Backcountry

Escape the crowds and experience the remote, rugged wilderness of West Virginia. The next time you explore the rugged West Virginia wilderness, check out our under-the-radar campsites.

Day 1

Begin the first day with a challenge, because of its rough terrain, the only way you can reach the Trough, a 6-mile stretch of remote canyon off of the south branch of the Potomac River, is by foot, kayak or canoe.

Head to this spot for some of the best bass fishing around and keep an eye on the sky as well— you’re likely to spot bald eagles soaring overhead thanks to the protection they find in the remoteness of the Trough.

If you consider yourself a history buff, this little slice of land got its name from America’s first president, George Washington himself, when he was surveying the area in 1748. The Trough was also the site of the 1756 Battle of the Trough during the French and Indian War.

To get here, the closest you can get is South Branch Valley road, then it’s all up to you.


Day 2

Travel to Laurel Fork North and Laurel Fork South on your second day to combine for just more than 12,000 acres of one of the top dogs when it comes to solitude. The Laurel Forks were declared a designated wilderness area in 1983. Tackle the 18.5 miles of trails for a real challenge— much of it remains unmarked, which means you have to be careful not to lose the trail. Bring your best directional equipment with you. There are 16 designated campsites, so you can take your time and spend the weekend scouting the secluded paths.


Day 3

End your third and final day with some amazing star gazing at Green Bank. Unplug without having to cross rivers and traverse unmarked paths. While the other recommendations on this list are secluded and remote in terms of population and development, Green Bank, WV, is remote in a different kind of way— technologically. Thanks to the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (or GBT for short), wireless signals are actually illegal in Green Bank and most of the surrounding areas.

The telescope was devised to explore the universe through radio waves, and because it operates on wavelengths as small as 1 millimeter, there can’t be any interruption from other sources— so don’t even bother with your cell phone or wifi. While Green Bank offers all of the amenities of city living, there’s still an inescapable solitude that comes with turning your cell phone and computer off. While you’re there, sign up for a tour of the telescope.

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