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Athens, WEST VIRGINIA
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Private and beautiful

We went in the middle of the week, on a Tuesday. It had been raining a lot the days before but did not rain at all the three days we stayed. It was incredibly private, we were the only ones staying overnight. There were some visitors throughout the days, hiking, fishing, and a lot of white water rafters. We stayed at site 7 which was definitely the most private, the only downside being people walking on the trail walk right by your camp, but it wasn’t a very big deal. The second most private campsite was 6

The only downsides were the bathrooms and maybe the train. The bathrooms were a pit latrine, which is private but not necessarily clean or comfortable lol. Also trains would go by every few hours, it didn’t bother us much but it could be annoying to some people. It was also veryyy cold in the mornings but that was due to going in spring. I can’t see it being a problem during the summer

Overall I really enjoyed this campsite, and the seclusion of it. I could see it having a lot more people later in the summer and on less rainy days so I’d recommend getting there early if you want a private site

Cabins

We stayed a weekend in one of the many cabins at the Campground; pet friendly! The RV/Tent camping sites were closed. Cabin was stocked with minimal kitchen ware, we brought in our groceries, in the town of Hinton there are a couple of grocery stores; so easy access. There was a picnic table and satellite TV; to our surprise. Cabin had a fireplace, two bedrooms and one bath. Very quiet!

Thumbs up and we will likely stay there again, will look into bringing our TT to check out the RV/Tent areas.

Convenient to the Interstate!

One mile off the Interstate, but you would never know it! A large hill at the west side of the park blocks most of the noise. There's even cows on the hill! Super nice people that run it, as well as the campers visiting. Each campsite has a level space, shade, and picnic table. Full hook ups, including cable! There is a very clean pool, but it was not open. Just wish there was a wildlife area with flowers here….

Great campsite

It rained the entire time I was there, yet I still enjoyed my stay. Campsite was clean and the other campers were quiet. I spoke to one group who stayed Saturday night only and that was just in passing at the bathroom. Cell reception is scarce, but that's not a problem, just an observation.

Great campsite

It rained the entire time I was there, yet I still enjoyed my stay. Campsite was clean and the other campers were quiet. I spoke to one group who stayed Saturday night only and that was just in passing at the bathroom. Cell reception is scarce, but that's not a problem, just an observation.

Great views over Burkes Garden

We've made this hike several times with our dogs. It is a great shorter hike with great views over Burkes Garden (nicknamed God's Thumbprint). At the top is a clearing where camping is possible. There is a shelter at the top; this location is located along the Appalachian Trail and has wodden bunks and single platforms for pads and sleeping bags. There is also a fire pit located outside the shelter.

Right on the river

This was the first campsite my wife and I stayed at together. We were still in college and decided to try camping for the first time. It was excellent. Being newbies we enjoyed the outlet access and WiFi. This campground is right on the new river and has great tubing kayaking and fishing accommodations.

Clean quiet and friendly

We took our puppy on his first camping trip here. Every camping spot had plenty of space. Our spot included a grill and campsite. There is also a camping manager type person who drives around and sells firewood and helps answer any questions. There are bathroom facilities located in the middle of the area. The camping spot is about a 15 minute walk to the lake or a very short drive. We will definitely be staying here again!

A State Park Campground for Almost Every Type of Camper

I could easily give this campground five stars, but I am the type of tent camper that likes more wilderness. This campground actually a few "campgrounds" within the park and for almost every type of camper. Camp Burson is the first one you see upon entering the state park (as far as I know, since the park is really lonnggg! It is best suited for RVs, but there are gravel spaces for tents. Another campground in the park has pull-through sites, but there were also a couple of tents there. Since we are mainly tent campers, we went to the third camping area, which also had yurts. The yurts have one double bed but not water. The part that I didn't like, but many tent campers would love, is that you have to pitch your tent on a wooden deck. It's great for camping in the rain because the water doesn't have a chance to puddle. However, I'm the type that likes more primitive camping out in the woods, but I'm not holding that against Hungry Mother. Hungry Mother is a great state park, and the sites are wonderful (unless you are strange like me and prefer more primitive camping). As we drove around, we also saw several cabins and at least one or two lodges. I got the feel that it was almost a gated community, which for some people is not a bad thing. Again, there are opportunities for almost every type of "camper."

As far as I know, this is the first state park that had a restaurant. Unfortunately, we were there in April before it opened, so we missed out on that. The bath and shower facilities are modern with tile floors, which I find as a pleasant surprise for a state park. Camping there is April can actually be a good thing. You can avoid the crowds at the beach (although the water is cold) and there are a good number of empty campsites. This state park also has canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals. There is a basketball court and a playground, which is next to the beach. We didn't really stay long enough to enjoy the hiking trails or the fishing, but there are several hiking and biking trails from easy to moderate. The beauty of this park is amazing! With the background of mountains behind the lake, it doesn't get much better. I really would love to go back again and camp for more than just one night to enjoy it all.

Absolutely awesome. Very clean and lots for kids to do.

Very clean campground. Has nice pool with waterside and game room with bowling and food and much more. The owners are the best people as well. They are so good to out camping club. Our favorite place.

State Park with Hiking, Water Sports, and Lots of Amenities

If you are looking for a state park with the amenities of a national franchise campground, look no further. I was surprised during our stay in this park. The sites are level and many are shaded. Although we are tent campers, RV campers WILL NOT be disappointed. While we were there, we were able to check out other sites before the season has gotten into full swing. There is even an area for group primitive camping. There is a complete marina for motor boats, and you can feel at ease launching your kayak as well. I didn't take my kayaks this time, but I plan to in the future. There is a swimming beach and group picnic shelters as well. I believe, if I am not mistaken, there is also a conference center. For the RVers, there is a dump station at the campground. The bath house was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting it to be like the bath houses at state parks I have visited before with bare concrete floors and cold water showers, if any at all. The bath house we used had tiled floor showers and marble/granite counter tops. I highly recommend Claytor Lake, and I will be back!

Free Campground

Free campground. Fire circles. Nice gravel RV spots. 2 accessible sites. Pit toilets. Very close to the New River, nice beach access. No one else was there on our visit in April.

Wild Flower Heaven

First thing we were told by the park rangers was to, 'beware of bears"! Seriously! It was a beautiful park with large lake. We hiked to the lake from our site, only 1.2 miles. The lake had a diving platform in the middle, which of course we had to try! The bottom was so deep, I never hit it! Saw many beautiful flowers, and lots of ducks. There was a very clean laundry room.

Great campground

Wonderful area! We can camp and the campsite was level. Clean bathrooms. Trails are marked well. Beach area is large.

Popular summer camper location.

Lake Stephens Campground is a popular location for residents of Beckley (and surrounding areas) to park their RV’s/campers, for extended periods of time, as an easy getaway. The RV/camper area consists of a large circle of campsites that are very close to each other. The common area in the middle has a playground, restroom/showers, vending machines and some field area to play. The RV area seems to have grown into a very friendly community. They have regularly scheduled events like movie night, and they even host a “trick-or-treat” event each year that attracts hundreds. Amongst other things, the park has picnic areas, a beach with a sectioned off swimming area, a small water park area, and several hiking trails.

Fun Times

This camp ground has a pond with inflatables for fun & a beach area. Everyone has to wear a life jacket which is kind of a pain. The campground is spread around a really big area but it’s very hill-y. Beautiful area. Close to store & restaurants. Staff very friendly. A little pricey but worth it. I’ve stayed here several times & already have a trip booked this summer.

Great for rustic camping

We had a nice site near a stream and close to the bathrooms however, even though the campground is open year round, the bathrooms are not. We were told there was one open bathroom however it was not made clear this was 1-2 miles away which was not exactly convenient. Rustic camping is fine when we have planned for it. Early in the morning (around 7) workers arrived to work on the closed bathrooms for the opening in a few weeks. The website information is not accurate so definitely call (we were told when we called that the website is several years out of date). It seems like it would be great during regular season.

Mount Rogers

Variety of types of campsites. Amazing sights and wild ponies! The AT provides some great hiking.

Great Company

This clean and spacious campground lends itself to white water rafting enthusiasts, offering various guided trips down the New and Gauley rivers. The campground has its own hiking/biking trails and zip line canopy tours. It also offers horseback riding and ATV tours. Tent camping is primitive, but the bathhouse is clean and efficient. Luxury cabins, lodges, bunkhouses, and cute Safari tents are available. There is a pool and hot tub near the well equipped gift shop, and the Red Dog Saloon and Grill for when you need a break from camp food. We had a blast on our rafting trip and truly enjoyed our stay.

Suitable for a weekend

Stayed here for 2 nights to be near our son at Virginia Tech plus we try to tour as many cavers as possible. Its an old campground but that's not always a bad thing. Could hear traffic because we were right under it. Toured Dixie Caverns. Unless you can climb 30 flights of stairs best not to go. Not that interesting. Like climbing a silo and climbing down the other side. But able to check off another one. Its an experience!

Clean and well-maintained

Friendly and helpful office staff, clean bathrooms, washer and dryer available.

Secluded Riverside campsite

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

Ranger Review: RōM Outdoors RōM Pack at Hungry Mother State Park

Hungry Mother State Park, just a short drive off I-81 in southwestern Virginia, is an easily accessible gem offering modern cabins, yurts, and campgrounds equipped for tents or RVs, with limitless activities.

We stayed in one of the cabins after Hurricane Michael rained out our plans for tent camping. This was our first time in one of the VSP cabins, and will not be our last. There are three types of cabins; log exteriors, part of the original Civilian Conservation Corps structures; wooden frame cabins with wooden interiors, and cinderblock exteriors with tile floors. Cabins range from economy to three bedroom, and all have a kitchen with microwave, stove, and refrigerator/freezer, a bathroom with a shower, and a fireplace, as well as heating and air conditioning. Most cabins also have covered porches, exterior picnic tables, and exterior fire rings.

The Creekside Campground loop has water and electric hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings. The layout is similar to most water/electric sites in state and national parks in Virginia; not much privacy between the sites, but fairly shaded, and a quiet atmosphere. This loop is true to its name, and right on the creek running through the park. We were there during the rains from Hurricane Michael and the creek was running so high that sites 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, and 19 looked like they were in danger of flooding.

The Royal Oak campground has platforms for tents set into the mountain rather than dirt or gravel tent pads, however as there are hooks in each of the pads to anchor your tent they can only accommodate tents with a 20x20 footprint. These sites have picnic tables and fire rings on the dirt beside the platforms. The two VSP Yurts at Hungry Mother are in the Royal Oak loop, along the entrance that are set up from the road. This loop overall offers a lot more privacy for each site that I have typically seen in state parks due to the platforms, though you will still see/hear your neighbors. Both camping loops have bathrooms with electricity, flush toilets, and showers with warm water.

Amenities in the park include a lake with a swimming area, boat/canoe rentals, fishing (with license), a restaurant, hiking, biking, and ranger programs. The park office also has several cool displays of local wildlife and history of the area, as well as backpacks you can check out with books and gear for tree, wildflower, and animal identification. Hiking varies from short and easy trails with minimal elevation gain, to the difficult Molly’s Knob trail with one of the most epic sunset views I’ve ever hiked in Virginia.

I love Virginia State Parks, and this is definitely a new favorite. I’m skeptical of the comfort of the wooden platforms for future tent camping trips, but the cabins will definitely be a future stay for us, particularly during the winter months, and there is so much to do in this park even the most reluctant adventurer will find fun.

**Product Review **

As as Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time — on this trip I tested the RōM pack, from RōM Outdoors.

I was skeptical about this pack when I first received it—it felt extremely heavy for a day pack, particularly as it doesn’t have a hip belt, and while I was impressed with the removable pockets, it didn’t seem like the pack itself had a lot of cargo capacity.

After using this pack on our trip, I am a convert. We used it to pack clothes for my husband and I, knowing we would be able to leave our clothes at camp when we went hiking. This freed up space in the car that would normally go to a larger backpack, and we got to take advantage of the pack’s ability to convert to both a poncho and a blanket, not just for review purposes, but out of necessity.

The poncho’s rain resistance held up well, considering we were hiking in the outer bands of a hurricane. The first hike we took this on we started in the rain, and my husband wore the poncho—he stayed dry for the first half mile of our hike, but by end of our mile the water had started leaking through so he did get a little wet—though mostly around the the seams/openings. On our second hike he wore it as a backpack. Because it was raining when we set out and we anticipated needing the poncho feature again, we elected not to bring the detachable pockets, but the interior of the pack was enough to hold our 5 year old’s day pack once she got tired of carrying it.

It stopped raining by the time we got to the summit of our hike, and we tested the blanket feature of the pack for a picnic. It unfolds to a size that was perfect for our family of four. The canvas is thick enough to make a great picnic blanket—it protects from damp ground and sharp rocks, and the lining makes for a very soft surface to sit on. On the way back I took advantage of the poncho. By this point it had gotten extremely windy and was getting dark quickly, and the poncho was excellent at keeping me warm. It’s very heavy, which was welcome in the strong wind, though it did make it hard to hear with the hood over my ears.

Pros to this pack:

-Versatility. In one trip we used the backpack, poncho, and blanket feature, and were grateful for all three.

-Durability. This is definitely a well-constructed pack, with heavy materials that seem like they will last for a long time.

-User-friendly. The pack looks intimidating at first, but it unfolds/folds from pack to poncho/blanket very easily. Combined with the drawstring inner pack and detachable pockets it’s easy to convert while still keeping track of your gear.

Cons to this pack:

-Space. This is great to bring on a camping trip where you can bring additional packs/bags for your gear, but it doesn’t hold much on its own.

-Weight. It only weighs in at 4.6lbs, which is less than a lot of backpacking packs, but as the pack doesn’t have the hip belt it’s a high starting weight.

-Thin straps. The width of the straps is comfortable, but they could use a little more padding.

September visit

Very nice and shady in Chermside campground. Lots of walking trails. During summer rent kayaks and paddle boats. Restaurant on site. Sites are a little tight for rv. Will be back.

Good times

Had a great time. Staff friendly, tubing fun.

Awesome first night

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.

Nice campground - great for climbers especially!

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!

Great Camp Close To Many Historic Sites - Targeted For RVs

I was traveling in this area and was really excited to have found that there is a town called Austinville where Stephen F Austin, a founder of Texas, originated. While driving out to the monument in his honor I found this site and loved what I saw!

Highway access to this area is easy for all types of traveler. there are several stores in the area with just about anything you could need or want only moments away from camp and if you are there in late summer when I was, the sun rises are amazing!!!!

So what is the catch?? Well they don't accept tents!!! NOOOOOO!! I didn't find a single thing about that online when I checked their site following finding out this knowledge, however I did like this site enough to still give them a positive review because they were so nice, their facility was ample and their proximity itself.

In fact, they were so nice they gave me a tour of the campground even though I couldn't stay and gave me some great info about places around me which led me to another campground that served me perfect, a tent campground nearby.

This site has a very nice restroom with multiple sinks, a large laundry room perfect for a camper who is on the road for a while like myself. I noticed there was a very nice pool which is heated, allowing it to be open much longer than many campgrounds in the area. There is a large pet area and also playground and several hiking areas in the direct area which all looked nice.

Nearby are numerous state parks as a part of the New River Trail including the Shot Tower Historical Site which is a very short distance away. In addition, people often come here to watch the birds and deer, which are very relaxing.

Should I return with an RV I also inquired about the rates which are reasonable at $35 for standard hook ups and they do have weekly rates also. I did notice what appeared to be a few long term campers but their areas still looked kept and maintained.

TIPS:

  • Call in advance if you will be arriving late in the evening. The management lives on property and will make arrangements to meet you.
  • Take advantage of the historic Wrythesville walking tour, you can get information about this in the office and it is WELL WORTH IT!!
Loved The Grounds!!

Ever wake up on a foggy Virginia morning and walk only a few feet fro your tent and watch the fog rise off the water? I DID and it was AMAZING!!

This place is pretty amazing, it is used for camping but also for day use depending on what area of the park you travel toward. There is a historic site with great information, a boat ramp and launch area which is spacious, playgrounds, horse stables, pavilion, canoe area and on site security to make sure your stay is safe and enjoyable.

Reservations are preferred however they do have same day availability some times. You do need to make sure you display your paperwork on your dash to confirm your parking in the lot before hiking into your site itself. If you don't like carrying your things in, this is not the camp for you! You will be required to carry your things into your site, however there is a nice paved walking area for you to do so.

My site was close to the main entrance, so no biggie!

This is pretty bare bones camping, no electrical, no RVs, no flush toilets. But there is drinking water available and also each site is equipped with the standard picnic table and fire ring.

There was a store on site but I never went in so I am not sure about what all they have, being kind of removed from town I just went ahead and brought my goods in.

While I was here I did see a lot of nature roaming and loved it!! They did let me know it gets pretty crazy during prime season and weekends can be a bit tough as well.

TIPS:

  • Book online in advance!!
  • Bring your canoe, there is an island you can row across to and enjoy just a few hundred yards from camp. Well worth the exploration!!
A state park as they were intended!

Build by the Civilan Conservation Corps In the 1903s- Hungry Mother is state park planning its historical peak! The amenities cannot be missed - beach with bath house and snack bar, interpretive center with children’s activities, on-site restaurant with wonderful lake view, $8 kayak rentals, well-kept paddle boats, and wonderful hiking. We loved the kayaks - if you only have 1 hour, power right out of the boat slip (past the beach) up and around the far part of the lake. Utter solitude among the hills! 💗

For hiking, we especially enjoyed Lake Trail - easy but quiet and lovley vegetation. We stayed in one of the old CCC cabins (pups and cats allowed!), and while simple and rustic - it was perfectly maintained and clean. we hope to go back during fireplace season! The loss of one star is as due to the number of white supremacist bumper stickers, t-shirts, and tattoos in the day use parking lot and on the beach. We ended up not sticking around due to concerns about our safety - clearly a genderqueer same sex couple was not welcome news among the locals.