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Jennings Randolph Lake, WEST VIRGINIA

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Camping West Virginia Jennings Randolph Lake
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Most Recent Jennings Randolph Lake Camping Reviews
Loved staying here.

Awesome campground in the middle of the mountains. We were looking for a get away and found this gem. The owners are great, showers clean and had plenty of space.

Great! But under construction

This is a really great park. I been here multiple times through the years. There is a lot of fun trails to go on. Which you can view the water falls and river. The welcome center is very hands on. But there was a lot of construction when I was there. I recommend going in the summertime. When it’s warmer you can go down the natural waterslide and swim in the river.

Beautiful view

We booked online and the owners contacted with confirmation. The location is beautiful and has dry camping and hookups. The view of the town below is beautiful and open skies at nights. The owners plan to expand and update more with the summer season.

Nice, quiet campground

Nice little campground. Great spot for fly fishing. Lots of hiking trails, fishing spots and caverns! When we got here, we read signs about “no pets”, but they didn’t ask when making the reservation, so we had no idea until a few days after being here. We have an old dog, and nobody has said anything. We would stay here again, when in this area.

Far from the hectic pace!

Red Creek Campground is positioned a decent drive down gravel National Forest roads, so it does not see the amount of traffic that easier, closer campgrounds get.      https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mnf/recreation/natureviewing/recarea/?recid=7003&actid=63

With a season of Mid-April through the beginning of December, be assured that weather is always a factor. Family has been thwarted at Thanksgiving by unpassable snow without a 4x4. Rain is almost certain, as the varied elevation nearly creates its own weather patterns.  So my first recommendation is to always add rain gear and cold weather garments for insurance.

We ordinarily visit during the month of August and being a "fly by the seat of my pants" type of roaming tent camper…I have arrived to see Red Creek Campground full…as these sites are non-reservable. 

Keep in mind, Red Creek Campground is "primitive"…no modern facilities, no showers, no electric…and the only running water accessible, is a small spring pipe (that I highly recommend filtering before use even though it does not post that).

Sites on the outer portion of the loop are fairly concealed from one another by trees and undergrowth…the inner loop sites are a little more exposed.  Gravel parking at sites and each site offers a picnic table a fire ring and lantern post. All sites are a short distance to the two individual unisex pit lantrines in the center of the campground.

With no ambient light, the night skies are amazing…though cloud cover always seem to plague my visits at night. Though one evening we drove down toward Bear Rocks and laid in an open field to stargaze one evening to enjoy a wonderful light show from shooting stars. We were so quiet, several deer passed between us within arms reach…a little disconcerting but we survived.

Trails are abundant and some leave directly from the campground deeper into the Wilderness Area. Choose footwear wisely, as the trails are strewn with sharp rocks (on certain trails), various stream and river crossings, shoe-swallowing mud bogs along with the regular ol' dirt trail.  Bring a trail map, water…and/or a water filter…and raingear.

Nearby Bear Rocks is a fun scamper for "kids" of all ages and the views eastward share WV and Virginia mountain ranges.

We were thrilled to visit when "Bird Banding" is taking place and enjoyed searching for migrating birds caught in the netting on the east side of the road opposite the campground.

For a peaceful, relaxing camping experience that offers great hiking, and some of the most amazing flora and fauna…its a family favorite!

Waterfalls, Trails and Long Valley Views!

Blackwater State Park, Davis, WV https://wvstateparks.com/park/blackwater-falls-state-park/

Camping anywhere in West Virginia is a highlight, but this area offers hiking views aplenty.

Most will travel by Canaan Valley State Park entrance and the back road to Dolly Sods Wilderness Area to arrive at Blackwater Falls State Park…but very worthwhile.

This campground is very popular and fills up quickly. I’ve only visited during midweek and prime sites are still difficult to find. Reservations can be made online and are recommended during peak season. Cabins are also available for rental.

The campground office is small but sites are paid for there ($23 non electric/$26 electric)… firewood and ice are available there also.

I’ve only camped in the non-electric loops (to the left). and usually along the far wood line. There are 65 sites in all, less than half offer electric.

Obviously, the biggest draw is the cascading 57ft Blackwater Falls, but there are other smaller falls (Elakala Falls) in the State Park. Trails abound with some pretty incredible long valley views. Lindy Point and Pendleton Point Overlook are two big draws. All worthwhile. Note: The walk down to the bottom of the Blackwater Falls include many steps…not handicap accessible to the lower levels.

The Trading Post by the falls is enjoyable and will satisfy your search for trinkets.

During my stays the campground has been quiet and relaxing. The centrally located restrooms/showerhouse is spartan but clean and well-stocked.

Deer meandered through the unattended Campsites two of my three stays, so it can be very quiet. Trees exist on outside perimeter sites that can be utilized for hammocking…and some inner loop sites. The sites have level grassy areas for tents…parking pads are all fairly sufficient for pop-ups or moderate-sized campers. On my visits, RV/campers were primarily in the loop to the right of the office.

The nearby town has a small grocery store and several fantastic eateries.

Shoulder season solitude...flora and fauna delight

Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, part of the Monongahela National Forest, offers something for every hiker, backpacker, camper.

Having visited Dolly Sods numerous times at the Red Creek Campground, using that as the base camp to launch off to explore the myriad of trails. We decided to use the backcountry as a primer for the following year's longer westerly  backbacking trip. 

Know that it will likely rain on you in Dolly Sods, so always bring rain gear. Also realize, that with climate and conditions similar to the Canadian Tundra, temperatures and winds vary and fluctuate often, any time of year. Those two conditions often dissuade less hearty souls…but they are also exactly what creates and sustains a very beautiful environment.

During our excursion, we spent three nights and four days on what I will term the perimeter trails…camping at Raven Ridge, Big Stonecoal Run creek, and at Reds Creek at the forks. Numerous websites offer insight and directions and all are beneficial to study. We chose to travel counter-clockwise from Bear Rocks, parking in the grass across from the trailhead. Note: leaving valuables in or on your vehicle while you traipse about in the Sods is always iffy, just like anywhere else, so use wisdom. I've read of thefts…but the vehicle parked to us had two high end full-suspension mountain bikes on a roof rack for days without issue.

If you are unfamiliar with Dolly Sods Wilderness trails…choose footwear that either dries fast or is waterproof…has a robust sole to fend off bruises from the brutal amount of sharp, ankle buster rocks on the trail…and won't pull off and be lost in the countless bogs and areas of shoe sucking mud. We wanted to rename one particular trail "pointed rock trail." Our expensive boots were actually a fail for this trip…which was a valuable education.

We saw people run this trail in a day…but there's no way you can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells moving that quickly. I felt we should've taken more time and explored much more…although soggy weather became a deterrent. The amount of brightly colored fungi, snakes, crayfish and salamanders were astonishing. So if you move too quickly, you miss them.

Do practice "leave no trace." The heavy summer and weekend use by careless and selfish hikers or backcountry partiers…has left the woods adjacent to Reds Creek camping sites littered with toilet paper…dig your cat hole and bury your "goods!"

The rocks on the trail may be a pain, but the formations and views from Raven's Ridge, Lion's Head and Bear Rocks rival the best.

Do your homework, choose your camping gear and wardrobe wisely and launch off into the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area…you'll be glad you did!

Great little RV campground

Only 10 sites right on the river. Great fishing. Very quiet. Full hookups for RVs including cable. A little pricey for the area. I Would stay here again. Easy access to Dolly Sods, short drive to Seneca Rocks and Spruce Knob. Did I mention access to multiple areas for great trout fishing.

Allegheny Plateau and Dolly Sods Wilderness

Small, primitive campground with 12-sites.  There were a surprising number of trailers and small RVs when I visited, especially when you consider visitors have to drive about 10-miles on a graded dirt road to get there.

There are some walk-in tent sites for more privacy and you have the option of pure wilderness camping in the surrounding 17,400 acres of Dolly Sods as long as you use existing campfire rings, or use a backpack stove when you can't find one.

No cell phone service or Internet… No electricity, pit toilets, and a busted water pump, but there is a fresh-water spring. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring and lantern pole. 

The camp hosts are super mellow and also lead the volunteer bird-banding that takes place just across the road from the Red Creek Campground.  

The plant life and weather at Dolly Sods are similar to Northern Canada, so bring some extra layers. It was at least 15-degrees cooler than the valley when I reached the peak of the Allegheny Plateau. Add the wind and I had to put my sweatshirt after sweating in a T-shirt at Seneca Rocks that same day. 

Bring a backpack and good hiking boots so you're prepared to experience some of the most amazing scenery and wildlife you’ve ever seen! 

First-come, first-serve only and often full on weekends.

*Word of caution: Dolly Sods was used for military training during WWII, so there are artillery and mortar shells still being found in this wilderness. Don’t touch any shells you might find, note the location and report to authorities.

Perfect Location!

If you're a fan of hiking and rock climbing at Seneca Rocks, Seneca Shadows is absolutely the best campground near this fantastic rock formation. 

It’s located in the Monongahela National Forest near the North Fork South Branch of the Potomac River with nearby peaks ranging from 1,000 feet to nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. Seneca Shadows campground offers a view of the famed Seneca Rocks and puts you within walking distance of the visitor’s center, hiking and climbing trails, plus the quaint town of Seneca Rocks where you buy gas, food and gifts. 

Make sure you visit Harper’s Old Country Store, a 4th generation family run business, operating since 1902. The visitor’s center has a nice collection of Native American artifacts and a cool video of the Army soldiers who trained here before WWII. 

Seneca Shadows Campground is a modern campground with paved parking, flush toilets, showers and an amphitheater. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring and lantern post. Seneca Shadows is part of a growing trend where a private concessionaire is a running a public camp-ground. I’m not a huge fan since it often mean higher fees, but I must say that the campground was spotless and well-run by a delightful couple who obviously enjoyed their summer job. 

Seneca Shadows Campground has three loops to chose from: 

The A& B Loops are for tents or RVs with no electric service. 

The C-Loop has electricity. 

There's also a group camping area and a "tent-only" camping area with walk-in sites from a nearby parking lot.

Spruce Knob and Dolly Sods are nearby and both deserve a spot on your outdoor adventure“bucket list” in West Virginia.

Near Perfect Campground

We went in late October and we arrived fairly late in the day and to our surprise someone was in the store when we got there. Campground was in great shape, the RV lots were well maintained and all the asphalt seems to have been redone recently. The bathrooms were clean and heated to a comfortable level. Showers had great pressure as well. The spots were well spaced out and pretty spacious, the site we were in had electric hookup for 50a/30a/20a but no water at the site but there was water near the bathroom area. Nice big fire pit in the center area for groups.

Awesome fall camping

Site number 12 is a pull thru that was very easy to level with a great are for my 2 year old granddaughter to enjoy. Bathhouse was very clean with hot water shower.

Nice Pennsylvania State Park

Very large park with a variety of campsites ranging from tent, 20/30 amp, 50 amp, and yurts. Price is the same for all electric sites, regardless of amperage. There is a 40-foot maximum vehicle length allowed in the campground– not a problem for our 17-foot van but the staffer who checked us in remarked that many people come in with larger rigs trying to squeeze in and are unable to. We had no problem securing a site with no reservation on a Monday evening after Labor Day. Very close to two Frank Lloyd Wright properties– Kentuck Knob and the more widely known Falling Waters. Other things to do in or near the park include whitewater rafting, rail trail biking, hiking, zip-lining and touring Laurel Caverns. The nearby town of Ohiopyle has many outfitters and several restaurants. The sites are all located on roads leading off the main road; we stayed in a 20/30amp site on Cherry Road (Site 49). It was right next to the bathroom which was good and bad. Good for proximity but bad because we could hear the hum quite clearly. Also, the door to the women’s room would hit you in the rear quite forcefully unless you held onto it (it took me three times to remember to do this)! There was a dishwashing sink in the women’s room (and I’m assuming in the men’s room?); it was very clean, but the only downside was having to do the dishes by myself! Alcohol is prohibited. Only certain areas allow pets. Only one garbage/recycling station outside of the campground. Wood and ice are available 24/7 on the honor system– very nice not to have to wait until a host is on duty to get what you need. Quiet hours 9 pm-8 am, a bit longer than most campgrounds but except for some sites with campfires still burning with people talking, it was very quiet in this campground. Surprisingly strong cell signal for being deep in the woods.

Great for families

This park is a lot of fun in warm weather with kids. The facilities are also top-notch. I couldn't get over how nice the bathrooms were! We rented mini cabins which each have electricity but no bathroom or running water. Ours had a futon, folding table, double bed and bunk beds. The office will lend you a box fan at check-in and the cabins do get stuffy.

The swimming beach and playground are absolutely beautiful! We had a great time at the nature center reptile feeding program. We also walked around the aviary, where you can see many of the birds from the outside even if it isn't open for a program. We hiked the loop around the lake, not realizing that it was over 5 miles! It also takes you right through the casino parking lot and crowded day use area at one point. If there's a drawback to this park, it's that it really doesn't feel very remote. You're basically across the lake from a big hotel and casino. But it's convenient to DC and a great place for kids and new campers!

Hidden gem

This tiny campground in the Monongahela National Forest was such a fun find! There are less than 30 sites and most have a good bit of privacy. There is one building with showers and flush toilets near the entrance, and several outhouse style toilets scattered around. My kids didn't love those so we took a lot of trips down to the bathroom building. The 1.5 mile loop trail was great and just challenging enough to be fun. The campground and trail are filled with beautiful mountain laurel. The hosts were friendly and available and the whole place seemed to be well maintained. Elkins is only a few minutes away if you need groceries or supplies. We had a great time and would definitely come back!

Small cute campground

Cute location right on the river and the C&O bike path. Would be great for through bike camping. Not much regulation. Our campsite had been taken by another family so we had to use a different one. Good for a quick camp weekend.

Almost Perfect!

Small campground perfectly located & suited for perfect traditional camping experience!

Very friendly! Wooded areas. Close to town with great art & music

Great time once again!!!  The views ❤️

Spent the day in Thomas looking at local art & antiques.  The evening in Davis eating at hellbender burritos.  Hiked some cool trails in the park and to see the falls.  I love this part of our beautiful state!  Blackwater falls SP campground is a central location to some of the best of our state. Seneca rocks, caverns, smokehole caverns and NRock adventures only 45 mins away.  Took a canopy tour with Nrocks before camping.  Awesome!!!!!

Ranger Review: Eclipse Sun Clothing at Rocky Gap State Park

Campground Review: This state park in MD is very popular in the fall for leaf peepers and this weekend was no exception. We were there the last weekend in Sept. The areas of the park that were available were pretty full. All electric sites were full. Our site 16 was spacious and private except for the pathway to the bath house but I only saw a half dozen people walking by. There are many paths from the 30 sites in the A or Ash loop to get to the bath house which was decent and clean. My sister-in-law and her husband stayed in a pull through site #15. It was extremely spacious and very private and backed up to the woods. We checked in at 8:05 on a Friday and there were 2 rangers in the office. The campground has a gate. There are loops A-I with A being all electric and pet friendly. B, C, D, and E were pet friendly with a couple electric sites but seemed to be used by hosts. Loops F through I were no dogs and no electric. There is a beach and a dog beach area which is a huge plus! The camp store was open but the Aviary and Nature center were closed for the season.  There appeared to be boat rentals but I didn't inquire. We hiked throughout and around the lake at the campground and then drove to the other end of the lake (there is a 5 mile trail around the lake) and hiked to Canyon Overlook and the dam which was very pretty. There was a scavenger hunt paper we could've used to search for objects in nature. Great for kids! There are 278 sites total with just 30 having electric hook-up. I would definitely camp there again! Hope it's a bit cooler next time. It was nearly 90!

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Product Review: 

I used the Eclipse sun protection clothing for a little bit on Saturday. It was so hot I couldn't keep it on even with the side vents. I had the shawl cover up as well. I found the one size fits all poncho to be too big for me. I am small stature (5'4" and 110 lbs) so one size fits all doesn't usually fit me. I emailed a review to the company and they responded quickly that they were going to offer sized clothing in the very near future! The material was light weight and I think is as good as or better than any other sun protection clothing I've owned. I would recommend it!

Great as a stopover campground

I camp in my tent so i chose a smaller, secluded site close to the restrooms.  The restrooms were very clean and easily accessible.  I went during the week and the campground was very quiet. The owner was very nice.

Laurel Hill State Park

Stayed:  09/21/19

Site: 222 (Non-electric)

Price:  $35

Pros:  Clean facilities, Huge park, $5 firewood, Seven Springs Downhill Bike Park

Cons:  Site was backed up to road, be aware for noise.

Great place to camp with an ATV

ATV friendly.  Trails close by. Several fishing ponds.  Close to laurel highland area attractions.

So much to do!

This Yogi Bear campground offers a large waterpark area,  large pool,  monster truck rides and many activities. You don't have to leave to find something to do, but there are also many local attractions as well. Kids love it here. Highly recommend.

Great Location

Nearby all the local attractions that laurel highlands has to offer….Youghiogheny River,  Frank Loyd Wright house, Living Treasures Animal Park,  Seven Springs,  Hidden Valley,  etc..

Indoor and outdoor pools are great. 

Bingo is taken seriously here…DO NOT talk at ALL. Lol

Local Attractions are great!

Laurel Highlands campland is in a terrific location for all the local attractions. The youghiogheny river,  living treasures animal park, seven springs, hidden valley,  Frank Loyd Wright house,  etc.

The outdoor pool is large and the indoor pool is great for those rainy days.

Bingo here is SERIOUS. you will get yelled at if you talk at all. Lol.

Perfect Getaway!

Beautiful campground with accommodating staff. Plenty to do for nature enthusiasts!! This was our first visit, but won’t be our last!

Very quiet after the summer!

Ranger Review: Stream2Sea Shampoo & Bodywash and Leave-In Conditioner

Campground Review:

Don’t let the name fool you, the campground is across the street from the lake and there are no lake view sites. We arrived after 6 pm on a Tuesday after Labor Day and found there were only six out of 112 sites occupied. We had the entire Delphia Loop to ourselves. Some loops allow pets and others do not. One loop (the Meshach Browning Loop) has electric hookups; the other loops do not. With so few campers, we were surprised to find the office staffed until 10 pm but this made checking in easier than self-registration. The campground is gated and you need a code to get in; this gave me pause wondering about how safe it was but there were regular ranger patrols and all was quiet. Restrooms in the Delphia loop were modern and very clean. The showers were very nice and rivaled any hotel shower I’ve had. We were told there were regular bear sightings and there were bear boxes at each site; we saw many deer but not a single bear, keeping our zero bear sightings record intact. Each site also had a fire ring, lantern hook (but you would need to be much taller than me to reach it!), and very generous sized picnic table. Alcohol, weapons, and fireworks are prohibited. No/very limited cell service. Sites in the Delphia and George Beckman loops are very quiet but some sites in the other two loops are closer to the road so you will hear road noise. The lake is open Memorial Day through Labor Day so I imagine this campground would yield a very different experience in the height of summer!

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Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I have the awesome opportunity to review products. I'm reviewing two products from Stream2Sea because they are meant to be used together. I am hesitant to use multi-use products as generally, one or the other function is compromised. However, the Shampoo and Body Wash from Stream2Sea  was a nice surprise. Fresh scent and rinsed easily out of my hair, leaving it soft with no residue. Stream2Sea does not have a rinse-out conditioner but it is recommended that you use the leave-in conditioner. When I first used this, my hair felt a little stiff but if I used it very sparingly, this was no longer an issue. By using these two products, I was able to use one product instead of three (soap, shampoo, and rinse out conditioner). But the best thing I liked about these products was how much fuller my hair looked after blow-drying it. I don’t have much hair so anything that makes it look like I have more is a bonus in my book!

Soooo spacious!

I was the only tenter at the time of my stay; had the whole place to myself. The sites are spread far apart and wooded. Table and fire rings are at each site. They have a brand new bath house which was spotless and a well kept dog park for the furs. If desired, there is a group campsite and the use of a pavilion too. The camp store if beautiful and has everything in it should you forget something. I’ll definitely be back.

Camping and boating at its best!

Absolutely love this campground. The lake is beautiful and they offer access to the lake with their boat ramp. Very peaceful and not far from rafting and other activities

Beautiful campground .

This is a great campground with nice large sites. I can imagine if you go when the rhododendron are blooming it would be ever more beautiful . There’s great swimming hole in the park you can pay 5 to enter and swim or fish. Nice flat tent pad . Very clean with a great clean bathroom and shower house .