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Bluestone National Scenic River is a nature preserve near Princeton, West Virginia. The preserve protects several miles of the Bluestone River in the southern Appalachian mountains. The property includes the river and the riverbanks on either side, plus forested areas extending back from the river. With an RV rental near the Bluestone National River, you can easily reach the river's best features. There are clearly marked hiking paths along the water which you can explore on your own, or you can join a ranger-led guided tour of the river.
On your journey, you'll have a chance to spot some of the preserve's wildlife population. Approximately 200 bird species have been identified in the park along with scores of amphibian, reptile, and mammal species. Camping near the Bluestone National Scenic River means you can use your RV as a nature observation blind while enjoying its creature comforts. You can come here to hike the trails, fish in the river, or take a kayak or canoe trip downstream. It's also a perfect spot for picnic and nature photography.
Beyond the banks of the Bluestone River, there are several natural areas to explore. The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests can be accessed near Roanoke, under two hours' drive from Princeton. This sprawling spread of outdoor recreation area and wildlife preserve was designed to protect the plant life and animal life of the region. It's a vast area with miles upon miles of rivers, creeks, and hiking trails; this includes the Appalachian Trail, which passes through the forest. There is an abundance of activities you can enjoy here, such as hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. Photography, bird watching, and camping are popular pastimes in the forest as well.
Take a multi-day trip to Shenandoah National Park, a huge nature preserve with an auto-tour route through the middle of it. This 200,000 park is a scenic three-hour drive from Princeton. As you wind your way through the park's trails, and there are hundreds of miles of them, you will be exposed to exquisite vistas featuring serene wooded hollows, cascading waterfalls, and everything in between. If the views alone aren't enough, the park has educational activities suitable for visitors of all ages.
Monongahela National Forest three hours' drive north of Princeton. It's a multi-use working forest that provides resources to local communities, a refuge for local wildlife, and recreational opportunities for the public. The forest is ecologically diverse and home to dozens of tree species and hundreds of bird species, some of which are endangered. The forest has backwoods roads and trails that are perfect for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding.
There are several campgrounds and RV parks near the Bluestone National Scenic River. Pipestem RV Park & Campground is a family-friendly, full-service RV campground in Pipestem, just 20 miles north of Princeton. The park offers laundry facilities and a convenience store with ice, propane, and firewood. There's a playground for younger children, and the campground is a short distance from all the fishing, hiking, and kayaking you could ever hope to enjoy. Each of the campsites has full hookups, WiFi access, and cable TV connections. Sites can be rented by the day, week, or month.
Berry's Campground is a family-friendly RV campground near the New River Gorge National River. The campground is semi-rustic with restrooms and showers, and each campsite has water and 30 amp electric hookups, picnic tables, and permanent fire pits. There is a dump station where you can empty your RV tanks. All of this is located right at the edge of the New River, where you can swim, tube, or fish.
While you're camping near the Bluestone National Scenic River, consider exploring some of the nearby cities. Bluefield is a midsize city that was founded on the coal trade, and as a result, attracted the attention of Adolf Hitler, who planned airstrikes against it. Today it is a quiet, friendly community with shopping, bowling alleys, an antique mall, and art stores. If you stop here for a meal, you can grab something quick at one of the buffet-style venues, or go all out and make an evening of it at a Mexican or Italian restaurant.
Peterstown is 20 miles east of Princeton. It's a small town with a lottery store with some casino-style slot machines. You can stop here for a meal as well. Most of the restaurants serve the usual American-style cuisine, and there are also a Mexican restaurant and a few Italian venues and pizzerias.