Best Free Camping in West Virginia

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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.

Recent West Virginia Free Campsite Reviews

Meadow Bridge, WV

Meadow Creek Campground

Apr 01, 2024

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This is ny first free camping stay - so I am just very grateful that it exists. Of course no showers and no sink in toilet, but there is a river access which is very nice. Campground is very nice, mowed and clean. No big trees if you looking for shade on hot days. My stay was march 31-april 1. There is a railroad right there and there was a few...
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2 reviews
Beckley, WV

Cracker Barrel

Mar 29, 2024

"Large Lot And Well Lit"

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It was surprisingly quiet with many RVs sharing the location.

Chris Angel
77 reviews
Mar 26, 2024

"Plenty Of Room For Rv And Trucks "

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Although reviews say to park in the lot across from the West Garage we parked in the West Garage parking lot itself with no troubles. Lot is uneven in some spots. It was a Monday night so maybe not an issue with the casino not being busy and nothing going on entertainment or race wise. Did hear the train and by morning the grounds people were...
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5 reviews
Feb 05, 2024

"Very Secluded and Great View"

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Me and my buddy have been here twice and will probably go again. It is a great camping site we were at #7 it is perfect for Hammock Campers like us because there isn’t a lot of flat ground without roots or rocks. We cooked steak and eggs over the fire we got from the shop n save down the road which has great staff and supplies including the kiln...
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1 review
Jan 31, 2024

"Good spot for overnight"

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Safe and relatively quiet spot for an overnight stay. The restrooms were clean and the foodcourt had limited but good options. Very convenient to I-77 and I-64 and New River Gorge National Park. This is a parking lot for the Cultural Center, so set your expectations accordingly.

1 review