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West Virginia is a truly underrated RV camping destination; chock-full of outdoor adventure, cute towns, and easy-to-navigate roadways, it’s an excellent place to explore. While there are plenty of interesting places to camp in the state’s Appalachian Mountains, one of the best is Mountain Lake Campground, in the Summersville Lake region.
All of the campsites at Mountain Lake Campground come with full hookups for your RV rental, along with a picnic table and fire pit. There’s also a bathhouse with hot showers and laundry facilities to keep your clothes clean. If you get hungry, there are pizza and ice cream shops at the campground and a small store where you can pick up snacks and essential groceries. If you need some help getting around the expansive campground facilities, golf carts are available for rent for a small fee. Additionally, if you’re looking for a pet-friendly campground near Summersville Lake, this place is one of the best.
Just as important, though, is that Mountain Lake Campground is well connected with the rest of West Virginia’s top tourist attractions. A quick drive down Highway 19 will have you marveling at the New River Gorge Bridge, one of the longest single-span arch bridges in the world. When you're ready for retail therapy and good food, head north to the quaint little town of Summersville. Even the capital city of Charleston is only a 90-minute drive from the campground.
The most obvious place to start your outdoor adventures is Summersville Lake; the 2,700-acre reservoir dominates the landscape and is steps from the campground. With a depth of over 300 feet, the lake has great potential for scuba diving; there’s even a dive shop at the lake’s marina that can hook you up with all the necessary gear. While most of the rivers east of the Mississippi are a bit murky, to say the least, Summersville Lake is quite clear for a cold freshwater lake.
Those hoping for a scenic adventure when getting a rental motorhome near Mountain Lake Campground should check out the Midland Trail, the section of Route 60 that runs between the capital of Charleston and the town of Sam Black Church. The highway was once a major thoroughfare, crossing some of the most rugged terrains in the state and winding its way through many tight switchbacks. But with the arrival in the interstate in the late '80s, most of that traffic was alleviated, leaving the Midland Trail to nature lovers enjoying the journey at a much slower pace.
Thrill-seekers will also not be disappointed when camping at Mountain Lake Campground. The New River Gorge is perhaps the best spot for whitewater kayaking and rafting on the eastern seaboard. Designated as a National River for its rugged beauty and fantastic recreation potential, with the best rapids located close to the campground between Cunard and Fayetteville. If you feel like getting wet and having a great time doing it, look for outfitters in Fayetteville that can get you set up with equipment or a guided trip.
One of the closest towns to check out when you get an RV rental near Mountain Lake Campground is Summersville, in Nicholas County. It’s got retail chain stores, a few grocery stores, and several convenience stores where you can stock up on food and supplies. If you don’t feel like cooking back at the RV campground, there are several fast-food chains on its southern end, and some more unique options up north, like sushi, authentic Mexican, and some classic Southern biscuits and gravy.
If you’re looking for some genuine West Virginia cuisine, though, you can’t go wrong with a pepperoni roll - the official state food. There’s also the Nicholas County Potato Festival, which happens each year over the first weekend of September, complete with amusement park rides, live music, delicious food, a cornhole tournament, and family sack races.
A slightly more urban vibe can be felt in the town of Fayetteville, about half an hour's drive southwest of the campground. It’s popular with adventure enthusiasts as the nearby New River Gorge National River has some of the best whitewater rafting in the state. A couple of beer bars and breweries grace its downtown area, making it one of the better places to hit up if you need a hoppy IPA when you book a camper rental near Mountain Lake Campground. For some culture, there’s the Historic Fayetteville Theater, which puts on some amazing plays with local actors and directors.