Big Bend is a family-oriented campground along a bend on the South Branch Potomac River in Smoke Hole Canyon. With its convenient position on the river, the campground creates a recreation hub for fishing, tubing, kayaking and swimming.
About 1.3 million people visit the Monongahela National Forest each year. The forest is a drivable distance from metropolises like Washington, D.C., and Pittsburg, yet still offers a remote and scenic camping getaway.
The Big Bend Loop Trail is a one-mile nature trail that circles the campground. The majority of the trail follows along the river bend.
Thirty miles of maintained trails can be found nearby, and mountain biking is permitted on most trails.
Big Bend offers 46 sites; 18 sites are non-reservable. Twelve sites on the river loop have tent pads. All sites have a lantern holder, picnic table and fire ring. Drinking water is available. There are two pit toilets, one shower house, and flush toilet restrooms in each loop. There is also a dump and fill station.
Big Bend Campground is in the northern portion of the Monongahela National Forest, boasting beautiful old growth trees that become vibrant with color in fall.
The river runs north through the Smoke Hole Canyon, which bears a name of uncertain origin. One theory is Native Americans used the caves of the gorge for smoking meat, which created "smoke holes." Another is that misty fog often lies along the river and ascends in what looks like smoke from a hole.
The Highland Scenic Highway provides an unforgettable drive through narrow, steep valleys and rolling, tree-topped mountains. Estimated time to drive on this byway is two to four hours, and highlights include Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, Summit Lake and Falls of Hills Creek.
ADA Access: N