Panther State Forest
Guide

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Introduction

Tucked away within Virginia’s southernmost state forest, Panther State Forest is a nature lover’s dream! Surrounded by 7,810 acres of wooded park on the border of West Virginia and Kentucky, the secluded camping park is a favorite among tent and RV campers.

Set along the banks of the tranquil Panther Creek, the wooded park is an idyllic spot to get outdoors. Outdoor recreation is the focus here with opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking, swimming and hunting.

A small campground offers just six basic campsites with electric hookups only. Families will enjoy the great facilities, including miles and miles of hiking and biking trails, a swimming pool, children’s playground, and volleyball and basketball courts.

RV Rentals in Panther State Forest

Transportation in Panther State Forest

Driving

The turn-off for Panther State Forest can be found off Route 52 on the southern border of West Virginia. Tucked within a dense forest, you will need to keep a constant lookout for low-hanging branches, particularly if you’re travelling in a large rig.

Once you’ve set up camp, you can get around on foot or bicycle along the park’s many hiking and biking trails.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Panther State Forest

Campsites in Panther State Forest

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Family Campground

The family campground at Panther State Forest consists of six partial hookup campsites along the banks of Panther Creek for tents and RVs. The sites have electrical hookups, picnic tables and fire pits with water available at the park office (two and a half miles from the campground). Pit toilets and a well hand-pump are available.

There is also a group camp with a 60-sleeper barracks-style house and a main building with kitchen and banquet area. It also has an open field, volleyball and basketball court, and a fire pit.

Campsites can be reserved in advance from Memorial Day weekend through to Labor Day weekend. Outside of those times, campsites are available on a first come, first served basis.

Seasonal activities in Panther State Forest

In-Season

Hiking

Panther State Forest is a hiker’s dream with miles and miles of interconnected trails leading through the forest. Most of the trails range from moderate to difficult. Take your pick of the 0.75-mile Overlook and Twin Rocks trails, the 1.7-mile Drift Trail or the 20 mile Loop Trail. You can pick up a hiking trail guide from the park office before you leave.

Picnics

On a warm summer’s day, Panther State Forest is a popular picnic spot. There are six shelters available that can be reserved in advance and you can make use of a variety of facilities, including picnic tables and fire pits. Some of them even have access to a children’s playground and volleyball court.

Swimming

The swimming pool at Panther State Forest is a great place to spend a summer’s day. Surrounded by trees, it offers a large pool for adults as well as a wading pool for little ones. The swimming pool is open from Memorial Day weekend through to Labor Day. Evening pool rentals are available on request.

Off-Season

Fishing

Panther State Forest is a fisherman’s playground in the spring with all sorts of fresh trout to be found along a four-mile section of Panther Creek. Please note that you will need a fishing license and stamps to fish at Panther State Forest, but these can be purchased easily online.

Biking

Explore the winding forest trails of Panther State Forest on two wheels! Biking is permitted on any of the hiking trails so bring your mountain bike along for an adventure. Not sure where to go? Trail maps are available at the park office.

Hunting

Panther State Forest is a popular hunting spot for hunting deer, squirrel, wild turkey and grouse. Please note that hunting is not permitted in designated safety zones, including in and around the campground. You will also require a West Virginia hunting license which can be purchased online in advance.

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