Colder weather doesn’t mean camping season has to end. Here are five nearby sites for overnight outdoor adventures come sun, sleet, or snow.
We love Coopers Rock State Forest (Bruceton Mills, 20m), and for good reason. Mere miles east of Morgantown, Coopers Rock has trails where beginning hikers and seasoned explorers alike can find views that wow. Rustle up your thickest sleeping bag before the weather turns and pitch a tent at the Rhododendron Campground. Or, park your camper at the McCollum Campground, which offers electric hookups. For even warmer abodes, the nearby Chestnut Ridge Park offers cabins fit for the whole crew.
It may be too chilly for a day at the beach, but Tygart Lake State Park (Grafton, 45m) still provides the perfect autumn escape. Camping sites are only open until October 31, weather permitting, but most of the lakeside cabins are available until the end of the year. Whip up breakfast in the kitchen, spend the day crunching through the forest’s leaves, and cozy up at sunset around the fireplace.
You’ll find yourself wishing for more time after a weekend at Ohiopyle State Park (Ohiopyle, PA, 1h). A popular site for whitewater rafting and kayaking, Ohiopyle is also filled with picturesque hiking and biking trails. The Kentuck Campground is open through mid-December, and the park offers rustic cottages and yurts, both with electric heat to keep your toes toasty. Spend a rainy afternoon strolling through the town’s quaint stores or touring the historic Fallingwater house.
Unplug and unwind at New Germany State Park (Grantsville, MD, 1h). Pack a picnic and spend the day trekking through this peaceful oasis tucked away near Big Savage Mountain. Go back once snow falls and slide into your cross-country skis to traverse “the Maryland Alps,” as 1940s reporters once dubbed the area. Hit the hay afterward at one of 12 fully furnished cabins, each with a full bathroom and equipped kitchen.
Blackwater Falls State Park (Davis, 1h45m) showcases the best of Almost Heaven any time of the year. Listen to the roar of the waterfall, or hike to Lindy Point to see the canyon aglow in autumn’s fiery colors. Cloudy day? The nearby towns of Davis and Thomas have everything from charming coffee shops to artisan boutiques. In the winter, the park also boasts the longest sled run on the East Coast, an annual Cardboard and Duct Tape Race, and cross-country skiing. Snooze in the park’s classic cabins, or plan a luxurious getaway with the four-bedroom, two-bath vacation cabins, complete with gas fireplace, full kitchen, washer-dryer, and porch for woodland views.
West Virginia proves it’s never too late to explore the great outdoors.