Hipcamp host Susan T.
Hosted by

Leave The Beaten Path

Why camp in an overcrowded, commercial campground when you're in West Virginia with all its untamed beauty? Experience a truly relaxing getaway to the mountains. Enjoy peaceful and private, safe and secure primitive camping on the Gauley. The Tawney Farm is a small-scale sheep farm located next to the beautiful Gauley River Natio


Leave The Beaten Path

Why camp in an overcrowded, commercial campground when you're in West Virginia with all its untamed beauty? Experience a truly relaxing getaway to the mountains. Enjoy peaceful and private, safe and secure primitive camping on the Gauley. The Tawney Farm is a small-scale sheep farm located next to the beautiful Gauley River National Recreation Area in the Mountain Lakes region of central West Virginia. Our 120 acres lie nestled in between two beautiful mountains in the Gauley River gorge. Here we raise Merino and Jacob sheep for wool where I process the fiber and either sell it to other fiber artists or felt it into crafts and hats myself. Our farm is also home to miniature horses, chickens, and of course dogs and cats.

Except for the Gauley whitewater season (the day after Labor Day through Bridge Day (3rd weekend in October)), we provide a unique totally private primitive camping experience where you get EXCLUSIVE use of the campground. In other words, you will be the only campers. During the Gauley whitewater season however we open up our campground to hundreds of kayakers and rafters from across the country seeking the thrill of the Beast of the East, the Gauley River. You can still camp with us during the time, you'll just being sharing the campground with others.  

Drink in the beautiful views of the Gauley River gorge and hike our nature trails while experiencing the sights and sounds of a real working farm. Camp on the mountaintop and experience incredible night skies. Or if you aren’t up to the full hike, pop up your tent at one of the shady, wooded campsites along the trail. You can even camp in one of our scenic pastures. Camp in your tent, sleep in your car/van. We can even accommodate small campers with no hookups.  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 camping cook stoves are provided for your use. Your first load of firewood is free and we'll even provide charcoal if you'd prefer.  We have tables and camp chairs you can use as well.  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 "to die for" outdoor hot water shower! Close to Summersville Lake & Dam, Carnifex Ferry State Park and just minutes from the beautiful Gauley River where you can paddleboard, kayak, fish, swim and explore. Be sure to check out Janie's Hole waterfall, Sweets Falls and the Gauley River gorge trails. You're sure to find something fun to do in the Gauley River National Recreation Area.

Children 13 and under are free.  Children 14 to 18 should be considered an adult.

Campsite area
Bring your own tents, vans and truck campers, trailers
1 site
Up to 22 guests per site
Park at listing
No ADA access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Potable water available
Kitchen available
Showers available
Picnic table available
Bins available
No wifi
Camping vehicle details
No electrical hookup
No water hookup
No sewage hookup
No TV hookup
Generators not allowed
Have a question? Send Susan a message!
  • Check in: After 2PM
  • Check out: Before 12PM
  • Cancellation policy: Strict
  • On arrival: Meet and greet
  • Minimum nights: 2
  • Accepts bookings: 12 months out
  • Response time: Within 6 hours
  • Response rate: 100%


Offered on the Host's property or nearby.


Bring your mountain bike. Plenty of places to bike in the Gauley River National Recreation Area.


Boating is available at Summerville Lake.


Fish in the Gauley River or Summersville Lake!


You can hike the trails on our farm, the Gauley River National Recreation Area, or the New River Gorge.


If you're not up for whitewater paddling, you're still in luck. You can paddle in eddies or nearby Summersville Lake.


Great climbing spots at Summersville Lake and the New River Gorge.


River surfing the Gauley is a big thing around here. Half a mile to the Perfect Wave!


Swim in the Gauley River or nearby Summersville Lake.

Whitewater paddling

Are you kidding? The Gauley River is world renowned for whitewater and is called the Beast of the East!

Wildlife watching

Observe wildlife from your campsite or hike the trails on our farm. You'll see deer, turkey, lots of song birds, skunks, possum...Read more


Natural features you'll find at Gauley River Wild & Woolly Primitive Campground in West Virginia.


Our farm is surrounded by forest.


Only 10 miles from the popular Summersville Lake.


Our farm is located in the mountain lakes region of West Virginia in the beautiful Appalachian mountains.

River, stream, or creek

We're less than a mile from the Gauley River, accessible by car or walking. We also have a creek that runs through the farm.

Swimming hole

You can swim in the Gauley River, Janie's Hole or nearby Summersville Lake.


Janie's Hole is a beautiful hidden, two tier waterfall on the Gauley that has a cool pool at the bottom.


We live on a beautiful 120 acre sheep 🐑 farm where we raise a small herd of Merino and Jacob wool sheep.

The vibe at Gauley River Wild & Woolly Primitive Campground

23 Reviews

This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Ali
Ali S.
recommends this listing.
June 22nd, 2016

My boyfriend and I scheduled a very last minute stay at the Tawney Campgrounds and our trip turned out to be absolutely fantastic! We actually got lost on the way, but were able to get in contact with Susan, and her husband actually found us and guided us to the grounds. They bent over backwards for us, having a fire ready when we got there, and since it was late they even offered us the cabin to stay in for the night free of charge. The next day they drove us up to the gorgeous campgrounds and helped up unload all of our things - seeing as we were pretty inexperienced. THEN, the next day they picked us up from our site.. It was so kind and we were so grateful to not have to take 2 trips back to the car. I would recommend this place to absolutely anyone that's an outdoorsy person. This place really makes you feel at home away from home. I loved it and am planning on going back as soon as possible! Also, they have live music at certain points in the year. This place has it all!

Hipcamper Genevieve
Genevieve A.
recommends this listing.
September 20th, 2017

Great campsite! Location is very close to lower Gauley put-in if you are around for Gauley boating season. We especially enjoyed the hot shower and free firewood!

Hipcamper Matthew
Matthew G.
recommends this listing.
November 8th, 2017

Extremely generous family. Upon returning from our kayak trip, we found that James had kept our fire burning - such a joy to come back to. Great location and facilities. Would definitely recommend others stay at this campsite.

Hipcamper Donovan
Donovan B.
recommends this listing.
July 14th, 2020

Awesome! Great people and totally beautiful area! I bet rafting season must be so much fun! We’ll be back.

Hipcamper Susan
Response from Susan, the Host, on July 20th, 2020

Thank you so much! You and your family were great guests. Come back soon!

Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Kaushik
Kaushik S.
recommends this listing.
October 10th, 2017

Location is good. Could have been picnic tables separately for each campsites.

Hipcamper Paul
Paul M.
recommends this listing.
May 29th, 2018

Had an amazing time at this campground! Peaceful and quiet! Hosts were great, could've spent all day talking about the area with them... They are more than happy to help with anything, but will give you privacy if you don't ask. Will go back again.

Hipcamper Susan
Response from Susan, the Host, on May 29th, 2018

Thanks, Paul! We enjoyed having you stay with us. We're happy to have shown you around the Gauley River NRA and glad you enjoyed the peace and quiet. Come back soon!

Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Ellen
Ellen M.
recommends this listing.
August 9th, 2018

10/10 would return! Susan and James were the perfect hosts. They provided us with detailed directions to help us find their farm. Once on their 130 acre sheep farm we truly felt at home. They were both so welcoming, and incredibly helpful. They showed us the local trails and waterfalls, and even drove our cooler and some of their own supplies to the top of their mountain for us.
We ended up staying at both the top campsite - which offered the feeling of true seclusion - as well as, at their main property which offered many amenities (water, freezer, hot shower, etc.). Each morning they were kind enough to check that we had everything we needed for breakfast - especially, some farm fresh eggs! My friends and I would love to visit Susan and James (and their adorable dog, Flo) again!

Hipcamper Susan
Response from Susan, the Host, on August 13th, 2018

Thank you! You and your friends were super campers. We were so happy you guys camped on the mountain. It's really a great spot. And one of the advantages of our exclusively private camping is that you can move to different sites. We enjoy showing our guests the beauty of the area like the river canyon and the waterfall. There's nothing like it on a hot summer day! Glad you enjoyed yourselves. Come back any time! Flo says soon!

Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Shawn
Shawn M.
recommends this listing.
July 7th, 2019

Susan and James have created a magical mountain Oasis, which is perfect if you just want to relax but also be surrounded by adventure ! The Gauley River is just a short hike away to explore and take a swim or just stick around the working farm which has plenty of room to stretch out . Summersville Lake is also just a short drive away with its stunning views and clear water it’s a paddlers dream ! There just wasn’t enough time in our short stay to see everything that West Virginia has to offer and we will definitely be returning to Tawney Farm !

Hipcamper Matt
Matt S.
recommends this listing.
July 21st, 2019

Wonderful campsite and even better hosts!


Best of 2019 West Virginia
2nd place
Best of 2018 West Virginia
1st place
Tawney Farm
West Virginia
United States
1 Site

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