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 15, 2022

"Peaceful River Camping"

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Good sized sites with plenty of space between sites, river access with beach area, so peaceful at night with the roar of the river. No hook ups of course but the pit toilets are clean, trash cans by the toilets and dumpster on the campground loop. A couple of the sites are more level than the others, we were in site 3 and didn’t have to level...
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Larry P
19 reviews
Sep 14, 2022

"Easy Access, Free Overnight "

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For some reason Google Maps took me off the highway about 5 miles from the place and took me through some narrow winding roads with some right and left turns that were almost 110° I got to the plaza and it’s right of Hwy 64 which I had been on. No idea why it took me through all the backroads. Plenty of RV parking and it appears you can park in...
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5 reviews
White Sulphur Springs, WV

Lake Sherwood Road Dispersed Camping

Aug 30, 2022

"Magical River Site"

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I first tried to find these sites in the dark but wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I tried again in the morning & they were then super easy to spot and the road in was completely paved. I drive a chevy g20 & the spot I picked out, which was right along the river with a fire ring, could accommodate maybe a small sized rig or many cars for...
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2 reviews
Aug 28, 2022

"Decent Place To Take A Breather"

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Our next campground reservation wasn’t for another day so we needed a spot between where we were and where we were headed to sleep. We were able to unhook our toad and grab some amazing tacos at Ortegas and then rehook the toad and relax. There were a couple semis parked by us and a couple other RVs came and went. We felt safe and comfortable...
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4 reviews
Aug 24, 2022

"Quiet and peaceful"

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Surprised at the narrow hill to go down to get there but it was easy enough. It's right along New River. Pot toilets. Everyone there very nice. Sandy and rocky beaches. Train goes by. Only heard twice in 30 hours there. Has a launch. Verizon service by river. Touch and go at site.

4 reviews