AP NEWS

WV’s new online camp reservations are popular

May 4, 2019

The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON - Camping is one of the most popular activities in West Virginia’s world-class state park system, but campers have historically had to go to great lengths to make sure they’ll have a site or take their chances on busy weekends.

Now campers can easily select a site on their smartphones, tablets, or computers in advance of their trip and be assured it will be available when they arrive.

At an event last week at Audra State Park, it was announced that campers are able to reserve campsites online at www.wvstateparks.com before they set out for the woods.

“In the first three days, more than 4,500 guest nights have been booked through the site,” said Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. “We have received reservations from 26 states including California, Wyoming and Washington and outside the U.S. from Ontario, Canada.”

The demand for camping at some parks is so high that State Parks has long used a system of mail-in reservations. That system will be phased out after the 2019 season, but existing mail-in reservations will be honored. Phone reservations are still available, and walk-in reservations will still be allowed subject to availability. Campers are encouraged to make a reservation at least one day in advance. All picnic shelters in the park system are also now available for reservation online.

Additionally, it was announced that $3.5 million in campground upgrades will soon be invested at 16 state parks and forests. Campground projects range from bathhouse upgrades to electrical improvements at the following parks and forests: Audra, Babcock, Beech Fork, Blackwater Falls, Bluestone, Cabwaylingo, Camp Creek, Cedar Creek, Chief Logan, Coopers Rock, Holly River, Kanawha, Moncove Lake, Twin Falls, Tygart and Watoga.

West Virginia’s state parks and forests are visited by more than 7 million people each year who enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities, like hiking, fishing and other exciting outdoor adventures, like the new Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour at Pipestem Resort.

n All campsites and picnic shelters will be available for reservation one year in advance, beginning on the first day of the month for that month.

n Advance reservations for campsites are encouraged; however, walk-ins will still be welcome, pending availability. Campers arriving at the park without an advance reservation can inquire about available sites by going online, calling 1-833-WVPARKS, or stopping by a designated check-in station or park office.

n Existing mail-in and over-the-phone reservations have already been entered into the new system and will be honored for the 2019 season. Confirmation letters have been mailed, but guests can also confirm their reservations by calling 1-833-WVPARKS.

n If a cancellation is made within 60 days of a visit, a credit toward a future stay will be issued. Cancellations made within one week are non-refundable.

To make a reservation or explore availability for campsites, cabins and lodge rooms at any West Virginia state park or forest, visit wvstateparks.com.