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Kanawha State Forest, Charleston

#7 of 26 in Things to do in Charleston
Forest · Hidden Gem · State Park
Kanawha State Forest is a 9,300-acre (38 km2) recreation area located near the community of Loudendale, West Virginia, which is about 7 miles (11 km) from downtown Charleston, West Virginia, United States. It is managed by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

While still classified as a "state forest", the West Virginia Legislature has directed that the facility be managed as a state park.

The Davis Creek Road entrance to Kanawha State Forest is located at 38°16′53″N 81°38′30″W (38.28133, -81.64169).
Recreational facilities include overnight camping, picnicking, hiking, a public shooting-range, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and a swimming pool and playground. Several geocaches are located in the forest.
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Kanawha State Forest reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
136 reviews
  • We love taking our Jayco to this park ! The ranger, Steve Roberts, is a super nice guy and always so helpful.  more »
  • Peace, serenity, plenty room for social distancing and enjoying the great outdoors. Lovely drives through the park, and nice to park and hike along the way. Creeks, small (this time of year...  more »
  • Quiet and peaceful. Trails are awesome, but make sure you get a map because you can get lost in them. During a busy weekend though this place is full and the sites are to close. The staff drives around and sells ice and fire wood for cheaper than I paid in the store. I will be back :)
  • Beautiful and well-maintained park. It would be at least a 4-star, but the roads are narrow and the tree limbs need cutting back for our Class A motorhome. I wouldn't complain, but the reservation website said our pull-through site would fit a 38' max RV. We're 36', but when we arrived at site 22, it looked like a cat track path cut into the hillside with about 10' of semi-level at the top. It was too narrow and dangerous for us to attempt. Fortunately, there were several other beautiful, level sites available, so we spent a wonderfully comfortable night camped alongside the creek. Budget has been approved to add 50-amp service and improve access to the park within 3 years, so by about summer of 2022. But until that's done, I recommend staying out of this park in anything over a 30' RV, unless you are very brave. Warning: If your GPS tells you to take the road to the park with signs warning "Not Suitable for Big Trucks," PAY ATTENTION. There's another, easier, safer route in from the north. It still is a little hair-raising in a large RV, but it's a whole lot better than the "no big trucks" road we took! So take your time, drive smart, and you'll be rewarded with a beautiful and peaceful campground.

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