Red Creek Campground is a primitive, small campground that sits on top of the Allegheny Plateau and within the Dolly Sods Scenic Area. The climate and plant life here resembles Northern Canada. A stone’s throw from the campground is Dolly Sods Wildernesswhich offers a unique wilderness hiking opportunity for those looking for adventure. This area features unique scenery and unusual plant communities. Flowering laurel, rhodedendron and azealeas highlight this area from May through June. Huckleberry picking is popular during the month of July. And for those looking for wildlife, bird banding is performed in late summer and during the fall. Located approximately 20 miles northwest from Petersburg, West Virginia and 24 miles north of Seneca Rocks.
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!
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.
Red Creek campground is a great place to camp. The sites are well maintained and have picnic tables and a place to hang a lantern and have fire rings. The bathrooms are pit toilets and are kept very clean. There is no water available in the campground. The pump no longer works. The view of the stars are so amazing.
Campground is settled in the middle of a beautiful wilderness area that offers an abundance of great hikes/views…highly recommend anyone visits this place!
Well kept small campground with pit toilets. Campsites have picnic tables and post to hang lantern.
This campground is pretty small and rustic with only 12 sites. They only have vault toilets and a water pump. Each site has a picnic table, fire pit, and utility post. No electrical or water hookup. The cost per night is $11 and it’s a first come- first serve basis. The campground is a place to just rest your head as there are over 10,000 acres of wilderness to explore with lots of trails to choose from. Late July and early August there are lots of berries to pick along the trails, while the Fall months are some of the most beautiful with the views at Bear Rocks.
The landscape was serene and beautiful, the camping was great The hike was diverse but a swamp in more parts than bearable. We were prepared for muddy washed out areas…this was needing knee high rubber boots to leisurely get through swamp areas. I think that alone deters me from this destination being hiked again.
This camp ground is a primitive, small campground in Dolly Sods. There are lots really nice trail heads in the area. It’s a pretty popular area to hike, so campground can become full quick. For a nice short hiking loop in the area, I suggest TR 560 and merge onto TR510. Pictures of trails are attached.
The views at Dolly Sods are incredible. Plenty of open plains that allow site seeing but also forest cover for great camping in wet conditions. We saw plenty of wildlife! There were many private camp sites to choose from but none are marked… you just find a fire ring and flat ground and pitch your tent. The only reason I gave it a lower rating is because it was SO WET. I'm talking mud up to our knees. We were prepared to be wet, but this was totally unavoidable and by day 3 our feet were soaked beyond belief. If we ever go back it will be in the dry season!
The water pump no longer operates, however, there is a path that leads to a spring so just make sure to bring your own water or a way to treat the water from the spring. Campsite three was awesome! It was quiet and wooded and leads right up to a trail so super convenient! No showers so be aware but there are toilets that are a hole in the ground. Overall, had a great experience!