9 most amazing places to sleep in WV
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in West Virginia’s nature than falling asleep among the trees and under the stars. Want to get a taste of the Wild & Wonderful— with just a touch less wild? There are plenty of amazing places to sleep that don’t involve the ground and a sleeping bag.
Here are 9 spectacular and unique places to curl up and say good night:
1. Sleep under the stars— sort of
The Barn Loft in Fayetteville is “an upgrade from camping on the ground”— and what a beautiful upgrade it is. Situated behind a main house minutes from the New River Gorge National Park, it is the perfect place for a relaxing couples retreat or to rest after a day of outdoor exploring. The cozy hideaway, tucked into the top floor of a red barn, boasts a full-size bed, a chest, a nightstand and a kitchen table for 4.
Charming touches include globe string lights inside and out, comfy white bedding and a sheer mosquito net draping the bed. A second-floor swinging door is the perfect place to dangle your feet out and stargaze. Enjoy the comfort of indoor plumbing (bathrooms are located in the main house) and a roof over your head as you fall asleep to the sound of crickets and wake up to sun beaming through rustic wooden slats.
2. This converted fire tower is a cabin 53 feet in the sky
6 years of renovations have turned a once dilapidated fire tower into a home among the treeline. The Thorny Mountain fire tower, perched atop a ridge in Pocahontas County’s Seneca State Forest, was used as a lookout for wildfires for decades. Now, its slatted wooden steps lead to a unique shelter for adventurous overnighters— the only one like it east of the Mississippi.
The 14-by-14-foot space contains 2 small cots, a wooden chair and a table. There is more window space than wall space, offering a stunning 360-degree view of Cheat Mountain and Green Bank, and little privacy from wildlife in the trees. A wooden catwalk on all 4 sides of the structure serves as guests’ personal deck. While there is no running water or electricity in the rustic tower, there is a pit toilet at the bottom.
3. Stay in a renovated school bus
Minutes from Elkins lies a tranquil and sprawling farm oasis, Pegasus Farms. Visitors often rave about the downhome hospitality of onsite owners, Mark and Bonnie, who basically allow campers to borrow their farm. A site at Pegasus Farms comes with giant sunflowers fields, vegetable gardens, a grass maze, creek fishing, pond fishing, horses, an orchard and a couple resident pets. Though the farm has hosted the High Land Jam music festival for 14 years straight, mandolins and harmonicas can be heard coming from the Hospitality Barn any given night.
Tent and RV sites abound, but the most unique overnight options are renovated buses. Choose between Zen 1 or Zen 3, a brightly painted and renovated school bus and the “Big Black Magic Tour Bus,” respectively. Pull the handmade sunflower curtains for some privacy as you comfortably snooze in either of these quirky accommodations.
4. This train will kick your caboose to the curb… in the middle of the woods
The Castaway Caboose in Durbin hooks refurbished Wabash Railroad cabooses to The Durbin Rocket, a steam locomotive from the early 1900s. A conductor will pull you, your caboose and up to five friends to a remote site nestled along the Greenbrier River. Once there, he’ll unhook the car and leave you with it.
The caboose will serve as your own private suite on rails, complete with refrigerator, range, heat, linens, towels, utensils, a DVD player, full-size shower and restroom. They’ll even provide you with firewood! Leave your cellphones at home because this stop is in the National Radio Quiet Zone. The best part? You won’t see or hear from the outside world until the conductor rolls up in a day (…or two or three, depending on your level of commitment) to pull you back into reality.
5. Lounge on a queen-size swinging bed in this luxury tree house
Tucked into a tranquil, wooded community on the edge of the New River Gorge National Park, the sleeping porch at Wild Rock’s “Tree House” is the perfect landing zone after some world-class adventuring in Fayetteville. This 4-bedroom luxury home features a screened-in covered sleeping porch on the adjoined bunkhouse, with a custom queen-size swinging bed hanging from the ceiling. Fall asleep surrounded by trees and a breeze with all the luxuries of being indoors.
6. Take in dark night skies through this yurt’s skylight
The Spruce Knob Mountain Center in Circleville is nestled in the foothills of Appalachia and boasts some of the darkest night skies in the East. There’s no better way to see those night skies than through the skylight in an earthy and sustainable yurt. At the Mountain Institute’s nature preserve, you can enjoy fishing, caving and hiking in the Monongahela National Forest by day, and cozy up on a full-size bed in a renovated wooden yurt at night.
Yurt rental comes with access to a communal shower and kitchen on the property. Choose a flushable toilet or go green and try out a compost toilet, which functions without water. All buildings on the property were designed to complement the natural landscape. A large community yurt on site features a truly unique space: “the aerie” or “bubble,” a small room on top of the yurt covered with a rounded sky light. It is used as a meeting space, meditation area and reading room.
7. Enjoy the view of Seneca Rocks from your private teepee
We won’t blame you if you need a little time out of the elements after a day of hiking at Seneca Rocks. The Indian Village at Yokum’s Vacationland is just down the road from Pendleton County’s iconic jagged rock crag. Take your choice of 5 charming 12-foot-wide, weather-resistant teepees, each sporting a unique touch. Tuck into your sleeping bag after a long day on the rocks and enjoy the modern convenience of electricity all at the same time. Hot showers and running toilets are a short walk from the village, and every teepee comes equipped with an electrical outlet, overhead light and fan.
8. Seek shelter in a snow cave
The Dolly Sods Wilderness features some of the most spectacular scenery in the East. The high Allegheny plateaus are made up of wind-carved sandstone, stunted spruce, grassy meadows, bogs and sweeping vistas reminiscent of a place much farther north. With such a stunning landscape, it’s great news that backpackers can legally camp anywhere in Dolly Sods as long as they are 100 yards from the road.
While summer camping is ideal, high winds coupled with abundant snowfall create huge snowdrifts, which make this area perfect for snow cave camping. If you’re well-equipped and ready for a challenge, digging into the lee side of a drift to create a cave is quite a rewarding task. Crawl into your new home and see just how well the elements can protect you from the elements.
9. Rent a floating tent
Snuggled against the Potomac River in Great Cacapon, Three Otters Eco Retreat is an engaging and earth-friendly retreat that aims to inspire visitors to unplug and connect to nature. The retreat offers a slew of options for guests who want a unique camping experience. One of the most curious offerings is a floating tent, described on their website as a “tree house that you can take with you anywhere.” These tents sleep up to to 3 people and hang between the trees, 3 to 4 feet off the ground.
Got a fear of heights? That’s okay, the retreat’s got you covered— literally. Three Otters also has 2 bell tents (tents 16-feet in diameter, with roof vents and 4 screen windows), cottage tents (complete with fluffy beds and area rugs), 3 pop-up campers, 3 vintage trailers from the 60s and one adorably decorated yurt.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve spent the night in WV?Find more places to stay
This post was last updated on July 20, 2020