Camping in Stuart Recreation Area, Monongahela National Forest

Stuart Recreation Area is in Elkins, West Virginia.  Beautiful campground with lots of wooded sites. There are water and electric hookups available.  There is a dump station there. They have vault toilets throughout the campground and one bath house that has flush toilets and hot showers.  The sites are fairly private.  Our site, site 11, had woods all around the site and gave us privacy from other campers along with some shade.  The weekend was very hot, so we were grateful to have the trees around us. We enjoyed our stay at this campground. The day-use area has a nice lake where you can go fishing.  They have paved roads for bike riding and hiking trails.  There are pavilions you can rent for gatherings and, of course, they have a nice playground for the kids.  If you have the senior pass, you get a discounted rate for camping because the campground is located in the National Forest.

Our site #11Our site #11
Site 11Archie chillin on the carpet at our site

The Monongahela National Forest is an expansive forest in Eastern West Virginia with a rich history.  It is partly in the Appalachian Mountains and partly in the Allegheny Mountains with elevations to 4,861 feet.  It is a beautiful forest that has lots of wildlife as well as several areas for camping and visiting.  It has over 919,000 acres of land. 

Getting there is a bit of a challenge!  Coming from Virginia, we had to trek through the mountains.  The roads are very steep and very curvy!  Make sure you have good breaks, because they can easily go out on you if you are pulling a larger rig. Ours gave us a challenge!  They got too hot and we lost them for a few seconds.  That was scary since we were behind a tanker truck going down the mountain.  We turned our vehicle slightly into the oncoming lane to slow us down.  Thank goodness nothing was coming up the mountain!!!  Needless to say, we did make it safe and sound to our site. We had to go into town the next morning to get the brakes fixed.  After that experience, we decided to take a different route home!!

Sign Monongahela NFMarie in front of welcome sign

We decided to visit a hatchery in Elkins.  We visited Bowden Hatchery which is the largest hatchery in West Virginia.  They have brown trout, rainbow trout, and golden trout.  They stock several lakes and ponds throughout West Virginia.  I found it extremely interesting.  I had never heard of golden trout before.  They are very pretty as you can see from the picture.  The hatchery is very large and quite impressive! 

HatcheryView of hatchery
Trout in hatcheryBrown and rainbow trout
Golden troutGolden trout
Archie and Wray at riverWaterfront Cheate River

Another day we went to the Cheate River which runs through the recreation area.  Some people were swimming in that cold water and some were tubing.  The water is very clear and looks shallow but is much deeper than you would think. The shoreline is very rocky so you have to be careful walking to the water. People were diving into the river from a small rock cliff.  We took our dog, Archie, down to the water.  He is not a water dog!  He barely put his paws in!!  Very pretty river!!

View from patio Seneca RocksNature Center View

We also visited Seneca Rocks.  They have a nature center there that is dog friendly.  Very interesting exhibits and historical information on the area.  There is a magnificent view of the mountains from the patio at the nature center.

In spite of our brakes issue, we had a great time visiting the Monongahela National Forest.  Definitely worth visiting!