Kanawha State Forest RV & Campground Guide

West Virginia

The land now known as Kanawha State Forest was once an extensive mining and logging site, but since 1993, it has been designated and listed as a historical place. The 9,300-acre forest consists of mature white oaks, shagbark hickory, northern red oaks, and bitternut hickory. Tourists generally see old eastern hemlocks in the moister coves and riparian areas. This place is a popular destination for outdoor recreation with its natural beauty of the Kanawha River, woodland forest, and fresh greenery. The forest is just seven miles south of Charleston, West Virginia, and 19.4 miles southwest of Elkview.

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Spring 35-75 F
Summer 62-85 F
Fall 37-78 F
Winter 26-47 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Kanawha State Forest

If you want to have a wonderful camping experience on your upcoming trip to Kanawha State Forest, you may want to look into renting an RV. A recreational vehicle will allow you to have personal living space, a comfortable mattress to sleep on, and bathroom privacy. On RVshare's peer-to-peer platform, you can select an RV near you or one that's parked within the vicinity of your destination. 

Lazy K’s Campground

Lazy K’s Campground offers tent, cabin, and seasonal RV sites for outdoor enthusiast. Most of the RV sites offer electric and sewer hookups. The campground has a central freshwater fill station and dump station as well. This pet-friendly camp is surrounded by acres of wildlife and solitude and just minutes from Interstate 79. You can go biking, hiking, fishing, canoeing, or ATV/UTV riding on the 20- to 80-mile trail along the beautiful Appalachians at Lazy K's.

Little Coal River Campground

Little Coal River Campground is along the banks of Little Coal River. It offers 17 RV sites with water, sewer, and electric hookups. Pets are welcome here. Free Wi-Fi, a bathhouse, a laundry facility, and vending machines are available. The campground is within walking distance of Water Ways, West Virginia's water park, and near the Water Trail, South Charleston Memorial Arena, and Clay Center.

Big Earl’s Campground

Big Earl’s Campground is equipped with 14 RV hooks with water, electric, and sewer hookups. This pet-friendly campground offers direct access to Little Coal River and the Little Coal River Trail. Visitors generally enjoy fishing, mountain biking, canoeing, hiking, four-wheeling, and relaxing at Big Earl. A shower house, laundry facility, and restrooms are located on the grounds.

RV Rentals Near Kanawha State Forest

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Kanawha State Forest

Inside Kanawha State Forest

Inside Kanawha State Forest, you can take a swim in the pool or go fishing at the 2-acre Ellison Pond, which is well stocked with trout, bluegill, and bass. More than 25 miles of trails challenge even the most athletic person, including the Polly Trail, which runs up Polly Hollow and merges into Wildcat Ridge Trail. The Wildcat Ridge Trail is two miles long and ideal for mountain biking. These trails are suitable for wildlife observation, bird-watching, and geocaching. With the state park being open during the winter months, many tourists tend to enjoy cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing. 

Outside Kanawha State Forest

After you've had time to relax and explore the area inside the state forest, it's time to see the sights just outside of Kanawha State Forest. You'll have lots of places to have a homecooked meal and shop for those must-have items. Learn the history of the cities surrounding the state park through the museums and historical places. 


1010 Bridge Restaurant and Catering

1010 Bridge Restaurant and Catering is the ideal place to fill up on slow-roasted pork belly, salmon, chicken, and many other delicious foods. Top your evening meal off with a craft cocktail or glass of wine. Catering services are made available here.

Type: American

Location: 1010 Bridge Road, Charleston, WV 25314

Hale House

Hale House is a bourbon style bistro that uses many locally sourced products. The restaurant serves rare bourbons, fine wines, craft cocktails, and local craft beers with a delicious food plate.

Type: American

Location: 212 Hale Street, Charleston, WV 25314

China Buffet

You can taste the hearty, sweet, and savory flavors that your taste buds are craving at China Buffet. The never-ending selection of real authentic Chinese foods allows you to eat as much as you want.

Type: Chinese

Location: 5707 MacCorkle Avenue Southeast, Charleston, WV 25304

Rio De Grill Brazilian Steakhouse

Rio De Grill Brazilian Steakhouse not only serves delicious steak the way you like it, but they also offer amazing pasta, ribs, pork loin, and shrimp. Top your meats with their exotic sauce flavors.

Type: Brazilian

Location: 3600 MacCorkle Avenue Southeast, Charleston, WV 25304

Noah's Restaurant & Lounge

Noah's Restaurant & Lounge offers a comfortable dining room experience with a full bar option. The chef cooks up foods with the freshest of ingredients that burst your senses into action.

Type: American

Location: 129 Summers Street, Charleston, WV 25301


The Shops at Kanawha

The Shops at Kanawha is the ideal place to shop, get your nails done, have a snack, or makeover. After you've gotten all your retail shopping done, you can sit down at one of the restaurants for a delicious homecooked meal.

Location: 5707 MacCorkle Avenue Southeast, Charleston, WV 25304

Charleston Towne Center

Charleston Towne Center is another great shopping area near the state park. You can expect to have access to restaurants, retail shops, and cellular services.

Location: 3000 Charleston Town Center, Charleston, WV 25389

Charlie Boutique

Charlie Boutique is a unique store that offers candles, personal care items for women, and jewelry. The store has a wide range of women's clothing styles and detailed accessories to enhance any outfit.

Location: 1006 Bridge Road, Charleston, WV 25314


Kroger is just about 10 miles from the state forest, making it the ideal place to pick up some snacks, beverages, and other grocery items. A pharmacy, gas station, propane, and ATM are available on-site.

Location: 1100 Fledderjohn Road, Charleston, WV 25314

Zegeer Do it Best Hardware

Zegeer Do it Best Hardware is the perfect place to pick up some nuts and bolts or other essentials needed to fix a small leak in your RV. You can expect great service, competitive pricing, and high-quality products at this hardware store.

Location: 1421 Washington Street East, Charleston, WV 25301


West Virginia State Museum

West Virginia State Museum has collected, preserved, and presented for 125 years. You'll see displays of culture, paleontology, geology, archaeology, and other interesting art. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with free admission.

Location: 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, Charleston, WV 25305

Avampato Discovery Museum

Avampato Discovery Museum provides an exploratory gallery filled with exhibits from all over the country. There are three floors of hands-on exhibits featuring non-stop fun for the whole family. With the many stations displayed throughout the museum, your child can learn about the science of sound, splash around in Waterworks, or climb high on the climbing sculptures.

Location: One Clay Square, Charleston, WV 25301

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Let go and jump in the air on one of the wall-to-wall trampolines at Sky Zone Trampoline Park. Challenge yourself to see how many flips you can do or how high you can jump. All jumpers or their guardians are required to sign a waiver before they are permitted on the trampolines.

Location: 500 Southridge Boulevard, Charleston, WV 25309

Locked & Coded Escape Rooms

Worked together to try and escape from one of the five different rooms inside of Locked & Coded Escape Rooms. The five rooms are Dead Line, Jail Break, Drone Down, The Inheritance, and Wicked Cavern. Each room has different situations and clues to help solve the puzzle. When you get to the bottom of the clues and start piecing it together, you get one step closer to escaping your doom.

Location: 222 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25301

Craik-Patton House

Craik-Patton House was built in 1854 by James Craik and later sold to George Smith Patton in 1858. The Patton family stayed living at the house until after the Civil War. To learn more about this historical place, you can take a guided tour through the house where you'll learn about its history.

Location: 2809 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25311

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How to Get to
Kanawha State Forest

From Charlestown, West Virginia, head southwest on Dickinson Street toward Quarrier Street, you'll continue forward onto South Side Bridge. Make a left onto Loudon Heights Road travel for about two miles. Take a right onto Connell Road and go approximately two miles. Turn left onto Kanawha State Forest Drive and follow signs to the Kanawha State Park.

Entering Kanawha State Forest

Kanawha State Forest is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Kanawha State Forest Entry fee : $0.0

You'll make memories that last a lifetime when you take an RV adventure to Kanawha State Forest. If you don't have an RV of your own, rent one with RVshare! If you share your trip photos on social media, be sure to tag us, or send them to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kanawha State Forest

What is the best time of year to visit Kanawha State Forest?

The best time of year to visit Kanawha State Forest is from September to the end of October. The fall colors will be on display, and the weather is mild. Daytime temperatures range from the high 70s to upper 60s.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Kanawha State Forest?

Bird watchers can spot cardinals, hawks, and wood warblers. Deer are plentiful, and two species of endangered bats are in the abandoned coal mines in the park. Hikers and mountain bikers should be on the lookout for bears and bobcats.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Kanawha State Forest?

There are 46 RV camping sites at Kanawha State Forest for motorhomes or trailers and tow vehicles that are no longer than 26 feet combined. The park supplies water and electricity to 25 of the sites.

Are pets allowed at Kanawha State Forest?

Dogs and cats are allowed. They must be on a leash or in a portable kennel. The animals should have their vaccinations and be adequately tagged with an ID or chipped.

Is Kanawha State Forest accessible for disabled visitors?

There are a few accessible features at Kanawha State Forest. The playground has a wheelchair platform swing and some rubber walkways. The Spotted Salamander Trail is paved and level, and there are interpretative braille signs along this quarter-mile path.