North Bend State Park stretches for over 2,000 acres along the North Fork of the Hughes River in Cairo, West Virginia. The park was originally established in 1951 and has only gotten better with time, now offering enough year-round recreational activities to keep you busy for days. Popular activities for visitors include fishing, hiking, biking, boating, and playing basketball and volleyball. You will love spending time in the great outdoors going horseback riding, swimming, geocaching, and wildlife viewing. After all of that, you'll still have time for buying souvenirs and dining at the on-site restaurant.
The park features dozens of campsites stretched over two campgrounds, both electric and non-electric, so it's practically everyone's cup of tea. Don't be mistaken, there is an abundance of flora and fauna in this massive park, but the area is also rich in cultural history. North Bend State Park is located in West Virginia’s historic oil and gas fields. In fact, it still contains several wells that were used all the way back in the 1800s, so walking through the park is like walking through centuries of history.
Just 30 miles southeast of Parkersburg, North Bend State Park is only a few miles off of US-50, which you can get to from I-77 to the north and west or I-79 from the south and east. However, there are several other ways to easily access the park as well. To find the best route, plan ahead of time and use a GPS-enabled device when possible, which should take you right up to the park entrance.
Once you enter the park, all of the roads meant for driving, including the ones in the campgrounds, are paved and in fair condition, although winding. Some roads are also narrower than others and there are a few tight turns here and there, so be careful if you are driving a Class A motorhome or towing a trailer.
Depending on what campground you stay at, you may be a far walk from many recreational activities, so many visitors choose to tow an extra car or bring bikes to make getting around the park easier. If you have young kids with you, bringing a car that can easily navigate winding roads would be very helpful. But if you are vacationing solo or with your spouse and don't plan on going out of the park a lot during your stay, you could get around the park on bike or scooter with a little extra effort.
The park is rather spacious so there are parking lots dotted all over. Although, it is easiest to park your rig at the campground if you are staying overnight.
Cokeley Campground is a bit smaller than River Run Campground, with only 28 sites. The sites are pretty well spaced out and they all have electricity and water hookups. However, it's a bit further from a lot of trails and recreational activities. The campground features a centrally located bathhouse, and some sites can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 70 feet in length. However, most of the sites can only handle rigs up to 40 feet.
A huge plus of this campground is that it is in close proximity to the fishing pier and boat launch, making it a favorite spot of fishing and boating enthusiasts. The sites are available for reservations from Memorial Day through Labor Day, which are typically the park's peak months. So, if you want to go during this time, make sure you make your reservation. Pets are welcome here too so go ahead and bring your little buddy.
River Run Campground is made up of 49 campsites, 26 of which have electric hookups. Although there are no water hookups, water supplies are offered at various places throughout the campground and there is also a bathhouse nearby. Located right next to the river, which many visitors find very serene while falling asleep at night. The camp has a little pond within its boundaries as well. Several nature trails can be accessed directly from the campgrounds, and various amenities are all within a short walk from the campsites, including the picnic area, pool, playground, and dump station.
The sites are a little close together, but still surprisingly peaceful and level. Besides, you'll be spending most of your time exploring the park, not huddled up in your RV. Sixteen of the electric sites are available for reservations, so if you want to ensure your spot, it is recommended to make a reservation before arriving. Most campsites can handle RVs up to 50 feet long but there are a few that are over 60 feet long. You’ll be glad to know that your furbabies can join you at the campsite as long as you keep them restrained and under control.
After Labor Day, the campsites at Cokeley Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis until October 31st, when the campground closes for the season. But they usually stay pretty busy on weekends, so your best bet of getting a site without a reservation would be to go during the week. During the rest of the year when the campground is open, it is even harder to get a site without a previous reservation.
Ten of the electric sites and all of the non-electric sites in River Run Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so you may still be able to get a site without a reservation. Reservations can only be made for sites from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and then after Labor Day all sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. In this case, River Run Campground is open through Thanksgiving.
If you want to stay indoors this trip or just feel like being pampered, try one of the nine cabins located on the ridge of the white pine forest in North Bend State Park. You can even find a few that your furbaby can enjoy with you. The solid cedar cabins are open and available for reservation all year long. The vacation cabins come in two, three, and four-bedroom units, so you can find one that suits your family or group size.
Each of the cabins has a full kitchen with appliances, beds with bedding, and full restrooms. The living rooms have cozy furniture and a dining table that seats six to eight guests. You will also enjoy the fireplace, central air, and heat so you can be comfortable no matter what the weather. If you would rather cook outdoors, there is a grill right outside for your convenience. They even have phones, cable television, and free wi-fi, so you won’t be totally off the grid.
For an even more posh stay, park the rig and check out the North Bend State Park Lodge on top of a lovely ridge where you can get a beautiful view of the river below. Whether you are on your own or have a group of up to five people with you, there are 29 rooms to choose from at this cedar lodge. The standard rooms have a king bed for two or three, two double beds for four, and a queen and double that can sleep five. The lodge also has a few suites with two queen beds and a sofa bed that can sleep up to six.
Every room has a private bathroom, a table and chairs, wi-fi, and cable television. You can also find a coffee pot, linens, towels, and other extras. While you are there you can enjoy a day at the outdoor pool, hike the North Bend Rail Trail, play some miniature golf, or take in some fishing and boating at the river nearby. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance. Pets are not allowed in the lodge so Fido will have to stay home for this one.
Although most of the trails are not suitable for horseback riding, the longest and arguably the most peaceful trail, the North Bend Trail, is perfect for horseback riding. The massive trail stretches for 72 miles along the West Virginia countryside and there's no better way to explore it than on horseback. Experienced riders may choose to explore the trail on their own, but guides are also available to help you along your journey. If you're hauling your horse trailer to the state park, this is the place for you!
Dozens of miles of trails are available at North Bend State Park, most of which are suitable for both hiking and biking. Some of the trails are a little trickier than others, which can be exciting for avid bikers or hikers looking for a challenge, but not so good for families with small children. However, there are plenty of trails with easier, more level terrain where families can enjoy leisurely strolls while soaking up nature’s sights and sounds. A good family-friendly trail is the interpretive Extra Mile Trail or the Giant Tree Hill. Mountain bikers will love the three-mile Ten Acre Trail.
Looking for a modern-day treasure hunt? Geocaching can be a great way to spend a day as a family. Three separate caches are hidden throughout the park just waiting to be found, and even more are hidden on the nearby Rail Trail. You can get more info about where to find the caches by checking the geocaching website. Whether you are just looking for a good adventure or a way to entertain the kids, geocaching can be enjoyed by anyone, year-round.
After purchasing your West Virginia fishing license, you can head out to the fishing pier, where there is plenty of room for anglers of all ages and skill levels to test your luck. Common catches at North Bend State Park include crappie, musky, catfish, and bass. Big catches are not uncommon at North Bend State Park, making it the perfect place to try to break your personal record. Just as long as you don't get distracted by all of the beautiful scenery around you. Be sure to bring some sun protection like sunblock, hat, and sunglasses.
During the spring and summer months, various interpretive nature programs are available on a daily basis. The programs can be a fun way for visitors of all ages to learn about the history of the park and the wildlife that lives in it. The programs teach various skills including plant and animal identification and useful survival skills. If you feel like you've run out of things to do, you're not sure what to do next, or you're just eager to learn, these programs are perfect for you. This is an excellent way to learn about the great outdoors during your RV adventure to West Virginia.
The North Bend Quest is the ultimate way to experience North Bend State Park, but it'll cost you a little extra money. Still, the quest allows you to build your own adventure and experience the park exactly how you want. You can choose from a ton of fun activities including rock climbing, kayaking, yoga, guided nature walks, and backpacking, and it is all catered to your wants and needs. The quest includes a guide to help you along your journey and is many visitors' favorite way to experience the park.