8 BEST Campgrounds and RV Parks Near Charleston, WV

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Are you looking for the best camping options in Charleston, West Virginia? You’re in for a treat. From exploring mighty rivers and conquering sandstone cliffs during the day to indulging in campfires and stargazing under mesmerizing meteor showers at night, Charleston promises an unforgettable camping experience.

Lying along the banks of the Kanawha River, Charleston, WV, is just 28 miles away from the Appalachian Mountains. Beyond being the home of the historic West Virginia State Capitol, Charleston offers much more than government attractions.

The city is also close to the enchanting Kanawha State Forest and Coonskin Park, providing ample opportunities to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy various outdoor activities like trails, hiking, backpacking, and more. 

Home to a thriving nightlife and various restaurants and breweries, Charleston has become a popular vacation spot for those looking to explore West Virginia outdoors while sipping on some local craft beer.

Whether Charleston is your final destination or a short stop on your trip, this list of the 8 best campgrounds in the Charleston area will help you find the ideal place to stay. Staying at these campgrounds in Charleston, WV, allows you to stay close to the outdoors while enjoying cost-effective accommodations.  

Kanawha State Forest Campground

Location: 7500 Kanawha State Forest Dr, Charleston, WV 25314

If you’re planning a camping trip to West Virginia’s Kanawha State Forest, you’ll be glad to know that you have an amazing selection of campgrounds nearby. The camping experience inside the woods is truly something special, and it’s not just because of the nearby whitewater rapids.

Campground Features 

The campground features a total of 46 campsites, with 25 of them equipped with electricity and water hookups. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fireplace, providing the perfect setup for outdoor meals and cozy campfires. 

The campground can accommodate RVs, trailers/trucks up to 26 feet, ensuring a comfortable stay for smaller rigs. The campground allows a maximum stay of 14 days. 

Activities and Attractions

The campgrounds in this forest are some of the best in the entire state. With over 60 miles of hiking and biking trails, picnic shelters, and playgrounds, it’s no wonder this is a local favorite.

The campgrounds at Kanawha Beach and Clay Creek are very close to the Kanawha River, so you can enjoy some great tubing and rafting trips before or after you spend a few nights camping in the forest.

Whether you’re seeking adventure on the trails or relaxation by the campfire, this forested campground offers an ideal setting for your camping getaway. 

Rippling Waters Campground

Location: 2771 Middle Fork Rd, Kenna, WV 25248

Rippling Waters Campground is located about halfway between Ripley, WV, and Charleston, WV. The campground, located only 3 miles off the interstate, is easily accessible, providing a hassle-free journey to your camping paradise.

Rippling waters has a fishing pond, plenty of facilities, and a propane filling station for a comfortable stay.

Amenities 

A unique feature of this campground is the pool! You’ll also find a bathhouse, a 72-acre lake, pavilions, a conference center, and a fully equipped kitchen. It’s located away from campers, so kids can make as much noise as they want without worrying about bothering anyone. 

Rippling Waters also has a pond for catch-and-release fishing stocked with carp, bass, catfish, and bluegill. There are a total of 27 RV sites, numerous cabins, other lodging options, and even annual camping options available. Rippling Waters has a fishing pond, plenty of facilities, and a propane filling station for a comfortable stay.

Activities and Attractions

Enjoy hiking in over 300 acres of secluded West Virginia forest, or spend the day just enjoying nature. Deers are a regular sighting here, and have become more accustomed to campers since hunting is prohibited.

Rippling Waters Campground is one hour from Parkersburg, WV, along the beautiful I-77 corridor. Parkersburg is a lovely little WV town filled with historic neighborhoods, parks, and museums, making it a great stopping point at the beginning or end of your trip.

Lazy K’s Campground and Canoe Livery

Location: Lazy K Dr, Elkview, WV 25071
Email: TED@LAZYKSCAMPGROUND.COM

If you’re looking for a place to stay that is close to the Elk River and offers camping, fishing, and whitewater activities, Lazy K’s Campground and Canoe Livery is a great choice. Located just minutes away from I-79, it provides easy accessibility for travelers. 

Campground Amenities

The campground offers various camping options, including 50 amp full hookup RV sites with water, sewer, and electrical connections, cozy fully-furnished cabins, and primitive tent sites.

Lazy K’s has a beautiful playground for the kids and is also pet-friendly, so it’s perfect for families. A pet deposit is required, and pets over 7 pounds must be kept on a leash.

Additionally, the campground provided dump stations and central fresh-water-fills for added convenience. 

Activities

Nestled amidst the picturesque mountains of West Virginia, the campground is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering over 70 acres of natural beauty and recreational activities. It’s just a short drive to West Virginia’s plentiful outdoor activities, like ATV riding, hiking, boating, mountain biking, white water rafting, and fishing. 

Whether you’re here for a quick-day visit and a relaxing week-long escape or an extended monthly stay, Lazy K’s Campground offers an incredible camping experience.

Rifrafters Campground

Location: 448 Laurel Creek Rd, Fayetteville, WV 25840

If you’re looking for a rustic camping experience that is away from the city but still close to the river, Rifrafters Campground is a great option. This rustic campground is located 60 miles away from Charleston, WV, just minutes from downtown Fayetteville.

Campground Amenities

Located only two miles away from the iconic New River Gorge National Park, the campground offers a variety of campsites, both sunny and shaded, offering you the best camping experience.

There are a total of 8 cabins, RV sites, and tent camping. RV sites come with either 30 Amp or 50 Amp hookups, with some sites being seasonal. They can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet, and some sites can accommodate up to 45 feet. All sites come with WiFi too.

Rifrafters has a playground for the kids, full facilities including laundry, and a pond. They welcome pets and are working on building a dog park in the future too.

Babcock State Park

Location: 485 Babcock Rd, Cliffton, WV 25831

Located 60 miles from Charleston, WV, Babcock State Park is one of the best 36 state parks in WV. The state park, spanning over 4,00 acres, offers excellent camping options to explore the area’s natural beauty. 

Campground Amenities

Babcock State Park boasts 51 tent sites, welcoming the whole family and furry friends. The spacious campsites offer ample room to set up your tent, have an enjoyable picnic at the provided picnic tables, and gather around the fire rings for cozy campfires and Smores. Other facilities include bathrooms, showers, dump stations, and laundry facilities.

Activities and Attractions   

The best thing about Babcock State Park is its convenient location. It is an excellent base camp for exploring the New River Gorge Bridge and the surrounding mountains. With a boulder-strewn river at its center, the park’s most famous attraction is the working replica of Cooper’s Mill, now known as Glade Creek Grist Mill.

Additionally, the area offers great hiking trails, including the beloved Beauty Mountain Trail, just outside the park boundaries.

New River Gorge National Park

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Location: 104 Main Street, Glen Jean, WV 25846

Located 60 miles away from Charleston in the southeast part of West Virginia, New River Gorge National Park is a must-visit destination. The scenic New River, which flows through the vast gorge and canyon area, makes the park a worth-exploring natural wonder.

Camping Facilities 

The park has nine camping areas, none with drinking water and hookups. The best part? Camping is free!

The park offers primitive camping sites on a first-come, first-served basis. These campsites have picnic tables, fire rings, and nearby restrooms. The Grandview Sandbar Campground offers ten wooded campsites suitable for tents or small RVs, six walk-in tent sites, and two accessible riverfront sites.

Other camping areas offer similar accommodations, making the park a perfect home base. The park also offers backcountry campsites if you’re looking for a more rugged experience in the wilderness.   

Activities and Attractions   

Due to its location along the river, the park provides an array of outdoor activities both on land and water. Thrill-seekers can enjoy swimming, canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, and fishing on the river. Meanwhile, land-based adventures include hiking, rock climbing, cycling, biking, and wildlife watching. 

When camping at New River Gorge National Park, you can enjoy the awe-inspiring views of New River Gorge Bridge, an iconic landmark in WV. For nature lovers, the park also has three waterfalls: Turkey Creek Falls, Big Branch Falls, and Sandstone Falls.

Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, you’re sure to fall in love with the park’s natural charm.     

Monongahela National Forest

Image by tkcomp19 from Pixabay

Location: 200 Sycamore Street, Elkins, WV 26241

If you’re looking for a camping destination that is easily accessible and offers immersion in the wilderness, look no further than Monongahela National Forest. Although it’s almost a two-hour drive from Charleston to the south end of this immense forest, it’s well worth the journey. 

Activities and Attractions

The forest covers an expansive 9,000 acres of pristine wilderness. It offers various outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, hunting, and more. The forest attractions include Cranberry Glades Botanical Area unveiling the most extensive bogs in the state. 

Explore the Falls of Hills Creek Scenic Area, which boasts three cascading waterfalls. For educational experiences, the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center provides valuable insights into the forest’s flora and fauna, appealing to history lovers. Additionally, the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center treats visitors to local art displays and an indoor rock climbing wall.    

Campground Amenities

Monongahela National Forest features 18 campgrounds, including Seneca Shadows CampgroundBear Heaven CampgroundCranberry Campground, and others.

All these campgrounds have amenities like picnic tables, fire pits, showers, and more. Moreover, all these campgrounds are pet-friendly, so don’t hesitate to bring your furry friends.

Whether you’re looking for a comfortable RV camping or backcountry adventure, Monongahela National Forest has it all.  

Jim’s Camping and Storage

Location: 1794 US-60, Milton, WV 25541

If you’re looking for pet-friendly campgrounds in Charleston, WV, be sure to check out Jim’s Camping and Storage. Located only 23 miles from Charleston, Jim’s Camping and Storage provides easy access to recreational activities and outdoor adventures. 

Campground Amenities

Jim’s Camping and Storage provides a range of camping options, including primitive and RV camping sites along Mud River. It features 98 campsites catering to all campers, from tent-folding campers to RV lovers. 52 sites offer full hookups.

The spacious sites can accommodate large rigs, and guests will enjoy amenities like RV storage, cable TV, WiFi, a dump station, and laundry facilities. For more comfort, the campground offers restrooms and showers.   

Activities and Attractions

Due to its location along the river, the campground provides access to numerous recreational activities like fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Nearby attractions include Mountain Health Area, Foundry Theater, Huntington Peddlers Mall, and more. 

The Bottom Line

Whether it’s RV parks close to nature, family-friendly campgrounds, or more primitive or secluded sites, Charleston, WV, has it all.

Now that you know our favorite camping places in Charleston, WV, we want to hear from you. What are your favorite Charleston campgrounds? Let us know in the comments below! Happy Camping!



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