Best Free Camping in West Virginia

Free Camping in West Virginia

By Nathan Swartz

Easily one of the best places to still find vast stretches of forested mountains in the Eastern United States, West Virginia is the perfect combination of a small population and plenty of space in between towns to explore. From car camping to RVing, discovering your next beautiful destination is easier here than in much of the busier states surrounding the Mountain State, making finding campsites in West Virginia that don't cost a thing easy to do whether the state is your destination or just another stop on a road trip.

See a map of all free camping in West Virginia.

Free RV Camping in New River Gorge National River

West Virginia's de facto national park, the New River Gorge–and adjoining Gauley River National Recreation Area–offers an assortment of free camping spots to choose from in and around the parks and small town of Fayetteville WV.

Some of these camping areas are primarily for tent camping, while others provide perfectly suitable spaces for RVers. Experiences range from basic dispersed camping throughout the forest to actual campgrounds with vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings at each free site. Despite having these amenities, there is still no campsite fee to stay at places like these, though note that there are also paid campgrounds within the parks. Luckily, Campendium makes it easy to search and filter by which campsites are free.

Free Camping in Monongahela National Forest

Northeast of the national parks mentioned above, the Greenbrier Ranger District of this national forest boasts some of West Virginia's best camping. Boondocking can be found throughout the forest. Campers particularly love the dispersed camping found along the forest roads such as Canaan Loop Road and Forest Road 44.

Between Monongahela and the adjoining George Washington National Forest, nearly the entire eastern side of West Virginia serves as a playground for those who love camping in the beauty of natural hardwood forests clinging to the rugged mountains of the Appalachians.

On the western side of the state, Wayne National Forest has its own share of free, dispersed camping.

Quick Overnight Camping for Free in West Virginia

In addition to the abundance of places to camp for free on public lands across the state, if you're looking for a quick overnighter along the way, free overnight RV parking can be found in various Walmart parking lots throughout the state. Near Charleston, St. Albans Roadside Park provides electric hookups, on the Kanawha River, at no charge.

All of these options combine to make West Virginia one of the most abundant states in the Eastern US to find free places to call home for the night while you explore the quaint small towns, many state forests, state parks, or enjoy a little relaxation beneath night skies.

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Recent West Virginia Free Campsite Reviews

Sep 17, 2023

"Narrow Road but Nice Spot"

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We struck out on this place. It was full on a Sunday afternoon. No cell service on Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T. Verizon and T-Mobile with a roof mounted Pepwave antenna. Starlink could work for a center spot. The access road is very narrow and generally in bad shape with lots of potholes. You'd have issues with anything much longer than us and if...
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Tin Tumbleweed
110 reviews
Fayetteville, WV


Sep 12, 2023

"Quiet Overnight "

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Checked in with the Service Desk and followed directions on where to park. Several other travelers in the lot.

2 reviews
Sep 12, 2023

"Quiet & relaxing. "

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Stayed during weekday. Easy access and forest roads are average. Found a spot on a ridge, which had an opening for some sun. Campers left the spot clean. Recommend arriving during daylight, spots would be tricky to locate. T-mobile had 4 bars. Starlink is no go after 30 mins. Will update if it becomes operational

1 review
Sep 10, 2023

"Roadside City Park w/electric "

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They have a note posted to vacate all rv camping spots by 10pm 9.10.23. Not sure how long it will be out of service. We have stayed in St Albans city park several times. While it is on a heavily traveled road, it quiets down around midnight. We have always found the park clean and in good working order. This is a great overnight stop. There...
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8 reviews
Sep 07, 2023

"It was free and free soda drinks in casino. "

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I got here about 6:30 last night went into the casino had some free soda pop one a little money. And came back slept well for the most part except couple RVs and trailers running their generators all night it's to be expected. Felt safe about it. I'd stay here again if coming through the area.

1 review