Babcock State Park is one of the greatest parks in West Virginia. Most people come to see the grist mill, and it’s nice, but if that’s all you do your missing out.
For starters, most of the sites at the campground are great: fairly flat with soft ground and good tree coverage. The campground is split by Old Clifftop Rd, with the majority of the campground south of the road. We stayed on Site 15 (non-electric site), which I thought was one of the best sites. The campground was quiet, family-friendly, and clean. Some of the campsites were small and right on top of each other.
The campground is served by one bathhouse, centrally located in the middle of it. The bathhouse was fairly clean but well-used and includes flush toilets, showers, and hot water. A fairly new playground sits right next to the bathhouse. All the equipment was well-maintained and freshly mulched. Our site was close enough to the playground that we let our seven-year-old go by herself, since we could still hear her.
We only hiked on two trails, but it was some of the most fun hiking I’ve ever done. Mann’s Creek Gorge Trail is a two-mile walk from the campground to Camp Washington Carver. About a quarter of a mile you come the creek with a great swimming hole. We didn’t make it past the swimming hole but I’m looking forward to finishing the trail in the future. Island-In-the-Sky is a great climb through a tunnel of rhododendron that eventually winds up and around a rock shelf. To get to the top you have to climb up a couple ladders and over rocks. There are also several spurs off the trail that lead to overlooks and one that leads to a good size cave the size of the room.
I highly recommend that anyone looking to camp in the Fayetteville-area consider Babcock, you won’t be disappointed.
My family and I have been going to Lake Snowden for the past nine years for the Paw Paw Festival and have enjoyed staying in the sites in thw campground every year. So while I can’t speak to what the campground is like the rest of the year, I suspect it is mostly RV campers the rest of the season (we only tent camp).
What I can say though is the sites are pretty large and grassy, great place to let kids run around and play. The campground is safe and people are respectful of the quiet hours. Everything in the camground is walkable, but if you want to hit up the shower houses, you have to go up to Hilltop, which is a bit of a trek w/ shower gear (I’ve never actually been inside the shower house though).
Great group campsite across from Seneca Rocks. The group sites are off the second to last turn off in the campground, next to the walk up campsites parking area. We stayed in site D, which is conveniently located across from the bathhouse. The campground attendants were friendly and helpful and did a wonderful job keeping the bathhouses clean. The campground had somewhat of a party atmosphere but everyone seemed to respect the quiet hours (10:00pm). Group site D featured five tent pads which are filled with small crushed gravel. It was a struggle keeping the gravel out of the tent, but otherwise okay. The tent pads are arranged in a semi circle near the wooded edge of the campsite. The kids ad gets hit with sunlight most of the day, but by late afternoon, they’re in the shadow of the trees.