WV DNR News Release

1 - General News
2 - Hunting News
3 - Fishing News
4 - Law Enforcement News
5 - Parks News

Joe Manchin III, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release : April 9, 2009

 Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-2003 ext. 365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov

Sissie Summers, State Parks Programming Coordinator (304) 558-2764 sissiesummers@wvdnr.gov

Camping Interest Remains Elevated With W.Va. State Park Visitors in 2009

            Camping is expected to be popular this spring and summer, and West Virginia State Parks and Forests has 20 areas that offer reservable sites from the Thursday prior to Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, with an additional six areas that are first-come/first-served sites only. 

            State Parks Chief Ken Caplinger says that many people have the mistaken impression that reservations are needed prior to Memorial Day Weekend and after Labor Day. “Actually, from after Labor Day up and to the Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend, we do not take nor would you need to make a reservation.”

            Campgrounds in West Virginia state parks and forests are generally open from mid-April to mid-October, with some extending the season into hunting seasons, depending on the area. Four parks offer year-round options. Those areas are: Canaan Valley, Pipestem, Stonewall and Beech Fork state parks.  Other campgrounds may allow camping if weather permits.

            “The only time we take reservations is from the Thursday prior to Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. After that, the camping season declines when schools go back in session,” Caplinger says.

            “Our campground areas and campsites offer a variety of types and settings throughout the state, and they are all very popular. Although no reservation system is perfect, we do our level best to accommodate everyone fairly while also recognizing the need for first-come/first-serve camping opportunities.” 

            The process for reserving a campsite at a state park or forest is on this schedule: first by mail (Feb. 15 – March 14); then by mail or phone (March 15-31); and finally by mail, phone, or in person (beginning April 1).

            For more information about West Virginia State Parks and Forests, camping, cabins, lodge, golf, restaurants or events, call 800 CALL-WVA or visit online at www.wvstateparks.com.

W.Va. state parks and forests with reservable sites

           West Virginia state parks and forests offering reservable sites are:: Babcock, Beech Fork, Blackwater Falls, Bluestone, Camp Creek, Camp Creek - Double C Horse and Rider Campground, Cedar Creek , Chief Logan, Coopers Rock State Forest, Greenbrier State ForestHolly River, Kanawha State Forest, Kumbrabow State Forest , North Bend, Pipestem Resort, Tomlinson Run, Tomlinson Run - Yurt Rentals, Twin Falls Resort, Tygart Lake, and Watoga state parks. Applications are available online to download and print. The Web page that lists parks with reservable sites and links to their application is: www.wvstateparks.com/lodging/camping.htm.

            Canaan Valley Resort and all of Stonewall Resort’s sites offer reservable sites, but those applications are available by contacting Stonewall or Canaan Valley for reservations and guidelines.

            Areas in the state park system that offer only first come, first served campsites are: Audra State Park, Berwind Lake WMA, Bluestone WMA, Moncove Lake State Park, Panther WMA, and Plum Orchard WMA

Off-season camping

            “We’re so sure that you’ll get a campsite before Memorial Day and after Labor Day without having to make reservations that we actually create some camping rate packages or other offers just to get attention that there is camping those other eight months of the year, September through April,” Caplinger says.

            One way to learn about camping promotions, as well as cabin and lodging offers, is to subscribe to the West Virginia State Parks electronic newsletter on the Web site at www.wvstateparks.com or watch for new releases in local papers from the Division of Natural Resources. The www.wvdnr.gov Web site lists all the stories from DNR for anyone to read as well as an RSS feed when stories and state park events are posted. “It’s a very easy way to get our latest information,” Caplinger says.

The reservation process

February 15 through March 14, reservations by mail.

  • Reservation forms may be downloaded from the State Parks Web site or can be obtained by calling the Charleston office at (304) 558-2764 or by calling the specific park and requesting that a form be mailed.
  • Parks and forests with designated reservable site inventory accept only mail-in reservations from Feb. 15 – March 14.
  • Those reservations not postmarked prior to February 15 will be returned.
  • Reservations are sorted by postmark date and opened at random. 
  • A maximum of three reservations per envelope will be accepted. 
  • Advance reservations for accessible campsites for persons with disabilities may be reserved from February 15 to March 15 and those applications must be accompanied by a proof of disability.

March 15-March 31, reservations by mail or phone.

  • Reservations made via telephone will be taken starting on March 15 by calling 1-800-CALL-WVA and asking for the specific park or calling the area direct.
  • Beginning March 15, all designated reservable sites become available for all rentals.  
  • Staffing levels are minimal at many areas and calls are taken as quickly as possible.

April 1, reservations by mail, phone or in person.

  • Starting this date, reservations can also be made in person at the park or forest office.
  • A minimum of two nights, up to a maximum of 14 nights, is required when making a campsite reservation.
  • In case of cancellations, deposits will be refunded (except a $5 handling fee plus first night's rental) if notified seven or more days in advance.
  • Personal checks and major credit cards are accepted. Charges to credit cards occur at time of reservation. 
  • Although staff will try to accommodate campers with specific campsite numbers, a specific site request will not be guaranteed. Every effort will be made to assign the campsite requested.

West Virginia State Parks campground rules

            When everyone plays by the rules, a campground becomes a community and creates a secure and positive outdoor experience for families and friends alike. 

  • A camping stay is limited to 14 consecutive days (except after Labor Day until the first day of the following May at the discretion of the superintendent).
  • Check-out time is noon.
  • No more than two motor vehicles are permitted on a campsite at any time.
  • A non-family camping group may have only one camping unit (tent, trailer, motor home, camper, van, etc.) on its campsite.
  • Families may have one or two small tents in addition to the main camping unit on the campsite.
  • Campsites not reserved are rented on a first-come/first-served basis.
  • Campers must register before occupying a campsite.
  • Camping in any manner is prohibited in state parks, state forests, and state wildlife management areas, except at numbered sites designated for camping.
  • No explosive materials or other dangerous substances are permitted.
  • Uncased firearms, bows and arrows are prohibited other than when the area is open for hunting.
  • Posted speed limits and campground regulations must be obeyed.
  • Quiet hours must be observed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Motorbike riding is prohibited in campground areas.
  • Bicycle riding is prohibited after dark unless properly equipped with a lighting system front and rear. State law requires riders under 14 to wear a helmet.
  • Only dogs and cats are permitted in camping areas, and must be restrained on a leash no more than 10 feet in length.
  • Fires are limited to provided fireplaces or stoves. DO NOT LEAVE FIREPLACES UNATTENDED.
  • Hunting is permitted in state forests and wildlife areas, but NO hunting is allowed in state parks.
  • Fishing is permitted in all areas.
  • A West Virginia Hunting and/or Fishing License is required for those pursuing these activities.