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We stayed here December 10, 2020. The campground was closed for the winter, but we called ahead and they were fine with us staying in the parking area. No amenities, but we were in a Revel,so didn’t need anything anyway. We were completely alone there, which was pretty cool. The area closes completely (entrance gate is locked) from Dec 21 - May 1. The site was super clean and well maintained. Lots of hiking trails and a very easy one that loops around the Rockcliff Lake. Also be sure to take the short walk to the Trout Pond. More crystal clear water, and the pond is an active sinkhole, so that’s pretty cool. And the Lake is socked with trout (license required) during the regular season for those who want to fish.
This was my first visit to Kumbrabow State Forest, but not my last!
Kumbrabow State Forest offers lots of great trails, rustic cabins, and a primitive campground. This historic recreation area, carved into this 9,500-acre forest by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s, is a wonderful place to unplug and unwind. It’s located at 3,000 feet above sea level on the western edge of the Allegheny Highlands, so it’s the highest state forest in West Virginia.
I stayed in space #7, located next to Mill Creek, where I enjoyed the relaxing sound of this gurgling stream all night long. Each camping spot has a picnic table, fire ring and lantern holder. There are pit toilets and a pump for fresh spring water in the campground. Two-miles down the road, there’s a bathhouse next to the Kumbrabow forest headquarters.
If you hike the 2-mile Potato Hole Trail, you'll arrive at the top of Rich Mountain and an overlook with a fantastic view. You can also park at the Kumbrabow gun range and hike the longer, but less strenuous, Rich Mountain Fire Trail which intersects with the Potato Hole Trail.
Make sure you check out Mills Creek Falls and admire the really cool CCC-built rustic cabins. The cabins don’t have water or electricity, but offer gas lights, gas refrigerator, fully-equipped kitchen, wood fireplace, and outside grill and firepit. My 99-year old mom and her siblings stayed here for their "sister parties" years ago and loved the cabins at Kumbrabow.
I suggest a side trip to the Highland Scenic Highway where you can admire the Falls of Hills Creek, Cranberry Glades, and colorful foliage during the fall season.
It was gorgeous and peaceful, right on the creek. So many stars!!
Campsites are first-come, first-served. We stayed one night with no permit. You get to them by a dirt road, park, and then the campsites are a little ways in. No amenities other than cleared level ground and a spot for the campfire.
A couple of friends and I traveled to the Monongahela National Forest in search of some free camping. Unfortunately we had gotten there late on Labor Day weekend so we drove pretty far in to find a campsite. All of the campsites seem to be along the river and have a fire ring. Although our neighbors were across the river from us, the sound of the river blocked out any noise they had made. It was perfect! We also took a ride up to Spruce Knob in the morning, for two reasons. One because we wanted to see the view. Two because on top of the Spruce Knob tower was the only cell reception we were able to find in order to find our way out of there.
Just camped there with two of my friends this past weekend, really cool site we were lucky enough to get a site next to the river! Get there early as it’s first come first serve! That being said just park somewhere and walk 300’ from the road!
These sites take a while to get to but they are awesome. Each site is secluded and creek front. We stayed at the last site with the cliff over hang and it was magical. We took our car but the roads were a bit rough and I wouldn’t recommend anything too low to the ground. Several spots along the creek are deep enough for swimming.
The sods are a truly wild and remote place in an increasingly crowded East coast. For years Dolly Sods has been my go-to backcountry destination, even for chilly winter stays. Many places carry the “wilderness” moniker in the East, but this place lives up to it. No cell service, no car camping, no trail markers, no toilets, and no running water. It’s the real deal. During the off season you can hike for days and not see another person. There are some opportunities to camp closer to the trailhead for those only looking to dip a toe into wilderness travel, but you could hike for miles to a remote site as well. Be advised, a good physical map and compass, the skills needed to use them, are vital here. There are no trail marks and the path can be confusing. Come prepared and have a great adventure.