Vicky M.
Reston, VA
Joined October 2019
Secret campsites along river!

We stayed one night at Cranberry Campground during Columbus Day weekend, it was busier than the other two campgrounds (Big Rock and Bishop Knob) and was primarily occupied by RV campers who tended to park nearest the toilets.  We found a good tucked in site (#27) that was close to the water pump and was surrounded by the woods.  The two walk-up site (#23 + #24) were also tucked away nicely and were not far at all from where a car would park, I would suggest this if you needed two sites and wanted some privacy.  $10 a night, has picnic table, water pump, toilets, and lantern thingy.  This campground was close enough to the river but the sites are not directly on the river side. 

With RVers comes generators and happily they complied with the 10pm - 6am quiet times.  However, my style of camping is back country seclusion accessible by car (and a picnic table and a water pump), I know I'm ridiculous.  So we moved the next day to an empty 5-site campground ($5 a night) right on the river and between Big Rock and Cranberry campgrounds.  Highly recommend the campsites along the river!  Access to fishing is directly from your campsite, the water sounds so nice at night, and I love the river side exploring.  

Additional bonus for those visiting in the fall is the periodic apple tree.  We had one right next to our site and happily snacked on a few.  

Monogahela- Gauley Ranger District… 

I found all three campgrounds easy to find and the signage from Forest Road 76 was suffiecient. We rarely had GPS on the back roads and mountain area in WV so be sure to print directions jic. Had service in Richwood though, which I recommend checking out if you have a rainy day or you need last minute camping supplies. They have an outfitter, Four Seasons Outfitter, that we purchased our firewood from(it rained so"dead and down" wasn't gonna help). They might sell fishing license too but we bought our fishing licenses from a different outfitter in Marlinton, WV. Marlinton is also a good pit stop. 

This area of Monogahela was lovely, there were tons of great spots along the Cranberry River to explore. We heard and/or saw some wildlife/signs of wild life. No bears which is good I guess, we were careful not to attract them to our campsite. I was surprised not to see or be visited by a ranger while were at Monogahela (two nights) especially given that it was a holiday weekend.

Quiet on Columbus Day Weekend

Bishop Knob Specific…

Visited the camp site Columbus Day weekend and it was empty but for one RV camper.  I imagine this site is a good back up if the Big Rock, Cranberry Campgrounds are full or you just wanted a spot that was quieter.   Very well kept and had all the basics, water, toilet, picnic table, lantern hook, and fire pit.  

The second loop was closed (presumably for the rest of the fall/winter season). The Monogahela National Forest website lists there being fishing nearby, but as far as i could tell you still have to drive to get to the water.  We wanted to fish off our campsite so we did not stay over night at Bishop Knob.

Monogahela - Gauley Ranger District… 

I found all three campgrounds easy to find and the signage from Forest Road 76 was suffiecient.  We rarely had GPS on the back roads and mountain area in WV so be sure to print directions jic.  Had service in Richwood though, which I recommend checking out if you have a rainy day or you need last minute camping supplies.  They have an outfitter, Four Seasons Outfitter, that we purchased our firewood from (it rained so "dead and down" wasn't gonna help).  They might sell fishing license too but we bought our fishing licenses from a different outfitter in Marlinton, WV.  Marlinton is also a good pit stop.   

This area of Monogahela was lovely, there were tons of great spots along the Cranberry River to explore.  We heard and/or saw some wildlife/signs of wild life.  No bears which is good I guess, we were careful not to attract them to our campsite.  I was surprised not to see or be visited by a ranger while were at Monogahela (two nights) especially given that it was a holiday weekend.