3 Unique Back Country DestinationsEscape the crowds and experience the remote, rugged wilderness of West Virginia. The next time you want to unplug and explore the West Virginia backcountry wilderness, check out our under-the-radar campsites.
Smoke Hole Canyon
Are you looking for a challenge? Set up camp at Big Bend Campground located in Smoke Hole Canyon. The secluded landscape provides a unique recreation experience. Whether it is kayaking, canoeing, or hiking venture into the rugged and remote canyon off of the south branch of the Potomac River.
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.
Laurel Fork Wilderness
Travel to Laurel Fork North and Laurel Fork South on your secluded destination. Laurel Fork North and Laurel Fork South combine to more than 12,000 acres, 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.
Green Bank Observatory
Escape by night for 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.