The best camping near
Sutton Lake, WEST VIRGINIA

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Beautiful and Relaxing.

Beautiful RV Park.  Wonderful sites for parking your RV.  Very well lit with very modern water and electric hook ups.  All slips have a fire pit, bar-b-que grill and picnic tables.  Pavilions have great lighting and dimmers for a softer light.  They also have commercial metal tables to use to prepare and serve meals.  One is equipped with a sink for easy cleanup.  The park is right on the beautiful Elk River where you can swim, float or kayak.  I love this park!!

Hikers' Heaven

North Bend State Park is located at the halfway point of the 72-mile North Bend Rail Trail, so it’s a great camping spot for hikers, bikers and horseback riders who want to explore this scenic trail which crosses 35-bridges and cuts through 11-tunnels where the B&O Railroad used to travel. 

I highly recommend this trail to hikers because the scenery is spectacular, the wildlife plentiful, and the tunnels are really cool. The trail passes through some quaint towns such as the former oil boom-town of Cairo where many of the buildings from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s are still standing. 

North Bend State Park has a year-round lodge, year-round cabins and two campgrounds open from mid-April to mid-November. 

The Cokeley Campground has 28-sites with both water and electricity, picnic tables and fire pits. The bathhouse includes a small coin-op laundry. It’s close to the boat dock at North Bend Lake. I didn’t select this campground because it doesn’t have much shade.

I stayed at the River Run Campground which has 49-sites along the shores of the North Fork of the Hughes River with electric and non-electric sites to choose from. Four sites are ADA accessible. Each site has paved parking, a picnic table and fire pit. The bathhouse was clean and nicely tiled with hand soap and paper towels provided. The on-site staff was extremely friendly and you get a generous wheelbarrow full of firewood, cut from local downed trees, for$5. 

The lodge looked a little dated, but had a good home-style restaurant which was popular with travelers. The year-round cabins have been updated with ADA wheelchair ramps and wraparound decks. I may return and rent one after the campground closes so I can do some cross- country skiing on the North Bend Rail Trail this winter.

I paddled on the North Bend Lake which was extremely peaceful and beautiful, with the colors of fall surrounding me on all sides. I brought my own kayak, but they had boats for rent. There were several fishermen on the water and on the lakeside dock. They told me they catch bass and catfish at this 300-acre lake. The trail around the lake would be good for birders because I spotted ducks, hawks and wood-peckers.

North Bend State Park would be good for kids because they have playgrounds, mini-golf and an outdoor swimming pool(closed when I visited in October, but looked really nice).

Kumbrabow State Forest

Stayed: 10/12/19

Site: 7 (Non-electric)

Price: $16

Pros: Quiet, Small, Creek, Snowshoe DH Park

Cons: Lengthy dirt road drive to get there, No cell coverage or Wi-Fi, 2 mile drive to bath house

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.

Good calm place

Great Campground some spots a little tight for bigger camper we have a 30’ but we were okay. Very quiet nice rangers and very helpful.

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Campground is nice and quiet no cell service so dont be shocked, but that makes it that much better. Park was clean park ranger and staff were nice!

Just Beautiful ‼️

The Holly River runs clear through the Park, right beside a good many of the of the sites and hanging a hammock and listening to the water, can’t be beat! The staff/Rangers are so wonderful! A small restaurant, gift shop, pool, waterfalls, cabins, trails, it is so calming and relaxing! Love it!

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.

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.

If it weren’t for the staff

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL place. I highly recommend taking advantage of the river spots. Wood is sold at the ranger station relatively cheap. Plenty of beautiful swimming spots with low current. Only complaint would be the seemingly uncaring and pretentious teenage staff. The adult staff was rather abrasive. But regardless, a BEAUTIFUL park and quality sites

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.

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.

Very clean

Awesome campground, so well kept. Stayed here on the way home from shenandoah natl park and had a very peaceful night, definitely would recommend. Lots of hiking nearby as well, always love coming out to this part of the country

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.

Would Definitely Go Back

Nice campground that sits on a beautiful lake. There’s a lot of stuff for kids to do and the local marina rents out pontoon boats as well. The shower houses were very clean as well. Each site has its own fire ring available.

Great little campground near Mt Hope, WV and near BSA's "Summit"

We had a great time at this campground. Very close to the BSA's"Summit Bechtel" site, where they hold the National Jamborees and held the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. As such, people registered for the full event stayed there, and those of us coming for just a few days stayed at other nearby places, such as Rifrafters. The camp was(understandably) filled with others coming for the Jamboree.:-) 

Campsite was good and clean; short walk for all to the bath house; they ha a small playground, which the kids loved. They have wood for sale, as well as basic camping and food supplies(cans of beans, marshmallows, peanut butter, sodas/pop/cola, etc, lighters/matches, ice, etc). Also had 2 super-lovey kittens living in the office, which were a big hit with everyone. 

The only downsite was that our campsite(#7) had no place for a tent other than stone driveway-like ground. As such, even new, very strong tent stakes bend and do not go in at all…had to weigh the tent down with gear and hope for no super-high gusts of wind. 

Other than that, it was a great experience! Checkout by 12 noon at the latest.

Dispersed Camping in the mountains

There are over 900,000 acres in the National forest for hiking and dispersed camping. Immerse yourself in nature and spend the weekend hiking and camping.

Great Views

We did dispersed camping while hiking. Of course, you come all the way to Pendleton and not go to the actual rocks while you’re here. This can get quite crowded on the weekends.

Stunning views even better people

This camp site was easily accessible and seats to find. The rates were very low and affordable for an avid backpacker. I stayed on one of the walk in sites with a tent pad and fire pit. It was more than what you need. Everyone was super friendly and inviting. The views are stunning from the site and trails. Highly recommend this place.

Great hiking and swimming

Right on the middle fork this campground is great for swimming and hiking.. fishing near buy away from the swimming holes. Had a great time.

Had one of the best times

We stayed in a cabin this time. One of the pioneer cabins. Let me say it was awesome, wood stove, gas light, outhouse and had to get your own water. The cabin was well put together and the staff has you set up to enjoy your stay with everything from soap to cut wood. There was a lake a minute walk from our cabin and greenbrier was close. I would recommend this to anyone.

Beautiful Country

Backpacked and Camped here multiple times for both hiking and fishing. The main trail is graveled and very easily accessed. It runs along the Cranberry River with beautiful views all along the way. The River offers both stocked trout fishing along with wild trout tribs in a few places. You can pretty much camp where ever you’d like and there are also Adirondack style shelters in various spots along the trail. One thing to remember is always hang your food at night. Bears will come in and make themselves at home! Lol

Needs improvement

Cost is getting ridiculous per night. Don’t leave your site to go to bath house, you’ll likely come back to the hot coals in your fire pit cleaned out. Employees aren’t pleasant. We’ve been camping here for years, but this last time was the last for us. Wouldn’t tell us what site we were being put on - yet told a friend (could’ve been total stranger as far as they knew) exactly where their site was AND ours. They cater to everyone on resort property, EXCEPT campers.

Truly a beautiful place and peaceful but it needs improvement in various areas.