We’ve come to realize that bigger is not always better. Sometimes it’s the little places that offer the most charming experience. Greenbrier State Forest is one such gem, hidden deep in the West Virginia mountains. This is old-school camping at its finest. Small and slightly primitive, the campground offers only sixteen electric sites, tucked into lush and shady groves.
You’ve got to have a smaller RV to enjoy Greenbrier State Forest. The campground cannot accommodate more than about a 30’ rig, and a one-lane tunnel with low clearance must also be crossed to get there. Big Class A’s will not fit here.
That said, there’s something incredibly soothing to the soul when you camp without an overload of amenities. You tend to get out in nature more, and truly experience the spirit loci of the area. And without the noisy crowds that overrun other state parks in the summer, the sights and sounds of the forest really come alive.
This campground offers deep, delicious shade in the height of the summer. On July 4th, we never turned on the air conditioner, which let us enjoy the sweet sounds of nature all night long through open windows.
Greenbrier State Forest has a pool located at the park entrance, about 2 miles from the campground. Continuing into the park, down a lane which winds prettily through the trees, are stone and timber picnic shelters built by the CCC in the 1930’s. Cabins are also available for rent, thoughtfully located a good distance away from the campground.
Numerous footpaths and trails are threaded throughout the forest: pick any direction and you can have a great walk. If you have a car, there’s a gravel road near the campground that will take you to the top of Kate’s Mountain which has a scenic overlook. Or, just string a hammock between the mature trees and enjoy a weekend of slow-down like we did. Sometimes the best camping is simply the chance to do nothing at all.
The campground is lovely, quiet, and dark at night. Potable water is available at the host office, which also has a small souvenir shop and a bath house nearby. Additional tent camping sites are available in an adjacent field, and we met folks who brought their horses and trailers for a weekend of camping and riding.
We adored Greenbrier State Forest. We loved staying in the canopied woods, hiking on uncrowded trails, and the deep satisfaction that you’ve left everyone else behind. This campground isn’t big, but we think that’s better!
April 10, 2013