For campers who want distance from the bustle of the city and crowded tourist destinations, Seneca Rocks in West Virginia offers a reprieve. The area features rugged outdoors unspoiled by highways and fast-food restaurants. Along with fishing, hiking, rock-climbing and even spelunking, there are four different camping options, varied according to how rugged you want to get.
A state park flanked on two sides by mountain ranges, Seneca Shadows (recreation.gov) offers camping opportunities to visitors from April through October. Some activities offered at the facility include canoeing, fishing, rock-climbing and kayaking. The park also features comfort stations and firewood for sale throughout the facility. There are certain restrictions for campers, with quiet hours from 10 pm to 6 am, an extra charge for more than two vehicles at a site, and a tent size restriction of 13 by 14 feet or smaller. Rates in 2011 ranged from $13 to $60 a night, depending on size of site and electric hookup.
Located off route 55, Yokum's Vacationland (yokum.com) offers a wide range of different camping options, from tents to cabins and even a full-service motel. For the less outdoorsy, the motel area has both a heated indoor pool and a full-service restaurant nearby. Cabins come fully furnished and some even have Jacuzzis, though they could run upward of $200 a night as of 2011. For those who still want to sleep on the ground, Yokum's offers sites for to set up your own tents, and even an American Indian-themed camping area with pre-assembled wigwams.
Located especially close to the caverns of Seneca Rocks, Smoke Hole Resort (smokehole.com) features multiple ways to stay on property, all of which are fairly tame. Though a motel is available on-site, the property also features rustic cabins and cottages complete with full kitchens and wireless Internet. For those who want more of a camping feel but still want the comfort of home, Smoke Hole also features RV and camper lots with full water, electric and septic hookup. Campfire pits and picnic tables are available for those who want to spend as much time under the stars as possible. Rates for RVs averaged $35 a night in 2011, and tent camping is not allowed at Smoke Hole.
Monongahela National Forest
For the truly experienced camper, a place to pitch a tent apart from commercial campgrounds and resorts might be the ideal, and Seneca Rocks also offers this possibility. Within the Monongahela National Forest (fs.usda.gov) that surrounds Seneca Rocks, visitors are allowed to stay at not only a few designated campgrounds but also at dispersed campgrounds scattered at sites throughout the wilderness. These campgrounds offer more isolation and solitude in nature than the commercial sites, and cost only about $5 to $20 a night as of 2011.
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