In the hills of southern West Virginia, a surprise awaits.
Up a narrow hollow, just upstream from a scenic waterfall, people camp out with their horses. From there they fan out and ride 27 miles of marked equestrian trails into remote backcountry.
According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Frank Ratcliffe, superintendent at Camp Creek State Park and Forest, said the park’s horse-themed campground has become a popular destination for horse enthusiasts.
“We’ve had horse-camping guests from as far away as Canada,” Ratcliffe said. “Located where we are, just a couple of miles off Interstate 77, we get a lot of people from Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio.”
The attraction, he said, is that the park is easy to get to.
“People get off the Interstate and they’re here in 5 minutes,” he continued. “They don’t need to drive on narrow, twisting mountain roads, which is a serious consideration when you’re pulling a horse trailer.”
Once campers arrive, they find a facility — the Double C Horse and Rider Campground — that caters specifically to their needs.
The camping is rustic; most campers stay in trailers or RVs, but there are no electrical hookups. Potable water comes from a “water buffalo” supplied by park officials. Outhouses serve as bathroom facilities. The nearest shower house is in the park’s modern campground, a mile or so away. Each site has a cooking grill and a picnic table.
The campground stays open from April through October. Two-, four- or six-horse sites are available. The base cost, for two campers and two horses, is $22 a night.
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