I have never been much of a car camper with the exception of car camping at Assateague and The Outer Banks, preferring instead to enjoy Backpacking. That might be about to change.
I recently enjoyed three days and two nights car camping in the Mongahelia National Forest. The NFS campground not onky offered a tent pad, picnic table, fire grate, water pump, and outhouse, but also served as a jumping off point for a couple day hikes. These day hikes were just a couple minutes away from the campground but hours away from my home. With many more trails and possible day hikes near that campground, I think I will be retuirning the next time I get a few days off.
I strongly suspect you are risking a greater hazard driving to the campground than you are when actually on the trail. Of course, we have all been riding in cars since day one and we are familiar with the hazards, not so much the case with the trackless wilds - full of tiggers and things
Agreed, with the only argument being that most car accidents occur close to home, not on far way trips.
In order of use, I camped at Red Creek in Dolly Sods, Seneca Shadows, Spruce Knob Lake, Laurel Fork, and Tea Creek. Each had its plusses and minuses but all were great experiences. I had camped at Red Creek and Tea Creek before, but the others were new to me. I picked them because they were close to areas where i wanted to day hike. In some cases, I did not even have to drive to the the trail head because it was right next to the campground, as at Red Creek, Laurel Fork, and Tea Creek. There are many other Campgrounds I want to visit, but I definitely want to return to Laurel Fork and Tea Creek.
@John love love that area! especially when not raining or totally overcrowded. Alas, it's a 6hr drive for me.
Next time your in the area, park at the seneca cr trail head and hike down to see the waterfalls, long hike though, not a bad idea to camp at around 5mi.
I hiked the southern 3 miles of the Seneca Creek Trial to Judy Springs just a couple of weeks ago. I am fortunate to have hiked the now mostly non-existent northern section in the late 70's and before the 85 flood. It is a long circuit hike to go from Spruce Knob down to Seneca Creek unless you take a compass bearing and bushwhack. I know, I have done it. Now that I am older, I would like to hike with someone who also has a car and we could do a shuttle from the Seneca Creek Trailhead up to Spruce Knob.
@JohnI was considering hiking out to rohrbaugh overlook and camping this tuesday, but I just had my covid booster and flu shot at the same time and am feeling rather lethargic at the moment.
Unfortunately, Phil, I am not yet retired. My only free days are Friday and Saturday unless I schedule time off. I would not have wanted to shoulder even a day pack the first two days after my booster because my arm was so sore.
Sorry for not responding sooner. I missed this earlier. Look at Laurel Fork Campground, sandwiched between two wilderness areas. I was back there for a second time in the last month and I think I must have been the only camper without a dog! Tea Creek is also a MNF Campground that I like. I have not yet explored all the campgrounds in the MNF but I would like to.
Best part of car camping is all the great cooking gear you can take! My wife swears half our load is cooking stuff. She's dead wrong, it's more like 60%.