The best camping near Kanawha State Forest

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Kanawha State Forest adventure.

100% (3 reviews)
100% (3 reviews)

Discover Kanawha State Forest's lush trails and diverse wildlife.  

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Community favorites near Kanawha State Forest

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Kanawha State Forest

98%
(26)

Ray's Campground

25 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents50 acres · Hico, WV
Ray's Campground is a picturesque camping facility located in Hico, West Virginia. Nestled in the heart of nature, this campground offers a serene and tranquil setting for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area. The campground is situated amidst lush greenery, with towering trees providing shade and a sense of privacy to campers. The natural landscape of the area creates a peaceful atmosphere that allows visitors to unwind and connect with nature. Ray's Campground offers a variety of camping options to cater to different preferences. Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, you'll find suitable accommodations here. The campground provides spacious campsites with fire rings and picnic tables, allowing you to have a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience. One of the highlights of Ray's Campground is its proximity to the scenic New River Gorge National River. This nationally recognized park offers breathtaking views of the New River and its impressive gorge. Visitors can engage in a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. The campground serves as an excellent base for exploring the natural wonders of the area. In addition to the stunning natural surroundings, Ray's Campground provides amenities to enhance your camping experience. The facilities may include clean restrooms with showers, and a communal gathering area where you can socialize with fellow campers. Whether you are seeking solitude in nature or looking to engage in thrilling outdoor adventures, Ray's Campground in Hico, WV, offers a welcoming and scenic environment for a memorable camping getaway.
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$10
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98%
(21)

Mountain Magnolia Forest Farm

1 site · RV, Tent8 acres · Fayetteville, WV
8 acres of beautiful forested land with a small creek running nearby the campsite. WALKING distance to New River Gorge National Park! Approx 5min walk across edmond-lansing rd to short creek/head house trail. Hiking to views of the gorge, down to the river and plenty of climbing. Endless wall is 2 min drive down the road, some of the best hiking and climbing in the gorge! Beauty Mountain overlook is 1.5 miles away. Campsite is off of a private neighborhood road. GPS will NOT take you to our place. It will send you to the neighbors, so please follow written directions from host. We don’t want to burden our neighbors. Thank you! There is a small fire ring, bring dry wood and make sure to put your fire completely out anytime you wont be attending it, this is the woods. ALL are welcome. This space is a safe place, and prejudice or hate will not be tolerated. Thank you for treating others with respect and kindness.
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$25
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83%
(6)

Bare Cove

5 sites · RVs, Tents120 acres · Ravenswood, WV
So we are a recreation lake that also has campsites. . We have no quiet hours, we do get loud and have a great time on the weekends. Its not uncommon for beer pong or card games to go into the early hours. We are open to all ages and backgrounds, anybody that enjoys making friends and having fun on the lake. All guests must sign personal injury waivers to cover our 6. So about the property, its 120+ acres with a 5 acre man made lake that features blue waters, a beach area and tikibar. We have atv trails, private camp sites and group sites. Enjoy the day floating in the clear blue water, fishing (separate pond) or hiking. Our lake also features a launch pillow for blasting your friends up to 20 ft in the air! We also have inflatable cabanas on the water for rent if you want some R&R. Thanks for looking, would love to host you and your party out at the lake.
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$40
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98%
(30)

Possum Holler Camp- New River Gorge

1 site · RV, Tent3 acres · Victor, WV
Camping at Possum Holler Camp will provide you the perfect blend of solitude and recreation access. You will truly be in the heart of the New River National Park, yet still feel secluded in the beautiful woods without neighbors. You will have private access to beautiful and idyllic Mill Creek, which has many beautiful emerald pools and is even seasonally stocked with rainbow trout! Within a mile you can access the New River Gorge Bridge and the Canyon Rim Visitor Center, and you are equally close to the park's world class climbing, rafting, hiking, ziplining, and mountain biking at the New River Gorge National Park and surrounding areas. Your group will have the entire camp to yourselves, so there's no need to worry about noisy neighbors. Our driveway has recently been revamped to include more flat parking and a less steep access route! While these improvements are great, we still caution our guests to avoid bringing large trailers and to use 4WD if available in an attempt to minimize rutting in the future. We want you to enjoy a lovely campfire, but we ask that you purchase firewood locally because invasive pest species can travel in firewood. Possum Holler Camp is a Leave No Trace campsite, guests are asked to pack out anything they bring in and leave the area undisturbed. This includes damaging vegetation, creating new fire rings, or altering the natural area in any way. Also, please do not camp in the meadow area and only use the cleared out areas in the woods surrounding the parking and picnic/fire area for pitching tents. If you stay below the high water line, then feel free to move as far up or downstream Mill Creek as you like. The creek is indescribably beautiful in both directions! But please keep in mind that there is private property once you are above the high water line, please do not trespass on our neighbor's property.
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$75
 / night
97%
(16)

PondValley Camp

2 sites · RVs, Tents170 acres · Summersville, WV
Please also see PondValley Camping listing. Two additional sites. Copy and paste this link to see more: https://www.hipcamp.com/en-US/land/west-virginia-pondvalley-camping-1xmhzwjd?shareid=20j3xvvm7pj One bedroom Keystone trailer coming in 2024! Discount codes available! Peaceful and serene, level campsites. Walk to Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park and visit the Civil War museum and gift shop, take a hike to the mighty Gauley River. Two miles from Summersville Lake for boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, and the Gauley River whitewater. Visit the Mountain State's newest State Park at Summersville Lake. Drive to the newest and best National Park at New River Gorge and everything it has to offer. Campfire: In provided location, wood provided $5 a night. Bathroom facilities: Toilet in bunkhouse, soap and water for handwashing. Cleaned daily. Garden hose. Trash bag may be dropped in the bin on your way out. Listen to the frogs and crickets. Maybe hear an owl or a coyote! See deer, turkeys, groundhogs, squirrels, rabbits. Expand your bird life list. The ponds are in the process of repair, but fishing is available at the lake and the river!
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$30
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100%
(2)

Skyedanser Campsite

1 site · Tent5 acres · Red House, WV
Once known as Skyedanser Farms, horse ranch turned campsite. Five acres of land located “on the hill.” For several generations hay, gardens, and livestock have been raised on this land.
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$10
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98%
(127)

Tawney Farm's Wild & Woolly

10 sites · RVs, Tents129 acres · Summersville, WV
What says agritourism more than a primitive campground on a sheep farm in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia? Here you’re only a short drive from the New River Gorge National Park where you can go whitewater rafting or take a hike and experience the stunning beauty of the gorge, swim or paddleboard in Summersville Lake or go rock climbing on one of around 150 routes on the crags of the lake. In addition, you’ll be within walking distance of the Gauley River with all it’s wild untamed beauty where you can kayak, swim, fish, paddleboard, or splash in a waterfall. Not to mention being on a sheep farm, you can have the opportunity to learn about wool and wool processing. You can even learn how to felt wool and take home your creation! The Tawney Farm is a small-scale wool sheep farm adjacent to the beautiful Gauley River National Recreation Area and just a short drive to the New River Gorge National Park. Our 126 acre farm lies nestled in between two beautiful mountains, one of them named Panther Mountain, in the Gauley River gorge. Here we raise Merino and Jacob sheep for wool where we process the fiber and either sell it to other fiber artists or felt it into crafts and hats ourselves. Our farm is also home to a miniature horse, chickens, and of course dogs and cats. In addition to the NRG and Summersville Lake and Dam, also close by are Carnifex Ferry Battleground State Park where you can see where a crucial civil war battle took place, as well as Babcock State Park with its iconic grist mill and waterfall. Our region has it all! But why stay in an overcrowded, commercial campground? Leave the beaten path and enjoy peaceful and private, safe and secure primitive camping on our mountain farm. We provide 7 sites on our farm for every camping style, from dry RV to tent, each with a table, fire pit and grill. All sites are spaciously separate from one another for privacy and perfect for couples who want to get away from it all, or for families or groups of friends who want to reconnect and catch up. Get away from it all! Experience the wilderness and wonder of West Virginia as only a native West Virginian could. Fry up some farm fresh eggs over the campfire or grill. Park-style grills, fire pit grills and tables are provided for your use. Very affordable firewood is available. And to make your "roughing it" camping experience not so rough, we've added a few amenities! Clean portajohns are provided as well as a common area with a dishwashing station and a "to die for" outdoor hot water shower (above-freezing temperatures permitting)! Drink in the beautiful views of the Gauley River gorge while hiking our nature trails and experience the sights and sounds of a real working farm. Green and lush in the summer and brilliant hues of red, gold and orange in the fall. Come see what the mountain lakes region of West Virginia has to offer at the Tawney Farm. DURING GAULEY WHITEWATER SEASON (SEPT. 6 - OCT. 15), THE PRICE IS DISCOUNTED TO $35/NIGHT AS ​WE BEGIN FESTIVAL-STYLE CAMPING. TENT, VEHICLE AND SMALL RV CAMPING (DRY-ONLY) ARE STILL PERMITTED, BUT THE ONLY DESIGNATED SITES AVAILABLE WILL BE THE WALK-IN AND HIKE-IN (MTN. TOP) SITES. ​
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$45
 / night
75%
(6)

Flat Hollow Farm

7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents10 acres · Clendenin, WV
Flat Hollow is a very secluded mountain wilderness area. This hidden gem is a treat for the eyes and a real hideaway from the real world. There is a stocked pond, firepit, outdoor cooking supply, camper hookups, rental cabins, hiking trails, local trout stream, wifi, pet friendly but the main attraction is the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains and the guaranteed Classic Almost Heaven WV Experience you will get! The location is ideally located 17 miles from the Capitol of West Virginia and 11 miles from the airport! Only a few miles from I-79 and I-77 for people passing through but still want a real mountain wilderness experience. There is now an available Dumping Station!
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$10
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100%
(14)

Meadowcroft

1 site · Lodging1 acre · Nallen, WV
Meadowcroft is a semi-primitive cabin on the bank of the beautiful Meadow River. Swim, fish, and hang out with the river otters. It's like camping, but with a roof over your head, WiFi, A/C in the summer, and a cozy wood stove in the winter. A large lawn with fire ring fronts a long section of lazy river (perfect for paddleboarding, tubing, canoeing, etc.), with worldclass whitewater beginning about a mile downstream. Premium bouldering is two miles away, Meadow sport climbing 10 min., Summersville Lake 15 min., and all other NRG-area climbing within a 25-min radius. Like Camping, But a Cabin The cabin is a lovingly souped-up Amish-built shed. Like camping, you bring your own sleeping gear and most of your cooking gear, and you pack everything out and tidy up after yourself. This is a self-cleaning cabin, which means *you clean up after yourself to prepare for the next guest* (not that it cleans itself, unfortunately). This keeps the costs down for all the guests. We provide: -WiFi (slow, but good enough for Zoom meetings and Netflix) -Ample electrical outlets -A very clean portapotty -An outdoor spigot with excellent treated river water -A two-burner propane campstove on the porch -A refrigerator and freezer -An electric kettle -Folding tables and eight folding chairs for indoor use -A/C in hot weather -Wood stove or space heaters in cold weather (your choice) -Firewood (for purchase) -Cleaning stuff The cabin and property do *not* have: -Beds/bedding (so bring your sleeping bags and pads) -Plates/utensils/cups/bowls, etc., etc. (so bring what you need to cook and serve food) -Indoor running water -Sink -Microwave -Oven -Shower -Camp chairs Learn more about this land: The level, grassy lot is perfect for boaters, fishers, and climbers. The property is on a two-mile section of lazy river that is perfect for paddle boarding, tubing, swimming, and wading. Just a mile and a half upriver from the first Meadow River technical rapids. Put in here and take your whitewater boat all the way down to the Gauley. Just 10 minute drive from the lower and upper Meadow climbing areas, 15m from Summersville Lake, and 20m to Fayetteville. The property is right on Wilderness Highway, which is a 55 mph road. It doesn’t have a lot of traffic and it’s almost completely quiet after 10 PM. There are neighbors across the road but no neighbors within view on either side of the property. All of the neighbors are very friendly.  There is basically no cell service on the property. If you have Verizon, you might be able to do some texting intermittently. The closest reliable cell service is about 10 min. north on Rte 41 / Wilderness Hwy.  Closest amenities are also 10 minutes north on 41. A left on Riviera Road will take you to the Dollar General and U-Save truck stop, both sources of basic necessities and beer/wine. Stay on Rte 41 for The Tractor Bar, which has a beer/wine/liquor off-license store. Behind The Tractor Bar is The Brownstone Mill General Store, which has a deli. A minute further north, at the intersection with Rte 19, are the Appalachian Coffee House (good wifi) and Craft Kings (incredible sandwiches and other fare from local ingredients).  There is also a Dollar General 10 min. south, via Rte 41 S to Rte 60 E. That direction will also get you to Rte 19 S (14 min.), and the famous Midland Trail Exxon at the intersection of 19 and 60--famous among climbers for its breakfast sandwiches and baked goods. More Details Cabin Orientation • **Flood Awareness** In 120 years of record-keeping, the river has risen far enough to endanger the cabin only once. But that was 2016, and conditions are changing. A July 2022 flood came up to the second porch step. Rampant recent clearcutting means flooding happens more quickly and more often than in the past. Fortunately, it's easy to know when to take action, using this tool: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/03190000/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D. You want to be on the lookout when there is >3 in. of rain in 12 hours and/or river reaches 12 ft. The flood of July 2022 reached 17.21 feet without endangering the cabin. We estimate it would have to reach 19 ft. to get the cabin wet. That said, the water rises *fast* in these scenarios (several ft./hr.), so if it gets to 12 ft. and it's still raining with more rain forecast, you probably want to evacuate. At 15ft, Rte 41 S will probably be closed, so N is the way to go. • Lofts: The loft over the porch is for the hosts’ stuff. Please do not use that area or its contents. The other loft is for you to sleep in or store stuff. • Shelves: A section of the back shelves, clearly labeled, is for guests’ storage. Another section, clearly labeled, has some accessories you might want to use. A third section, also clearly labeled, is for the hosts’ stuff; please don’t use this area or its contents. • Refrigerator/freezer: You are welcome to use it. There’s a “hosts’” shelf in the fridge where we keep a few condiments that we ask you don’t use. And there might be some items in the freezer in a bin labeled “Hosts.’” Please don’t leave anything that wasn’t already there. • Water: There’s a pump-like spigot across the yard. It’s “city water,” pumped from the Meadow River and purified at the treatment plant just down the road. We think it’s pretty good. The tire/odd panels around the spigot are to keep it from freezing in the winter. Please try to leave them in place. • Doing Dishes: Please use backcountry camping methods to do your dishes, since there is no plumbing, we have a beautiful, river nearby, and we don’t want to attract critters. o Wipe off all dishes with a paper towel (not provided) before washing so that nearly all food waste goes in the trash (which you pack out). o Use small quantities of biodegradable soap (provided) to wash dishes in the rubber collapsible washbasins (provided). o Dump wastewater (which has no food in it) in the sunken area below the road to the right of the driveway (if you are facing the cabin from the road). This is a natural leachfield. • Stove: The propane camp stove on the porch is there for you to use. You will need to turn on the canister by turning the knob counter-clockwise until it stops. Please clean after each use: o Grease tray must be wiped clean after each use (the local critters love grease and although we love them, too, we don’t want them making the porch their own). o Skillet can be cleaned with soapy water, but should be immediately dried over the flame and treated with a thin layer of oil. o Stove must be covered when not in use. o There are two propane canisters. If the connected canister runs out, please flip the sign on it from “Full” to “Empty” and let us know in the app that it needs to be replaced. o Before you leave, turn off the gas on the canister (knob clockwise). • PortaPotty is emptied, thoroughly cleaned, and restocked with TP once a week by Triple T Septic Service in Summersville (304-880-8993). They are not on a regular schedule, so it’s possible they will not have serviced the toilet between the last guests’ departure and your arrival. For this reason, we ask that you wipe down the toilet surfaces with provided disinfecting wipes before you leave, and restock with provided TP, if necessary. • Firewood: We have well-seasoned hardwood in the wood rack on the far side of the property. Feel free to use the hatchet and splitting maul as needed. Firestarters are highly recommended: even though we have excellent wood, it’s still ridiculously difficult to start a fire most of the year in the rainforest of WV. Firewood is $0.75/piece, or $7.50/dozen, on the honor system (this typically works out to about half the price of Lowe’s or a gas station, by mass). Firestarters (on the guest shelf) are $1/piece. If there’s a supply of newspaper, feel free to use it. Please keep track of how much firewood/firestarters you use, and when you leave, send that amount through your booking app, or Venmo, etc. Retreat-Maker Box: If you really want to get away, we provide a lockbox that you can put your phone in. Obviously, you have the key, but it’s a surprisingly helpful ritual way to break free for a while. Leave the laptops locked in the car. Rules • No smoking inside the cabin. • No use of illegal drugs on the property. This includes marijuana, which is illegal in the state of WV. We have great relationships with our neighbors, and they don’t appreciate pot smoke in the area. WV cops *will* bust you, especially if you are not local. • No use of firearms on the property. • Use the provided fire pit for fires. Before You Leave: Checklist  Remove any food you brought from the refrigerator/freezer, or in the cabin.  Clean the inside and outside of the refrigerator.  Clean the counter.  Sweep and Swiffer the floor and loft floor, if you used it. Cleaning supplies located on back righthand shelves.  Pack out all trash.  Make sure all windows are closed, lights and AC/heaters turned off.  Make sure the porch stove is clean and covered, and the propane tank turned off. Clean area around stove if needed.  Sweep off porch if needed.  Check that you didn’t leave any of your own stuff on the shelves or in the loft.  Text a photo of the clean cabin to Ryan when you depart, along with any other relevant details (repairs needed, supplies depleted, etc.). 412-326-7649. Or via the booking app.  Settle up on firewood, if you used any (instructions above).  Leave doorknob unlocked and use your code to lock the smart deadbolt.
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$85
 / night
Booked 1 time

5 Leaf Farm

5 sites · Lodging100 acres · Walton, WV
This area was known by the Native Americans as "Pocatalico" (land of the fat doe), and first settled by Europeans around 1890. The property itself was first settled by a man named Mayford Jones, who set the first stones here around 1910. A Jenny Lynn style farmhouse was built and the property was known as one of the best developed farms in the area. Today, the forest has returned to what was once pasture land on the majority of the 100 acre plot, and a small but intensive sustainable forest farm has been taking shape since 2013 under the current host and occupant, who prefers the term "steward" rather than "owner".
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$75
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100%
(11)

PondValley Camping

2 sites · RVs, Tents170 acres · Summersville, WV
Book early for next year! ALSO SEE PondValley Camp listing 2 additional sites. Copy and paste this link to see more: https://www.hipcamp.com/en-US/land/west-virginia-pondvalley-camp-ex9hw20d?shareid=xsyc80jf5k COMING IN 2024, one bedroom Keystone Springdale trailer! SOLIS $10 discount! Walk or drive to the adjacent state park featuring a Civil War museum and gift shop, playground, hiking to the mighty Gauley River. Pond Valley is two miles from Summersville Lake for boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, and the Gauley River whitewater. Drive to the newest National Park at New River Gorge and everything it has to offer. Campfire: In provided location, firewood provided. State law prohibits bringing firewood across state lines. Bathroom facilities: Toilet in bunkhouse, soap and water for handwashing, cleaned daily. Garden hose. Trash bag may be dropped in the bin on your way out. Dump site nearby at Battle Run only $5.
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$30
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100%
(18)

Sycamore Creek Camp

10 sites · RVs, Tents110 acres · Ripley, WV
Learn more about this land:Open farm land on private hilltop. Relaxing setting with good sunrises and sunsets. Plenty of woods for hiking and tent camping as well. And hope to have some live music at times that will be announced.
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$25
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The best camping near Kanawha State Forest guide

Overview

About

KanaWHAT?! A place you can find 9,300 wooded acres full of wildflowers and songbirds just seven miles from the capital? It’s no surprise that Kanawha is a favorite spot among Charleston urbanites for weekend picnics and the occasional camping trip. Hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing trails make this forest an outdoor gym for local residents, but Kanawha isn’t just good for a quick dose of fresh air and recreation. The State Forest is known among naturalists as a hotspot for wildflowers and birds, with rich habitats that support 19 different species of wood warblers. If you think this place is just for locals, don’t be dismayed! Birders travel all the way from Canada to witness Kanawha in summer bloom. No need to book a hotel in Charleston—camp right in the forest for some fresh air and an early morning wake-up call, courtesy of those 19 types of warblers.

When to go

The ideal time to visit Kanawha State Forest is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the forest is alive with color. Summer offers lush greenery but can be quite warm, while winter brings a quiet, frosty beauty, though some trails may be less accessible. Avoid peak holiday weekends for a more tranquil experience.

Know before you go

  • Check the forest's official website for any trail closures or safety alerts before your visit.
  • Wear appropriate footwear and clothing for hiking and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
  • Cell service may be limited, so download maps and trail guides ahead of time.
  • Respect wildlife habitats by keeping a safe distance and not feeding the animals.
  • Facilities such as restrooms and picnic areas are available, but it's wise to bring essentials like water and snacks.

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