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Should you be searching for a state park in West Virginia with a little more pizazz, look no further than North Bend State Park. Tucked away into the Ohio Valley Region of West Virginia, this state park offers all the usual boating, fishing and hiking activities, with the added extras of caving, geocaching, and ATV riding. Stretching across the northern fork of the Hughes River, adventure seekers have been camping at North Bend State Park since it opened in 1951 and continue to do so in huge numbers today.
Sitting just a few miles south of Highway 50, this well-connected lake is just an hours drive from Parkersburg and Clarksburg, and less than two hours from the bright lights of Morgantown. The myriad of well-facilitated campsites located within the park, along with its huge range of activities means you can book an RV in Ritchie County and easily while away a two week holiday in North Bend State Park.
Enveloped on three sides by a huge bend in the North Fork Hughes River, there’s no doubt you’ll be spending some time on the water during your North Bend State Park camping trip. Anyone motorhome camping with their own boat in tow should head to either the boat launch ramp or canoe launch to access the waters. Rental kayaks, canoes, and other non-motorized vessels are also available at the North Bend Outfitters. Remember to pack your fishing tackle in your day bag, as bass, crappie, and muskie are all up for grabs in these fruitful waters. If you’d rather fish from the shoreline, this is possible too, either from your own hidden spot or from the ADA-accessible fishing pier. Just remember to grab a fishing and boating license from the park office before you start your day.
Whether you prefer jumping on a nifty set of wheels or traveling by your own two feet, more than 50 miles of multi-use trails run through the park. Keen hikers RV camping at North Bend State Park will find fourteen different trails to choose from catering to a variety of ability levels, while bikers have the freedom of tackling the North Bend Rail Trail. Stretching for 72 miles, this trail has little incline and is perfect for a family day out on the bikes. Why not make your adventures a little more exciting and try your hand at geocaching? Three cache sites sit inside the park, and a further four are hidden along the biking rail-trail, ready to be discovered. Just remember to take a little something with you to replace whatever treasures you find.
If you’re stuck for time and want to experience the best of North Bend State Park, consider signing up for the Quest Program. At an additional cost, this program will set you and your mates up with a personal guide who can custom build an itinerary just for you. Choose between rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, backcountry camping, yoga, nature interpretation walks, and so much more. Quests can be overnight or just a day-time adventure. It’s completely up to you!
When you have an RV rental near North Bend State Park, you’ll find two places to park up in the state park itself: River Run Campground and Cokeley Campground. Both campsites are open from spring through to fall, although exact dates will vary from year to year and depend on the weather. As well as advanced reservations, the campgrounds accept walk-ins but do note that there is a 14-day stay maximum and 2-day stay minimum at the weekends.
Should you choose to park your RV rental up in River Run Campground, you’ll have the choice of 50 sites, just over half of which enjoy electric hookups. Potable water stations and well-maintained washrooms mean having no water hookups isn’t a problem here. Consider staying here if when you prefer to have easy access to the river as well as nearby walking trails.
Alternatively, choose the smaller, 28-site Cokeley Campground. With a selection of more private campgrounds, this is great for those who prefer a private spot. Perks of this campground include water and electricity hookups at every site, a number of ADA-accessible pitches, and close proximity to the fishing pier and boat launch.
When you rent a camper near North Bend State Park, you’ll be around a 40-minute drive from Parkersburg, a small riverside town with a few notable attractions.
Parkersburg’s Oil and Gas Museum takes visitors back to the 16th century when both of these natural products were discovered for the first time in West Virginia. Benefitting greatly from these discoveries, the community of Parkersburg commissioned this museum to celebrate the industries and the rewards they have bought to the state. Discover age-old machinery used to extract the valuable elements and learn about the intriguing past of these industries.
It's hard to miss the Julia-Ann Square Historic District while walking around Parkersburg. Characterized by Victorian architecture, over 126 homes that were built between 1875 and 1915 have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While most of these properties are residential and therefore not open to the public, there are several times throughout the year when five, or so, of the houses are opened for public viewing.
The Parkersburg Art Center is another worthwhile stop-off while in town. Besides providing a platform for local artists to display and even sell their artwork, the center organizes family-friendly workshops designed to inspire creativity in everyone. The establishment spans across six different buildings around town, and it's well worth checking out the schedule of all of them during your visit.