If you like ditching modern convenience for a quick retreat into nature, West Virginia is the place to go. There are over a hundred campgrounds in this mountainous state nestled in the Allegheny Mountains. Although mining has devastated several mountains in West Virginia, plenty more are standing tall, creating some of the most gorgeous camping country in the U.S. You do not have to look hard to find a spot to pitch a tent and enjoy a view at the same time.
Mountain Lake Campground at Summersville lake
This lake camping getaway offers camping for all kinds—cabin-seekers, tent campers, and RVs. Nestled beside Summersville Lake, the Mountain Lake Campground offers a superb swimming area that is not just for swimming. The lake is stocked with trout in the spring and fall, making it a fisherman’s dream.
The biggest surprise activity the campground offers may be its scuba diving program, made possible by the pure crystal waters of the mountain lake itself. Mountain Lake Campground is a fun and beautiful place to take the family for a summer camping getaway. Note that there are no grills available so you will need to provide your own means of cooking. Here are some of the best camping stoves on the market.
Spruce Knob Lake Campground
Near Whitmer, West Virginia, the Spruce Knob Lake Campground offers something for everyone. Its lake waters make it a fun swimming destination, while Seneca Rocks and Spruce Knob Mountain bring splendid hiking opportunities into the picture. The scenery is also not to be missed—the lush forests next to the quiet streams feeding Spruce Knob Lake, and picturesque views from the top of the mountain (the tallest point in West Virginia) are unforgettable.
The campground, located in Monongahela National Forest, offers only simple amenities like a picnic table and fire ring. RVs are welcome, but there are no electric hookups on the 30 campsites. The campsites are very tight, you may find it better to use a hammock instead of a tent. Here are my picks for the best camping hammocks.
Coopers Rock State Park
This small campground is only open in summer, from April to November, and contains 25 campsites, five of them available for reservation. Luxurious amenities including electric hookups, a shower house, and wireless internet further reduce the availability at this coveted campground. In the summer, the green forest views at Coopers Rock State Park are astounding. Activities include hiking, biking, rock climbing, picnicking, even hunting and fishing. You are also able to rent a boat and go swimming over at Cheat Lake.
New River Gorge National Park
This rather old-fashioned campground definitely puts you closer to nature. The camping facility has no electric hookups or drinking water, and the restrooms are limited. Some might say this is the opportunity for what is known as “primitive camping.” If ‘back to nature’ is your style, you will undoubtedly love this campground. You can even get backcountry camping permits that take your campsite next to trails like Glade Creek, Stone Cliff, and Brooklyn-Southside Junction. You do not want to miss the impressive views of New River Gorge. The river that runs through the park is a whitewater river, making it a fun destination for rafters, kayakers, and canoers alike.
Beech Fork State Park
Located in Cabell County, West Virginia, Beech Fork State Park offers a large campground for camping pleasure seekers—there are a whopping 275 campsites open to both RV and tent. Eighty of these sites are actually on the Beech Fork Lake. You will find the sites split up into various campgrounds, such as Old Orchard (which is open year round), Moxley Branch, Four Coves, and Lakeview. Fishing is the campground’s most common attraction, drawing in those who like to catch bass, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. Fisherman’s families can find fun at the campground pool, as well as by going hiking or picnicking.