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Kanawha State Forest, Charleston
(4.2/5 based on 95+ reviews on the web)
Kanawha State Forest is a 9300acre recreation area located near the community of Loudendale, West Virginia, which is about 7mi 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 (38.28133, -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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • we took a little weekend trip to drive through the Kanawha forest in Oct of this year. Had a great time and ate lunch at the park lodge. really enjoyed our short weekend trip 
  • The folks who care for the park do their best with few resources. Greater Charleston has to be the least walkable metro area I've ever been; no shade, completely car-oriented, minimally bike-friendly....  more »
  • There is a reason why they call WV "Almost Heaven"! This place PROVES it! Its beyond gorgeous! Its breathtaking! The scenery is soooo beautiful & Lovely! The drive alone is so lovely by itself! The ca...  more »
Google
  • Kanawha State Forest is one of my favorite places to go when I really want to get away from the civilized world. The bike and hiking trails lead you into the lush greenery of the West Virginia mountains where there is no cell phone service and only nature to keep you company. There are lots of shelter areas available, which can also be reserved by contacting the main office. A shooting range can be found deep in a hollow just past the entrance. There are plenty of events throughout the spring, summer and fall to attend here. If you are looking for a quiet place to get back to nature, then KSF is where you want to be. I love this place so much that I had my wedding at a shelter area secluded near the end of the park.
  • We met another family here over Labor Day weekend. We both have pop up campers and called several weeks ahead of time to reserve two sites next to each other. Each site had water and electricity but one site had 30amp and the other only had 20amp. We stayed at sites 41 & 42 and they were very large and spacious sites but not very level. We had to set the campers up right next to the road to be able to have them level. All sites are very hit and miss for size and accessibility. I would definitely call them to make reservations and let them know what equipment you have - also large campers wouldn't even make it up the roads to the campsite as they are very narrow and winding. Our site was also backed up to a little creek that was beautiful and kept the kids busy. The bathhouses were pretty clean but could use a good power washing inside and out. The showers were great! The rangers were constantly around seeing if we needed ice or firewood. We hiked Polly's trail and it was very steep but very pretty. It was about a 2 mile loop. We went to the shooting range and I would not recommend it for the faint of heart. They need a range master there! It was extremely busy with many people with enormous guns and very little gun safety knowledge. We left after a few rounds because it was just not a safe situation. We were also there for their Rock the Park celebration and that was a very fun and laid back event that we enjoyed very much. The live bands there were fantastic! All in all we would stay here again to meet up with our friends. The campground was laid back and quiet.
  • Kanawha State Forest is the perfect quick getaway from redundant city life, or just the daily stress associated with work or home. While still within the realm of civilization, there is a feeling of serenity being surrounded with hundreds of towering trees and mountains. There are plenty of trails, paths and picnic areas all marked so as to be read clearly, and well cared for. There are numerous structures for various entertainment such as sturdy playground equipment, picnic tables and shelters, benches in places and other curious structures that are scattered here and there in convenient places through the park all of them wooden or sturdy metal to visually blend in with the forest. Camp ready areas are everywhere. While there are sometimes a number of people in and out of the forest, the way it is setup for the public works for a more peaceful and unintruding time there, no matter the number of people.
  • I am grateful for this park. Great for biking and hiking though recently we did get confused by the provided trail map and ended up lost and outside of the park. We made it back. Beautiful natural formations. Great getaway.
  • Campsites are about 15 minutes into park. Tight and hilly, down in the holler. Stream was campside and nice to sit in. Park staff were friendly and helpful - delivered firewood and checked in with us each night. Playgrounds and workout out stations within driving distance. Clean.