Hannah V.
Bonita Springs, FL
Joined June 2017
Busy Campground with Great Trails

A big campground in Mammoth Lakes, with 77 sites in total. It can be a pretty popular sport during the summer, so you may want to make reservations or call ahead just to make sure. But it has water and flush toilets, but the down fall is no showers. Each site has a picnic table, firepit ring, and a two-locker bear storage. The campground varies in privacy so just be aware you will see and most likely hear your neighbors. There is no electric either at this campground. It is $24 a night which isn’t bad but with no showers seems bit pricey.

This campground has some great hiking trails in it, we took the Meadows trail and it did not disappoint with beautiful scenery and rivers. It also is right down the road from Mammoth Lakes which has plenty of restaurants if you are needing some non-camping cuisine. There are trails all over this area, that it would take you while to hike all of them. This is also a very popular mountain biking area during the summer with trails everywhere. During the winter it is a booming ski/snowboard town.

Quiet and Private

Another large but empty campground, with 73 campsites and two loops you have lots of spots to choose from. Every site is tent or trailer ready, with picnic tables, campfire ring, tent pads, and the ability to pitch two tents. However, there is no hookups or dumping station at this campground. They do have hot showers, sinks, drinking water, and flush toilets. The sites are not able to be reserved, so it is a first-come-first-serve basis.

The trails here are great, right in the middle of the campground you can hike basically straight up for a mile or so and reach the observation tower which overs amazing 360 degree views. Definitely a must see view.

Not Great Tent Camping

This campground is mainly for RVs, tent camping here is not the best. With that being said it is one of the only campgrounds that is actually on Summersville lake which makes it nice for easy access to the lake and cliffs. It is also a super popular campground so reserve ahead of time to make sure you’re guaranteed a spot at one of the 110 campsites. They also have seven walk-in primitive camping sites that are nice but still fill up quickly on weekends. They have a bath house with flush toilets, water spigots, laundry, and a dumping station. Because this is on the lake you can dock your boat at their own docks right off of your site- which is also convenient.

While the lake does allow power boating, kayaks and paddle boarding are still very popular as this is an immense 2790-acre lake. It is one of the clearest lakes in the east, so scuba diving is also very popular here. Rock climbing is also a great use of these cliffs that surround the lake as well as cliff jumping, this is at your own risk as there are large rocks/boulders in the water below. However, you will notice most locals know where the best swimming and jumping are. Overall, great place to come and explore.

Hike in is Worth It

Thousand Island Lake is a trek to get to but once you get there, well you don’t really want to leave. This view is absolutely beautiful, and it changes rapidly with the rising and setting sun so make you have your camera ready for it. This is completely back country so you gotta pack it all in. There are some rules you have to follow while camping at this lake, 30 feet off of the trail and then another 100 feet away from the water. This can be hard to do as your camp may be on a slant or in the wide open, however you have plenty of space to choose from at this location. There is another rule about camping past a certain peninsula but from everyone we talked to they had no idea which peninsula the map was actually referring to, so you just walk past a couple of them and hope you’re in the right spot. The water is very cold but still feels great after a long hike all day.

There are multiple routes to getting to this lake, you can come. The John Muir trail and the PCT lead to this location, also Mammoth California has a trail that leads here as well. We even encountered mule train options on our way in if you prefer that type of transportation. But this is definitely somewhere you want to visit.

Hike to the Lakes

For what this campground lacks in bathhouses it makes up for in one of the most spectacular hikes I have ever been on. This is a pretty remote campground tucked away in the Muir Wilderness, you will not have service and will want to bring in all the supplies you will need. Aside from that it is a great little oasis. Campsites vary with privacy and you will notice that the ones that have the most privacy are usually reserved for as long as possible. They only have pit toilets and a water spigot. There is a little camp shop where you can buy a hot shower for $6, a bit steep and not all that great but if you are in need of a shower that’s the place to go. The deer roam all around the camp ground so be on the lookup for them strolling through your camp. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, tent pad, and bear box.

The Big Pine Lakes or as the locals call them “Lake 1, Lake 2, Emerald Lake, Lake 4 etc.” But these lakes deserve a name because they are absolutely breath taking. While we stopped at Lake 2 believing this was actually “Emerald Lake”, we were still not disappointed with the unreal colors that these glacier lakes have. The hike up was a bit strenuous and you are in the open hot sun for a while so wear sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself but take this hike because it is 100% worth it.

Great Fall Hiking

 This campground offers views of the gorgeous Seneca Rocks. This campground not only has the view, but it also has everything you need for a comfortable stay: showers, flush toilets, water, and electrical hookups. Each site has a tent pad, fire pit, and picnic table. This is a large campground but can fill up quickly, they do have walk in campgrounds that you are not able to reserve. The campsites do vary in price so be weary cause they can range from $17 a night all the way up to $36 a night. They also have a dumping station which is nice for those in RVs.

Seneca rocks is usually the main attraction at this location with 900 feet of rock sticking out of a mountain. You can hike up to the rocks, take horses, or even do guided rock climbing up to their peak. If you aren’t up to doing any of those, the fishing around there is also super popular among fly fishermen- it is mainly catch and release.

Great Trails

This is a huge campground it has 137 sites that is right in between two mountains. Each site has picnic tables, lantern poles, tent pads, food storage lockers, and campfire rings. 63 of their sites are available for advanced reservation and then 79 first come-first serve basis. The bath house has flush toilets, water spigots, but no showers. There is also no electric, water, or sewer hook-ups.

Lots of hiking trails, but make sure you look at the map because we unfortunately did not look at it well enough and thought that the trail was a loop when it led to the opposite side of the mountain and we had to hitch hike back to the campsite. The trails are well marked and lead to awesome views. Rate is $20 a night.

Must See Sunsets

This is the largest state forest in West Virginia, it has a total of 25 sites that vary in their privacy. Each site has electrical hookups, picnic tables, fire grates, and utility post. The sites in the middle of the loop lack privacy that the outer loop sites have. There is one bath house that has hot showers, flush toilets, water spigots, and now WIFI. Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash. There are gravel pull-ins for the sites, there are a couple of pull through sites for RVs.

The campground gets busy during the fall because it is so close to Morgantown and Mountaineer games. There are lots of hiking trails, coopers rock is definitely a must to see during sunset. Ravens rock is also a beautiful look out trail. Rock climbers have a lot of rock outcroppings on short trails for climbers to utilize. Fishing, biking, and hunting are also popular activities that can be done here.

Waterfalls of Fun

This campground has plenty to offer for the whole family. The privacy of each site varies, on the weekends it is very busy though. There are 88 campsites with electrical hookups, picnic tables, and fire ring. There are 2 sites with primitive campgrounds. They only allow one tent or trailer on a site. The campground has 4 bathhouses that are centrally localized, it contains flush toilets, hot showers, water spigots, and coin laundry. Dogs are allowed on a leash.

This park has lots of hiking trails, waterfalls, biking, fishing, and horseback riding. The park has a total of 4 waterfalls to explore. They have basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, and a pool for campers to enjoy. They also have cabins to rent if you are not feeling up to camping.

Perfect in All Seasons

Spruce Knob is the highest point in West Virginia and offers great views. You can drive all the way up to the summit and hike around the small loop trail that leads to the observation tower and then to a small wooden look-out on the far side of the loop. The trail is only a ½ mile and well worth the drive. There is a picnic shelter that has picnic tables, no running water, but there is a pit toilet.

We camped off the Huckleberry Trail, which has lots of camping spots off the trail. The forest is silent and beautiful, looks like it belongs out west in the PNW. The moss-covered ground and rocks make it the perfect oasis for a weekend trip. You can even backpack the trail as it leads down the mountain. This is a must see any time of the year!

Backcountry Gold

Did a four-day hike of the 26-mile loop in Dolly Sods Wilderness, first night we camped was at Ravens Ridge. There were some camps already in that area but in the woods, however we chose to set up camp on the ridge with a view of Canaan Valley. The next day we hiked to Big Stone Coal Creek, where we set up for the night, a campsite had been left from other hikers with a makeshift fire pit and stone chairs. On day 3, we hiked up to Lion’s head where there were lots of campsites from past hikers, but we continued on to Red Creek where we camped for the night. Lots of weekend warriors’ hike into Red Creek for the weekend, so lots of campsites but also be weary of the people who don’t know how to use the restroom in nature, lots of flies and toilet paper lying about. The trails were all well marked, I would still bring a map of the trails and know which ones you want to take before heading out into this vast wilderness. Also, be aware that during the summer lots of rain fall so trails will be muddy and some trails almost completely underwater, Dobbins Grade is one of the trails that typically is wet and muddy most of the summer and fall.

You can backpack in any season of the year here, but both roads (Forest Road 19 and 75) leading to Dolly Sods are winding and steep so in snowy or ice conditions could be dangerous. You can park at Bear Rocks or right in front of the trail head, you will see a good majority of cars parked in those areas from people backpacking in or day hiking. There are multiple ways back into the wilderness, the first is close to Red Creek campground along the Blackbird Knob Trail, Dolly Sods picnic area has the trailhead for Rohrbaugh trail, Red Creek trail starts on Forest Road 19, then Forest Road 19 turns into 75 and you have multiple Trailheads along that route until Bear Rocks.

Nice Camping for the Area

The campground located inside the historical state park has a total of 54 sites, 39 are RV or tent, 3 only RV, and 12 Tent only. There is a bath house on the inside loop of the sites, it has hot showers and flush toilets. Each site has electrical hookup, with picnic tables, fire pit, and utility pole. Each site has good foliage and privacy from other sites. The park has water fountains and water faucets for portable water. Each site has a gravel drive and sandy/grassy area for tents, no tent pads. It is also pet friendly. Two sites I have stayed at are 020 and 009, both are large sites with lots of privacy from neighbors. From October-April it is fairly busy, and availability is scarce, so planning a head is usually necessary to get the site you want. It is $26 a night with a $6.70 nonrefundable reservation fee, reservation is on the park website.

This state park is part of a Historical Settlement of a religious group that built this particular settlement in 1893, there are lots of buildings still preserved and available for you to walk through. A couple short and nice trails, some along the Estero river. Kayaking and fishing are also permitted.

Trails Upon Trails

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.

Beautiful in Every Season

This campground is deep in the woods of Buckhannon. There are 67 campsites with picnic table, fire grate, and moveable bench, 13 of these sites have electricity hookups. There are two bath houses in the campground that have hot showers, flush toilets, and coin laundry. Pets are permitted. There is an onsite dumping station as well. The outer edge of the campground has sites next to the river but be weary of low sites during rainy days as the river rises rapidly. It is $25 a night and sites can be reserved over phone, but first come-first serve basis.

There are a couple hiking trails that offer beautiful scenery and views of the river, along with the Alum Cave. It is a popular spot for fishing, also a big swimming area for those that live in the area.

Fun in Every Season

This campground is the highest in West Virginia, it has a total of 65 campsites 30 of which are electric and 35 are non-electric. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit, most of the campsites are open and have little privacy from neighbors. No tent pads, but no more than two tents permitted (but may be charged for the second tent). It has a bath house with hot showers, flush toilets, and coin laundry. There is a dumping station. Reservations can be made by phone or at campground registration but is otherwise first come-first serve. Pets are permitted. The sites are $25 a night.

The park has tons of hiking trails to choose from and two viewable waterfalls. There is a lake that is open to swimming, volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts are in the vicinity as well. Fishing is a large draw as well to this area, both catch and release and catch and keep permitted on the Blackwater River.

Best Kept Secret

This campground can be a little tricky to find, but this is such a fun campground. There is a total of 46 sites with varying privacy at each. Every site has a picnic table, utility post, fire pit, and only the river loop has tent pads. The campground has flush toilets, hot showers, and water spigots. It’s a first come- first serve style with getting campsites, can reserve through by phone to the campground host. The upper loop is $12 per night and river loop is $14 per night. Pets are allowed.

The South Branch Potomac River winds around the campground, so bring rafts, tubes, or kayaks to float on. There is also a rope swing around the corner you can hike or float to. Fishing is popular there as well.

65ft Up in the Sky

We booked the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower two months in advance, it is pretty popular, so if you want to stay there you will have to book it in advance. It is $75 a night, which is pricey, but is well worth it.

To get to the fire tower you will want to take the Loop Road, it is gravel and there are pot holes on the edges of the road so you will want to be careful of those. The fire tower is secluded, so you will not have to worry about neighbors or noise while staying there. At the base of the tower there is a fire pit, picnic table, and a pit toilet. The toilet is part of a small shed that has already split wood on the other side for you to use. But no electrical hookups at the base or in the tower. They do have a shower house behind the rangers station, it is very nice and clean. The website says the tower can house up to four people, however, there are only two cots, so you will want to bring sleeping mats if you plan on having more than two people. The 360 degree views are breathtaking. One night we had two different storm systems blow through the mountains and the lightning show was amazing to watch. You will definitely want to watch a sunrise as well, absolutely stunning.

Seneca State Forest is one of the oldest forest in West Virginia, it has a small pond/lake you can fish at and even take small boats onto. They have plenty of hiking trails, which also allow mountain biking on most. They have cabins on the lake for rent as well and have plenty of tent camping spots.