Gov. Jim Justice announced earlier this week that campers in West Virginia can now reserve campsites online before they set out for the woods, thanks to an upgraded reservation system.
“Our state parks and forests are a cornerstone of West Virginia’s tourism industry and improving the way people plan their trip is going to make visiting Almost Heaven that much more of a memorable experience,” Gov. Justice said today during an announcement event at Audra State Park. Additionally, the governor announced that $3.5 million in campground upgrades will soon be invested at 16 state parks and forests.
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.
“Camping is one of the most popular activities at state parks and forests, so making all campsites reservable on the parks website simplifies the reservation process for our guests,” said Sam England, chief of the West Virginia State Parks system. “The new, paperless process makes it easier for guests to plan a family trip filled with good times and fond memories.”
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.
“Many of our guests enjoy camping at the same park each year, so we’re excited to give them a new way to plan and enjoy their vacation,” England said. “Offering online reservations also opens up our beautiful parks and forests to a new generation of visitors, who will soon come to love a favorite park or forest of their own.”
All picnic shelters in the park system are also now available for reservation online.
Meanwhile, the multi-million dollar campground upgrade projects range from bathhouse improvements 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.
“What we really hope to see from bringing all these sites online is more folks learning about our beautiful campgrounds and planning trips here,” Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby said. “Allowing potential visitors to see availability online will make us much more accessible to a whole new set of campers.”
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.