would be best for tent campers, but RV vans and small campers can fit in the spaces, just don't expect any electricity or deluxe hook-ups.  There is a hand-pump to access well water and nearly odorless self-ventilating pit toilet.  There's no firewood for sale, but you can gather wood from the ground and cut dead trees in all the campgrounds in the Monongahela National Forest.

If you have a larger trailer, or 5th wheel, continue down the gravel road another 4-miles to the much larger Cranberry Campground.

This is bear country, so food should be stored off the ground or inside your car/truck.  Bear-proof trash cans are provided.

Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash at all times.

Directions from Richwood:  Drive one mile east on State Route 39/55, then 6 miles north on Forest Road 76, a nicely-graded gravel road.

*Make sure you gas up and get any necessary supplies in Richwood because you won't find any services near this campground.

fairly nice small campground, but,,,,

clean restrooms, for the most part nice spacious campsites. fire ring, lamp hanging post, picnic table and pea gravel tent pads. the 3 star rating, been there 4 times now and left early on 3 occasions due to the locals and or self announcing homeless with their lack of respect for ALL other campers peace. have seen others packing up and leaving early for the same reason. most likely will not be going back.

Nice camping!

Had a great time at this campground. Easy to find, sites are tucked into the woods with a lot of space, good shower rooms. We enjoyed it!

Nice Place

Friendly owner. Friendly campground dog who likes to roam free and check on tenants. Stayed one night on 9/8/19. Campgrounds was dog friendly. I was able to let my well behaved dog off leash to play frisbee for a bit and walk around. $18 for two people. Has showers. Sites are mostly level, wooded and the grass was mowed nice. Not a lot of dirt or mud which is always a plus. Had AT&T and Sprint cell signal. Most campsites filled by dark except for the cabins. Just pull in, stop, pay the lady and pick a spot.

Great Primitive Camping

Stayed one night on 9/7/19. Camped in campsite #1. I think the campsites where all full shortly after dark. Very quiet. Have new vault toilets. Heard a Barred Owl at night. Was able to let my dog off the leash down by the river to play and even played frisbee in our campsite and on the camp road. Trash bins on site. Charcoal grills at sites. The gravel road to get here is a fun drive. Had AT&T cell signal down by the river but no Sprint Signal.

Best lake camp trip eva

For car camping. It wasn’t too glamorous. It is primitive. But damn she beautiful. No neighbors. Maybe we just got lucky. I encourage.

Beautiful, quiet, and relaxing.

This is a great spot to get away from almost everything. No cell, no wifi, no hook ups, no showers. 

Lots of hiking with a short 1.3 loop mile trail right out of the campground, and several trails nearby, including a few different connectors to sections of the AT. 

Usually few if any campers here, but lots of wildlife to be seen and heard in and around the campground. 

Theres a camp host who takes care of both bath houses, which have sinks and  flush toilets. No hot water, and no showers. There are a few water hydrants throughout the campground for water.

Great park

Stayed for one night when passing through. Nice big sites with lots of trees. Bathroom has nice showers with good pressure/not water. Easily accessible on MC with fun curvy roads to it. Park staff very friendly.

Nice place.

It’s a nice campground, well kept. Spots are too close together so privacy is lacking. All the roads are paved making it easy for the little ones to ride bikes.

Very peaceful and nice!

Watoga State Park near Marlinton, WV will in no way disappoint! Located right on the beautiful Greenbrier River, the camping is perfect for bringing your kayaks! Watoga offers primitive and electric only sites, but there is water to fill up with throughout the park and a dumping station. My family and I have loved camping at Watoga over the years and will go for years to come!!!

Gorgeous location

Stayed in the cabins. Small but gets the job done. Stocked with basic kitchenware. Bunk beds are fun for the kids. Some good hiking trails on the state park that lead to the New River. Otherwise plenty of other trails in reasonable driving distance.

great primitive campsite on the river

This is a cool spot.  You can camp here for free on first come first serve basis.  Also can access by boat if taking a trip on the river. sandy sites. Not much nearby. You walk down a set a stairs to the sites.

Great place to camp

Army Camp is my favorite place to camp. 10 tent sites. 2 are handicap. Has always been quiet with good people camping while I was here. Area for people to swim in the river or fish. One trail on far side of parking area that I haven’t been on yet. Great area.

Ranger Review: Banner and Oak Hats at River Expeditions

Campground Review: 

River Expeditions in Oak Hill, WV, is an all-in-one camping-to-glamping resort for outdoor adventures in the New River Gorge where I shared a 3-day adventure with a young lady who was a first-time camper. We both enjoyed the friendly, knowledgeable staff and all the amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool, game room, restaurant and saloon.

River Expeditions offers tent camping, safari tents, RV sites, bungalows, mini-cabins, deluxe cabins, and even luxury cabins with private hot tubs. Prices range from$15/night for tent camping to nearly $400 for the luxury cabins with a 15% discount for booking online, and a 50% discount from November 1st to March 3rd. All accommodations include a complimentary continental breakfast. 

River Expeditions is spread out over a 100-acres, with the tent camping located in open meadows, surrounded by trees. The RV camp sites are too close together for my taste and the gravel parking spots are all on a slant, so it would be a challenge for larger trailers to get level there. My camping buddy and I upgraded from my tent to my RV van due to thunderstorms and heavy rain. We selected spot#6 which allowed us to park parallel to the electricity and mostly avoid the downhill slant. 

The New River Gorge National River has some of the best whitewater rafting in the country, so we booked a trip on the lower New River and it was great! River Expeditions has good gear and great guides like Porter who had us cracking up when he shared some local folklore. He gave us lots of opportunities for a relaxing swim outside the raft. We also got to test the power of a whirlpool and jump off a huge rock, while we paddled downstream through the rapids. 

The New River Gorge is a climber’s dream, so we booked an evening of rock climbing with David Wolff, Director of the New River Climbing School and he was amazing! I would describe David as an expert instructor, combined with psychological counselor, who helped my camping buddy cope with her fear of heights during the rappelling portion of the outing. 

There are lots of great hiking trails in the New River Gorge. The 2-mile Endless Wall Trail has been rated the #1 National Park trail by USA Today. The view from Diamond Point is amazing, with the rocky outcroppings overlooking the New River. You’ll often see climbers scaling nearby rock walls and you can watch rafts negotiating the rapids in the river below. Tip: There are two small parking lots which can fill up fast, you may want to arrive early on the weekends. If you have a big party, you can carpool from the Canyon Rim Visitor’s Center which is worth a visit to use their flush toilets and get free trail maps. 

We also hiked the 3-mile Long Point Trail which gives you an amazing view of the New River Bridge, a steel arch bridge, more than 3,000 feet long, which spans the gorge. If you visit on the third Saturday of October, you can join tens of thousands of visitors who watch dare devils base jump from the structure during the annual Bridge Day celebration. 

On the final day of our visit, we tried River Expeditions’ 3-part zipline in the pouring rain, something I wouldn’t repeat because I was too soaked and cold to enjoy the experience. I’d describe it as a beginner’s zipline, so if you’re looking for something more dramatic, with better views, you may want to check out the competition at Ace Adventure Resort

The only negative caveat of our stay was a run-in with the resort owner caused by unpredictable hours for the pool and other amenities, which closed early with no advanced warning.  We were threatened with eviction when I used the half-covered hot tub at 9:30 PM after we were told at check in it stayed open until 10 PM.

Product Review: 

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time, so my camping buddy and I wore Banner and Oak hats during our 3-day adventure in the New River Gorge.

I want to be honest, without trashing Banner and Oak, because I love their American-made hats and would definitely recommend them. 

With that said, I’m disappointed that Banner and Oak has apparently abandoned their founding pledge to sell American-designed and fabricated hats, with 95% of the materials sourced in the United States. 

I noticed the recent change when I opened my sample box and two of three hats inside were made in China and Bangladesh. 

My favorite hat of the trio is the American-made Banner and Oak Scout with a patch that pleases my soul, featuring the phrase“Freedom To Explore” embroidered across the top with a stars and stripes tent centered underneath. This hat is well-made, with quality materials, and generates positive comments whenever I wear it. 

The quality of the China-made Banner and Oak Trailhead hat is fine, but the brand is unknown in West Virginia, so when I showed it to other campers, they wanted to know something about the company. I told them Banner and Oak is a relatively new American apparel brand headquartered in Arkansas, so they seemed confused by the“Made in China” tag inside. 

The hat made in Bangladesh is the Banner and Oak Pathfinder from the women’s line. The quality is noticeably inferior, with puckered seams and the front logo slightly off-center.

All three Banner and Oaks hats I tested have a list price of nearly $30/each, so my buying preference would be for any style of their top-quality, American-made hats, designed, fabricated and sourced in the USA.

Gorgeous Water Views

Right across the street from our usual spot at the New, my friends stayed at this site with a couple other friends this week. They stayed in a group with their families, we swing by to get a view of the lake and hangout on the little shelter / play area. Great location for families, with good roads, and other amenities. Right by Summersville Dam, a gas station, local shops and restaurants, and many cool boating and recreation locations. Right before the dam there is a location you can camp in for free, but this would be a better location for kids and dogs to run around.

Free Camping with Amenities

Whenever we go and rock climb at New River Gorge on a budget, we stay at this free site. They have CLEAN bathrooms, water hookups, showers, tables, fire rings, and grills. Each time we’ve stayed at the site, we’ve met really cool climbers and families. Great place for the adventurous group on a budget, or a family that would like to fall asleep listening to a river. Very close to Summersville Lake, where there is a lot of boating, deep water soloing, and hiking.

Free Camping with Amenities

Whenever we go and rock climb at New River Gorge on a budget, we stay at this free site. They have CLEAN bathrooms, water hookups, showers, tables, fire rings, and grills. Each time we’ve stayed at the site, we’ve met really cool climbers and families. Great place for the adventurous group on a budget, or a family that would like to fall asleep listening to a river. Very close to Summersville Lake, where there is a lot of boating, deep water soloing, and hiking.

My favorite WV state park so far

Quiet, clean and updated. Loved that they had bigger RV lots, with full hookup. Easy walks and if you have kids, great natural water areas and swimming. Make sure you go to both falls!