The great mountain RV camping tour
The thing about traveling by RV in West Virginia is that there is so much to see!
Unless you’re living in an RV full-time, or are dedicating about a year to your RV adventure, you’ll have to figure out the best way to maximize the time you do have. But where to start? Don’t worry—we’ve put together a list of the must-see spots, including what to do in between.
The whole trip is a loop, so you’ll end up back where you started.
Audra State Park to Blackwater Falls State Park
Via US-48 E and US-219/Seneca Trail, 59 miles, 1 hour and 23 minutes
Audra State Park is a secluded gem, which is why it’s the anchor point for our RV route through West Virginia. Bring along a kayak to paddle down the Middle Fork River, and head to the Alum Cave for scenic views along the cave’s ledge (Don’t worry—there’s a boardwalk.)
There are 67 total sites for RVs and tents, available from April to October every year. Everything is first-come, first-served, so get there early to reserve a spot before setting out to explore the woods.
On your way to Blackwater Falls, there are quite a few quaint little West Virginia towns that are worth checking out, but definitely stop in Elkins for the annual Mountain State Forest Festival if you are there in October.
Once you’re in Blackwater Falls, get your camera ready to capture any one of the stunning waterfalls you’ll find here. The park gets its name from the amber-hued water that flows through its streams and creeks and down its falls— the result of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles that have tinted the water over time.
Blackwater Falls does take reservations, but they charge an extra fee on top of their regular rates for them. Get there early enough, and you won’t need a reservation.
Blackwater Falls State Park to Watoga State Park
Via WV-28 S, 118.3 miles, 2 hours and 43 minutes
There are 2 options for getting from Blackwater to Wagota State Park, but this one is through the Monongahela National Forest, so it’s far more scenic. It isn’t any longer than the other route, either, so it’s a no-brainer. Make sure you stop at Spruce Knob, West Virginia’s highest peak, for a hike and some breathtaking views.
Once you arrive at Watoga, you’ll find yourself in a 10,100-acre mountain oasis in Pocahontas County. Hike, swim, fish and boat to your heart’s content, and when you’re ready to hit the hay, snatch up a spot at one of the park’s 2 campgrounds: Riverside or Beaver Creek. Both have electricity/electric hook-ups and central bathhouses with hot showers and coin-operated laundry. You can camp at Watoga from April through early December when deer hunting season closes. Make a reservation if you roll in during the summer—the park gets very busy!
Watoga State Park to Cedar Creek State Park via Summersville Lake
Via WV-39 W and WV-55 W, 132 miles, 2 hours and 56 minutes
This route takes a slight detour through Summersville so you can stop at the 2,700-acre Summersville Lake, the largest lake in West Virginia. To break up the driving and add an extra day, camp overnight. No one would blame you— the lake has jaw-dropping views from its sandstone cliffs and is a haven for rock climbers, snorkelers and scuba divers. Battle Run campground is open through October with 114 reservable sites.
When you get to Cedar Creek, there’s a ton to do. Depending on the season, go fishing for trout or catfish, or go for a paddle or a swim. If you want to be a little more active, lace up your shoes and head out to explore the 14 miles of trails. Oh, and there’s a mini golf course, too.
Cedar Creek State Park back to Audra State Park
Via 1-79 N and US-33 E, 65 miles, 1 hour and 25 minutes
Swing by Stonewall Jackson Lake at about the halfway point of the last leg of the loop. It’s the perfect pit stop to swing your clubs at the 18-hole Arnold Palmer golf course. It’s right along the shores of the lake, and has a full-blown driving range, too. If you’re feeling a bit weary from travel, book a treatment at the spa on the premises for a little pampering to get you right back into tip-top shape. You can camp year-round here, too, if you want to add another night to your itinerary.
Once you’re back at Audra State Park, you are back to your starting point, and your 374-mile West Virginia RV trip is complete! (So it’ll be time to explore some other routes!)
This post was last updated on October 19, 2017