Located in central West Virginia, Holly River State Park is nestled in a valley along the Holly River surrounded by forested mountain tops. It is the second-largest state park in West Virginia, spanning over 8,000 acres, but never becomes overcrowded, even during the peak summer months. With all that land, there is endless outdoor recreation for campers of all ages to take part in during all four seasons. Initially, the area was stripped of nearly all of its lumber, but reforesting actions took place, resulting in the beautiful park present today.
The park features eye-catching waterfalls, such as Tenskwatawa Falls, that can be visited while hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Visitors also enjoy swimming in the on-site pool, fishing for trout, and snowshoeing during the winter months. If you're looking for more to explore, the park has several geocaching sites, as well as some top-notch sports facilities, including tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts. The nearby town of Helvetia features historical sites and old-world charms, such as Swiss and German-based dining options.
Whether you're renting a rig from nearby or driving your own motorhome, you won't be without options at Holly River State Park. RV campers can choose from 88 sites that are equipped with electrical hookups and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 32 feet in length. There are also ten furnished and refurbished cabins that can be rented for stays in the park for those wishing to get out of the camper for a night or two.
Holly River State Park is located just under 100 miles from Charleston, West Virginia, near the center of the state. It is situated off of State Park Road, close to the town of Helvetia in the Mountain Lakes region. Care should be taken when driving to the park, as it is located within a valley surrounded by steep mountains. Those maneuvering large rigs should be extra vigilant. Kumbrabow State Forest and Monongahela National Forest are located just east of Holly River, making it possible to take day trips from the park. A large portion of Holly River State Park is considered ADA- accessible. These areas include the campground and picnic shelters, as well as recreation sites that include the playground and swimming pool.
The Mountain Lakes region is an hour south of Sutton, West Virginia, so whether you're coming to enjoy a range of water-based activities, take a winery tour, or visit historical battlefields, Flatwoods KOA campground is the perfect place to stay. Flatwoods KOA is nicely situated, yet offers secluded and shady sites with scenic views of West Virginia hills. All sites are full-hookup with up to 50-amp service for rigs 85 feet and smaller. Registered campers have access to indoor/outdoor pools, a tavern, restaurant, exercise room, and business center with Wi-Fi. Firewood available on-site.
Holly River State Park offers 88 pet-friendly campsites where you can stay with an RV, trailer, or tent. These campsites offer electrical hookups, and there is a dumping station available for sewage. The campground also features four bathhouses and coin-operated laundry facilities. The campground is open for reservations between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This same campground offers first-come, first-serve sites between Labor Day and October 31, when the campground closes. A maximum of ten people is allowed at each site, with only one tent or trailer up to 32 feet in length. Two vehicles are permitted at each site, and a maximum stay of 14 days is allowed at the campground. Generators are permitted but are not allowed to be used during quiet hours. If you're camping with a large group, several pavilions are available for rent, making it possible to host picnics or group meetings. There are also shelters located near the trout-rearing ponds, providing a picturesque backdrop for your family gathering. In addition to shelters for cookouts, there is a restaurant that operates within the park. There is also a convenience store providing limited groceries and sundries for visitors.
At Holly River State Park, the campground features first-come, first-served camping after Labor Day through October 31, when the park closes to campers. If you come to visit from Memorial Day to Labor Day, you might still be able to snag a spot last minute since any sites that haven't been reserved during that time are open for walk-in registration. There are 88 campsites, and you can bring your RV, camping trailer, or tent. You can stay up to 14 days during this time period unless you have permission for a longer stay from the superintendent, which usually involves moving to another campsite on the grounds. Campsites can accommodate up to ten people and RVs and trailers up to 32 feet in length. Sites are equipped with electric hookups, picnic tables, and cooking grills. There are coin-operated laundry facilities, bathhouses, and a dump station open for visiting campers.
For those looking to camp in comfort and ditch the Sprinter van for a few nights, Holly River State Park offers 10 cabins available for rent. The cabins are nestled in a thickly forested area of hemlock and rhododendron and are built from natural stone and logs. These cozy cabins can accommodate up to four people, and some are pet-friendly. Nine of the ten cabins were built back in the 1930s by Works Progress Administration, and have since been upgraded. These cabins come equipped with water and electric, a full kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, linens, a stone fireplace, and an outdoor grill, and are open from April through November. The10th cabin is for those looking to enjoy an authentic glamping experience during their time at Holly River. The Vacation Cabin offers top-notch amenities like central heating and air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave, a wood-burning fireplace, linens, and an outside grill. The Vacation Cabin is open year-round. Reservations are required for all ten cabins.
Horseback riding is not only allowed on certain trails within Holly River State Park, but it is also encouraged. Horse camping is also made easy, with three available sites that have attached corrals for your horses. Reservations are required in advance if you plan on camping at one of these sites. The trails for horseback riding are available for all park visitors, so you'll likely be sharing the trails with other hikers and bikers. Ridge Road Trail is well-liked by horseback riders and is a moderate, six-mile route.
There are several sites for geocaching located within Holly River State Park. This outdoor activity can be done at any time of year and involves using a GPS or mobile device to find the hidden cache, which generally contains a treasure. This park includes three hidden sites, so be sure to look for them while you're hiking or RV camping in the park. Anyone can participate in this activity, as long as they have the necessary equipment for this high-tech treasure hunt.
Lace-up your hiking boots and get out of the motorhome for an afternoon. There are over 42 miles of easy to difficult-level trails waiting for you to explore in Holly River State Park. Hikers should be mindful that many of these trails are multi-use, and hikers share the trails with bikers and horseback riders. Several trails provide access to the park's waterfalls, such as the Tramontane Trail, which features views of the park's secret waterfall, Mystic Falls. Laurel Fork Trail is a trail that is rated easy and also meets accessibility guidelines. This trail offers rest areas and signs about the park's history.
Although the Holly River's campsites don't stay open past November, that doesn't stop the fun in the park. Once a healthy layer of snow sticks, certain trails make for the perfect snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trek. Ridge Road Trail is a favorite amongst winter sports enthusiasts and can be accessed near Jacob Klee Road at Laurel Fork. Those looking to participate in the winter fun must bring their own gear along in the campervan as the park is closed and offers no rentals.
There are plenty of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed during your RV stay at Holly River State Park. Within the camping areas, there are courts for volleyball, badminton, tennis, and basketball, in addition to croquet and horseshoes. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, there are also planned activities that include nature hikes, films, and marshmallow roasts. Be sure to check with the park program coordinator to see what events are taking place during your summer vacation.
While the park is located on the Holly River, the current usually proves too strong for safe swimming. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't bring your bathing suits along with you in the pop-up. A swimming pool was constructed for recreational use in the park and is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day except for Mondays. The pool is also closed on weekdays from mid-August to Labor Day, so you may want to check with the park before your arrival if you are interested in using the swimming pool.
The swift waters on the Left Fork of the Holly River make for some great fishing. Anglers will likely have the most luck reeling in trout out of these quick-moving currents in the spring, as the DNR begins stocking the river in February. A West Virginia fishing license is required to take part in fishing and can be obtained online before your trip. If the river proves unfruitful, there is also a trout-rearing pond located within the park. The park can provide information if you're interested in learning more about preserving these fish for future generations.
It doesn't matter if you're using a high-tech camera or just clicking on your smartphone, Holly River State Park offers breathtaking views that you'll want to look back on for years to come. Dense forests, carpets of wildflowers and ferns, flowing waterfalls, and striking mountain tops all conspire for you to snap the perfect photo during your stay at Holly River. The park is never very crowded, making it easy to capture the tranquility of the park in its most natural setting. Reverie Trail, Tramontane Trail, and Railroad Grade Trail are all moderate hikes offering excellent photography opportunities. Wherever you wander, make sure your camera is charged up before leaving the Airstream.