Camping in West Virginia

      Your comprehensive guide to the best camping getaways in West Virginia.

      Your West Virginia Camping Guide

      So, picture this: you’re in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by lush greenery and the sounds of nature. That’s camping in West Virginia for you. With over 6,000 campsites scattered across its mountains, valleys, and state parks, there’s a spot for every kind of camper. 

      And the best part? You’re never too far from adventure. From hiking the rugged trails of the Monongahela National Forest to paddling along the scenic rivers of the New River Gorge, there’s something for everyone craving a taste of the great outdoors. 

      Best Places To Camp In West Virginia

      Blackwater Falls State Park

      The park is renowned for its stunning 57-foot waterfall, which cascades over ancient sandstone, creating a picturesque scene that captivates visitors year-round. Camping at Blackwater Falls State Park offers a serene retreat amidst lush forests and rugged terrain. Campers can choose from various campsites, each offering a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape. Activities abound, from hiking along scenic trails to fishing in the tranquil waters of the Blackwater River. In the colder months, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

      Blackwater Falls State Park West Virginia

      New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

      As one of America’s newest national parks, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a premier destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and natural beauty. Carved by the powerful New River, the gorge boasts towering cliffs, lush forests, and breathtaking vistas that beckon visitors year-round. Camping in New River Gorge offers unparalleled access to the park’s wealth of recreational opportunities, including world-class whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and hiking along scenic trails. Campsites are scattered throughout the park, providing a range of options from primitive sites nestled in the wilderness to modern campgrounds with amenities such as showers and electricity.

      New River Gorge National Park And Preserve West Virginia

      Seneca Rocks

      Rising majestically from the Appalachian landscape, Seneca Rocks is a renowned destination for outdoor enthusiasts and rock climbers alike. The towering quartzite formation, reaching heights of nearly 900 feet, offers exhilarating climbs and sweeping views of the surrounding Monongahela National Forest. Camping near Seneca Rocks provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of West Virginia’s wilderness. Campsites are available in the nearby Seneca Shadows campground, offering convenient access to hiking trails, rock climbing routes, and scenic overlooks.

      Canaan Valley

      This high-altitude valley is renowned for its stunning landscapes, including expansive meadows, dense forests, and sparkling mountain streams. Camping in Canaan Valley provides a gateway to outdoor adventure, with numerous campsites scattered throughout the region. Whether you prefer primitive tent camping or RV sites with modern amenities, there’s a camping option to suit every preference. Activities abound, from hiking along scenic trails to mountain biking through rugged terrain.

      Canaan Valley West Virginia

      Monongahela National Forest

      Camping in Monongahela National Forest provides a true backcountry experience, with countless remote campsites nestled among towering trees and bubbling streams. Outdoor activities abound, including hiking along the renowned Appalachian Trail, fishing in clear mountain streams, and wildlife watching in secluded meadows. Camping in Monongahela National Forest offers a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with the natural world in one of West Virginia’s most pristine wilderness areas.

      Monongahela National Forest West Virginia

      Summersville Lake

      As one of the largest lakes in West Virginia, Summersville Lake offers endless opportunities for water-based recreation, including swimming, boating, and fishing. Campsites are available along the lake’s shores, offering stunning views and easy access to the water. Whether you prefer primitive camping or RV sites with hookups, there’s a camping option to suit every preference. In addition to water activities, visitors can explore nearby hiking trails, rock climbing routes, and scenic overlooks.

      Things To Do In West Virginia

      New River Gorge

      Spanning across 70,000 acres in southern West Virginia, the New River Gorge offers an array of outdoor activities amidst breathtaking natural scenery. Visitors can partake in whitewater rafting, rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking, all while marveling at the rugged cliffs and lush forests surrounding the New River. The iconic New River Gorge Bridge, one of the longest single-span arch bridges in the world, provides panoramic views of the gorge and serves as a focal point for sightseers and adrenaline-seekers alike.

      Snowshoe Mountain

      Boasting the largest ski resort in the state, Snowshoe offers an extensive network of ski trails, snowboarding terrain parks, and snow tubing runs. During the warmer months, visitors can explore the mountain's scenic trails on foot or by mountain bike, take a leisurely ride on the chairlifts for panoramic vistas, or enjoy various outdoor events and festivals hosted by the resort.

      Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

      Situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is steeped in history and natural beauty. This historic town, known for John Brown's raid in 1859, offers visitors a glimpse into the past with its well-preserved 19th-century buildings and museums. Beyond its historical significance, the park also boasts scenic hiking trails that wind through the surrounding hillsides and along the riverbanks, providing opportunities for birdwatching, picnicking, and photography amidst the tranquil landscapes.

      Seneca Rocks

      Rising dramatically from the valley floor, Seneca Rocks is a prominent quartzite crag that beckons rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts to its challenging peaks and stunning vistas. Located in the Monongahela National Forest, this iconic formation stands as a testament to the geological forces that shaped the Appalachian Mountains. While climbers tackle the sheer cliffs, hikers can explore the network of trails that lead to observation platforms offering sweeping views of the surrounding wilderness, including the Potomac Highlands and Allegheny Mountains.

      Blackwater Falls State Park

      Named for the amber-colored waters cascading over its dramatic 62-foot drop, Blackwater Falls State Park is a picturesque destination renowned for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. In addition to its namesake waterfall, the park features miles of hiking trails that wind through dense forests, offering glimpses of rhododendron-lined streams and vibrant wildflowers. Visitors can also enjoy fishing, kayaking, and swimming in the park's serene waters, or simply relax and soak in the tranquil ambiance of this natural oasis in the Allegheny Mountains.

      New River Gorge

      Stretching over 50 miles, the New River Gorge is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Carved by the powerful New River, this rugged landscape boasts scenic overlooks, challenging hiking trails, and world-class whitewater rafting opportunities. Adventure seekers can also try their hand at rock climbing on the sheer sandstone cliffs that tower above the river below.

      Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

      Steeped in history, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is a must-visit destination for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike. This quaint town at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers played a pivotal role in the Civil War and is now preserved as a living history museum. Visitors can explore the restored 19th-century buildings, hike the scenic trails, or embark on a guided tour to learn about Harpers Ferry's storied past.

      Snowshoe Mountain Resort

      Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, Snowshoe Mountain Resort offers year-round recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. In the winter, visitors can hit the slopes on skis or snowboards, while summer brings opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and golfing. With a variety of lodging options and amenities, including restaurants, shops, and a spa, Snowshoe Mountain Resort is the perfect destination for a mountain getaway.

      Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

      Step back in time at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, where visitors can experience the golden age of steam railroading. Climb aboard a historic Shay locomotive and journey through the scenic mountains of Pocahontas County. Along the way, passengers can learn about the region's logging history and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness. With its nostalgic charm and stunning vistas, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park offers a unique glimpse into West Virginia's past.

      Blackwater Falls State Park

      Named for its stunning 57-foot cascade, Blackwater Falls State Park is a natural paradise nestled in the Allegheny Mountains. Visitors can marvel at the majestic waterfall from multiple overlooks or hike along the park's scenic trails, which wind through dense forests and past tranquil streams. In the winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding.

      Berkeley Springs

      Known for its healing mineral springs, Berkeley Springs is a charming town steeped in history and surrounded by natural beauty. Visitors can soak in the warm waters at the historic Roman Baths or indulge in spa treatments at one of the town's many resorts. Beyond its therapeutic waters, Berkeley Springs also offers boutique shops, art galleries, and delicious dining options, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway.

      Hawks Nest State Park

      Perched atop the New River Gorge, Hawks Nest State Park offers breathtaking views of one of West Virginia's most iconic landscapes. Visitors can ride the aerial tramway down into the gorge, where they can enjoy hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching along the riverbanks. For the more adventurous, the park also offers rock climbing and whitewater rafting opportunities, providing an adrenaline-filled escape amidst the beauty of nature.

      Featured West Virginia Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in West Virginia

      Embarking on a journey through the picturesque landscapes of West Virginia? Experience the freedom and flexibility of RV travel! From serene mountain vistas to charming small towns, West Virginia offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Rent an RV today and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Mountain State. With spacious accommodations and all the amenities you need, your West Virginia getaway awaits. Start planning your unforgettable RV adventure!

      Frequently Asked Questions

      West Virginia offers a plethora of scenic camping spots. Some popular destinations include Seneca Rocks, a haven for rock climbers and hikers, where you can camp amidst stunning rock formations. For a more serene experience, check out Blackwater Falls State Park, known for its majestic waterfalls and peaceful wooded campsites. 

      Another favorite is New River Gorge, offering camping opportunities near one of the oldest rivers in the world, with activities ranging from whitewater rafting to hiking along the gorge rim.

      Yes, camping is permitted in several national parks in West Virginia. Places like the Monongahela National Forest offer numerous campgrounds with various amenities, including fire rings, picnic tables, and restroom facilities. 

      The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve also provides camping options along the riverbanks, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the gorge and its surroundings.

      Due to the risk of wildfires, certain restrictions may apply to campfires in West Virginia, especially during dry seasons. It's essential to check for any current fire bans or restrictions in the area where you plan to camp. 

      Generally, using established fire rings or pits provided at campgrounds is encouraged, and always ensure that fires are fully extinguished before leaving them unattended.

      West Virginia boasts a diverse array of wildlife, including black bears, white-tailed deer, and various bird species. While encounters with wildlife are generally rare, it's crucial to store food properly and follow guidelines for bear-proofing your campsite, especially in areas known for bear activity. 

      Additionally, be mindful of smaller critters like raccoons, which may be attracted to food scraps left unattended.

      Yes, West Virginia offers excellent opportunities for backcountry camping, particularly in its expansive national forests. Areas like the Dolly Sods Wilderness and Cranberry Wilderness provide backpackers with miles of trails and primitive camping options, allowing for a more immersive outdoor experience away from traditional campgrounds. 

      Be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles and obtain any necessary permits before embarking on a backcountry camping trip.

      When camping in West Virginia, it's essential to pack appropriately for the region's variable weather conditions. Be sure to bring layers of clothing, including waterproof outerwear, as mountainous areas can experience sudden temperature changes and precipitation. 

      Other essential items include a sturdy tent, a sleeping bag rated for the expected temperatures, cooking supplies, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.

      West Virginia offers fantastic fishing opportunities in its numerous rivers, streams, and lakes. Many campgrounds are situated near prime fishing spots, allowing you to cast a line right from your campsite. 

      Make sure to obtain the appropriate fishing license and familiarize yourself with any regulations or restrictions regarding catch limits and species-specific rules.

      Yes, West Virginia caters to families looking for memorable camping experiences. Several state parks, such as Watoga State Park and Canaan Valley Resort State Park, offer family-friendly campgrounds equipped with amenities like playgrounds, swimming areas, and organized activities for children. 

      These parks provide a perfect setting for families to bond while enjoying the beauty of the West Virginia wilderness.

      Many campgrounds in West Virginia are pet-friendly, allowing you to bring your furry companions along for the adventure. However, it's essential to check the specific rules and regulations of each campground regarding pets. 

      Always keep your pet leashed and clean up after them to ensure a positive experience for fellow campers and to protect the local ecosystem.

      Yes, West Virginia offers numerous RV camping facilities suitable for various types of recreational vehicles. From basic campsites with electrical hookups to full-service RV parks with amenities like showers, laundry facilities, and dump stations, there are options to accommodate all preferences and needs. 

      Many state parks and private campgrounds throughout the state welcome RV campers, allowing you to explore West Virginia's beauty in comfort.

      Become a Go Camping America Member!

      Introducing the ultimate RV trip planner brought to you by OHI, the foremost authority in the outdoor hospitality industry. Dive into the adventure with our comprehensive platform, As the largest campground database online, we offer unparalleled access to over 3,000 private RV parks and campgrounds across the US and Canada. Unlock exclusive benefits as a member of OHI, including access to top guides, informative newsletters, networking opportunities, business and marketing tools, and advocacy and representation. 

      With a membership, you can stay up-to-date and motivated with our newsletter, brimming with the freshest camping trends, insights, and exclusive member offers. Forge connections with fellow RV enthusiasts and industry leaders through our networking events and vibrant online community. Experience the power of our advocacy efforts, ensuring your voice is heard and represented at every level, from local to national. When you take the leap and join OHI to embark on your next RV adventure with confidence, you’re beginning the journey of a lifetime.