Camping in West Virginia
By Alex Murphy
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is a state that blends its own culture and history with sweeping views of mountains and rivers. A popular destination for hikers, whitewater rafters, and skiers, the state attracts tourists year-round.
Appropriately nicknamed the Mountain State, the sheer number of campgrounds in West Virginia leaves plenty of spots for visitors to stay.
West Virginia State Parks
Visitors will find some of the best camping in West Virginia in West Virginia State Parks.
Blackwater Falls State Park is an essential stop in the state. Located in the Allegheny Mountains, the park's centerpiece is the massive falls that attract tourists from all over the country. The park is close to Seneca Rocks, a well-known rock climbing destination in the state.
North Bend State Park is another popular stop with easy access for boaters and anglers on the Hughes River.
West Virginia National Parks
Although the area has been protected federally for decades, West Virginia is home to the newest National Park, New River Gorge National Park. The park is a huge destination for whitewater sports as the New River winds through deep canyons. Two popular camping spots within the New River Gorge include Stone Cliff Campground and Army Camp.
For more camping in West Virginia in scenic areas, visitors can see the Gauley River National Recreation Area. Like the New River Gorge, this area has a river of its own carving through the mountains. Gauley Tailwaters Campground provides campers with quick access to whitewater rafting and kayaking.
To check out some of West Virginia's history, the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail - East runs through the state. The national historic spot runs through more than a dozen states and highlights the route taken to reach the west coast on their expedition.
West Virginia RV Parks
There are many West Virginia RV parks near the wilderness and stops like the capital city of Charleston and Morgantown, home of West Virginia University.
Rippling Waters Campground is located right outside Charleston, the state's largest city. Those looking to catch a WVU Mountaineers football game can stay at Sand Springs Campground with full hookups and a swimming pool.
The New River Campground has some of the best RV camping in West Virginia and sits right outside the National Park.
National Forests in West Virginia
Two National Forests cover massive parts of the state. This includes George Washington National Forest, the largest federal land piece on the east coast, covering hundreds of acres in surrounding states. The forest provides an endless list of outdoor activities. Popular campsites include Todd Lake Campground.
North of there is Monongahela National Forest which covers parts of the Allegheny Mountains, including Spruce Knob, which is the highest point in those mountains and one of the highest summits in the state. Nearby campgrounds include Seven Mile Campground and free dispersed camping at Forest Road 44 Dispersed Camping Loop.
Free Camping in West Virginia
Visitors can find a lot of free camping in West Virginia within the National Forest. This includes the popular Braley Pond Dispersed Camping and Hawk Recreation Area Campground within George Washington National Forest.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is a parking lot for RV's near the casino with quick access to historic Harpers Ferry.
Another option for free camping in WV with easy access to the highway is the Tamarack Cultural Center near I-64.