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).
It was wonderful for our RV and family staying in their beautiful cabins
North Bend State Park is about 10 miles south on Rt 16 off of Rt 50…east of Parkersburg, WV.
When you slowly wind your way along twisty backcountry roads, through a small town, you'll ultimately find yourself entering North Bend State Park.
Immediately to the right is Cokely Campground. Initially, you don't see it…you must drive up and over a roller. At the top of the hill, you observe a handful of picnic tables and fire rings, a porta-potty and a small woodshed with a water spigot alongside. Very little delineation from site to site and more of a mown field. Only the top two locations are the only quasi-level sites along a narrow tree line. No electric. These sites are $16 nightly.
Traveling over the hill and turning to the right you see the main Cokely Campground with newer showerhouse/restroom building and playground. Campsites are blacktop with water and electric, apparently for large RV/Campers. These sites are $28 nightly.
If you were to bypass the RV/Camper location, you would continue down the side road to the boat ramp and lake.
The grounds and restrooms were clean, maincured and well maintained. Midweek the RV sites were already filled.
We decided against Cokely Campground and returned to the main park road deeper into the State Park to River Run Campground.
You pass the Lodge/Restaurant and the huge "L" shaped outdoor pool on your right as you descend (Note: the pool is seasonal and with college aga lifeguards that exit for school early, it was closed mid-August).
Winding down to River Run, deer in abundance were lining the the roadway, so use care. River Run Campground runs along a river…imagine that!
Tent sites are situated between the roadway and the river on the left…then additional tent sites are around a small half acre pond on the right. Most the roadside tent sites are level, but sit at a lower level, so when it rains (and it does in WV)…it gets soggy. No visible distinction or foliage between tent sites. One porta-potty sits at the crossroads across from the office.
Saturday it was quiet with only one other tent camper, but rain was forecasted…although a pumphouse, located at the entrance to River Run, kicks on periodically with a low, annoying droning. Being at site 45, it was quite noticeable, as I imagine with all sites in the 40's. The tent specific sites are non-electric with central water spigots ($22 nightly). As you pass the tent sites and the office, you enter a loop of paved RV/Camper sites with blacktop drives, water and electric ($28 nightly). The Showerhouse/restrooms are located in the center of this area…and are very clean and maintained. The coveted RV/Camper sites are along the bank of the river and offer more distance between neighbors. On the inner ring, a split rail fence separates neighbors.
While the sun didn't shine during our visit, it appears the thick forest canopy keeps all river sites shaded. The grounds and facilities are neat at clean.
All the trails bisect this campground, some foot only, others multipurpose. River Run also has a nice playground for the kids. Trails have difficulty drying out, so rocks and roots were muddy and slick, but still enjoyable.
Note: Mountainbike races are often held here, so campgrounds can get crazy and packed. Additionally, because of the pool, this is a very busy campground. Be forewarned that the pool is 58 steps up from the parking lot to the pool area.
There were a lot of trails I did not get to travel, and I'll bring my bike next time for the Rails-to-Trail. Nice but popular campground,
We first drove down to River Run, but was not campground with hookups so we drove back through the park to get to Cokely, (know which one you are trying to get to!) The camps hosts were very nice and accomodating. They gave us restaurant recommendations and also allowed us to stay a few hours over, to keep the camper parked and clean up later, since we were there for a mountain bike race. Also the trails are alot of fun for mountain biking and the Ranger in the park is also an avid mountain biker and sat down with us and mapped out the race route so we could pre-ride the course a few days before it was marked. We can't wait to get back and ride! The campground itself had nice large lots, very open though. The hosts did recommend the spot we took because it had evening shade. And a decent bathhouse. Nothing fancy, but it was clean.
Lots to do in the park, Great camping sites, easily accessible trails.
There are two campgrounds in North Bend State Park…one is Cokely and the other is River Run. Neither are easy to get to when you have a big rig! We picked Cokely Campground as it has 50 amp power and water hook-ups It’s a good thing too as we now know that getting to River Run would have been very, very tricky! Reservations are not accepted at Cokely but you can call the morning of your intended arrival to see if there is availability.