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Athens, WEST VIRGINIA

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Most Recent Athens Camping Reviews
Riverside!

Really cool campground located right on the New River, located at Foster Falls. The river sounds amazing at night. You have to walk everything into the campground from the parking area, but it's not a long walk so you can still bring all of your "car camping" luxuries. There are no RV sites and there are no bathhouses, only pit toilets which can be a little funky, but it is what it is. Just a short walk from the campground, you can explore the area which includes stables, a wildlife center, visitor center with local artisan goods (we got some local teas, stevia, and handmade jewelry/ornaments as gifts), an abandoned hotel/grounds (you can check them out from the outside), an old train car, and much more. Pet-friendly. 

Sites 2, 6, and 9 would be my personal picks for next time. If you have a large group, G17 is HUGE. You can also use this campground for day-use, picnicking, etc.

Shot Tower State Park isn't far from here either, so definitely check that out while you're in the area. Millrace Campground is located within the New River State Park. We went in October and the colors were really starting to change.

A relaxing shoulder season stay

Hungry Mother State Park, Royal Oak Campground, Marion VA…site 3. https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/hungry-mother

Campground Overview: Located outside of Marion VA

Hungry Mother State Park is somewhat split up and fragmented on either side of a local highway and the first campground is distanced from the other two. So a little different than most parks but not necessarily a negative.

The Visitor’s Center is on the left after the first campground (Camp Burson) and across the roadway from the reservoir and beach area. The remaining two campground loops are past the beach area…one to the right along a feeder stream (Creekside Campground) and opposite that is the third loop (Royal Oak Campground) on the side of a hill with wooden platforms for tents.

I was hoping to paddle this meandering reservoir but it was being drained for bridge work…so it was six feet or so lower than normal. Even the migrating geese weren’t too happy about it, as they waddled around on the mud.

During the peak of the summer season, it appears that it would be very popular with s nice swimming beach, paddlecraft rentals, cabin rentals, conference center, ample covered picnic pavilions and both paved and dirt trails.

I stayed on site 3 in Royal Oak Campground, pitching the tent on a 20’x20’ leveled wooden platform. Several pros and cons to elevated platforms.

Pros: It’s level and large enough for any tent I’ve ever seen. Water drains pretty decent between wood decking, so no pooling. D-ring lashing points were attached to the decking to assist in securing tent or rainfly.

Cons: When the cold wind blows, it’s hard to retain heat in the tent…360 cold. While there are D-ring lashing points, they don’t accommodate every tent of rainfly. Previous knucklehead campers drill Tapcon screws or nails in the wood decking and rails to secure their tent…then leave them there so everyone else snags or rips their tent on them.

It rained for 12 hours straight with cold, high winds…so it was a bit chilly, but still enjoyable.

What I enjoyed: deer wandering through the grounds, the Molly’s Knob Trail and Vista Summit,

The ugly: the lake (reservoir) was drained. Heaters weren’t on in the shower rooms…37 degree showering gets tricky.

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.

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

Great campsites

The campsites are absolutely great in the park . We enjoyed every moment of being here . There is lots of water as well as wonderful nature spots .

Ranger Review of Outdoor Element at Hungry Mother SP

Campground review: Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA. This park has something for everyone. Hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, swimming. There are interesting campfire get togethers too. Two campgrounds, one up the hill, the other on the main road. Secluded cabins and yurts. We stayed in the smaller campground at the top of the hill. There is electric at each site and plenty of room for more then one tent, hammocks and small campers. A nice showerhouse with dish sink on the end. You will get your exercise walking the rolling loop still campground and hill. There is a yurt in this campground with a nice deck. Some visitors saw a bear near the backside of the lake, but I didn’t see any large wildlife. The cabins are located on the backside of the lake with some nice porches to sit and enjoy the evening breeze. The beach is popular, there are kayaking programs and paddle boats. You could easily stay a week here. Two things to do while your here is ONE: check out DIP DOGS a very popular and busy restaurant and TWO: the “Back of the Dragon” an AWESOME DRIVING TOUR across the mountains from Marion to Tazewell, VA.

Product Review: As a Dyrt Ranger I have the opportunity to check out some awesome outdoor products. Outdoor Element stuff is like survivalist gear that can be carried with you all the time. Bracelets that can be used to make fire, use as fishing line and as rope. This bracelet has a fish hook “embedded” in it and a flint and striker for sparks. Cool thing they do is give you a piece of the 550 cord used for the bracelet to take apart and experiment with. Watch my video for more information. I wear the bracelet all the time now so it’s a little stinky , ;p not sure about washing it, but I am going to the site to find out.

Cabins were great

Stayed in a small cabin for thanksgiving and it was quite and peaceful. There was 2 small bedrooms and a very tiny kitchen. The living room had a fireplace and a bundle of wood was provided with reservation.

Peaceful

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

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!

A great place with great views

This is a wonderful area. It is highly recommend . We had a great time at this park . The views are amazing.

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.

Love this park!

Great campsites. Trail to the beach area along the water. Paddle board. Just a great place to relax. Full hook ups.

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.

Nice Camground...lots of Activities

Nice, clean campground with friendly staff. Outdoor pool, mini golf, bowling alley and more to keep everyone busy. We stayed on Labor Day weekend so it was crowded and of course it was a bit noisy but would definitely recommend anyone to stay here and we would definitely go back. They also have two dog parks in the campground which is nice for your furry family! 😊

Wytheville KOA Holiday will not disappoint!

Very nice campground… Went on Labor Day weekend 2019, mainly because nothing else was available. But, I was very pleased with the Wytheville KOA Holiday, from their full hook-up, easy access sites to their very nice pool with waterslide!

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.

Beautiful & peaceful retreat

Clean, well maintained & very enjoyable park. The Lake Trail is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. The history surrounding this place is well worth looking into.

Great family campground

We enjoyed a weekend here a couple weeks ago. It was a great campground. Fun for everyone

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!

Great place to stay.

Perfect place to camp if you are going rafting with Ace or if you want to enjoy the waterpark. Great price, nice clean campground and sites are not stacked on top of each other. Very nice shower house about a 3 min walk from the campground. One of my favorite camp sites in that part of the state. So much stuff to do right down the hill without even leaving the resort ! Restaurant and general store at bottom of the hill and a nice pond to wake up and fish in. Mountain bike and hiking trails all over. This is an awesome place to stay.

Friendly campground

You are looking for a nice and simple campground, this is the place! The owner is a sweet lady. We go there each time we rock climb at the New.

Phenomenal campground!

A great out of the way location. A bit of a drive in but worth the travel. Extremely clean and well maintained facility. Peaceful and level spots. The hosts are awesome and a great place to relax with no cell phone coverage or WiFi. Rent some kayaks and enjoy nature. We will be back.