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Thread: Planning road trip to WV labor day, questions from VA

  1. #1
    Regular Member GreatDaneMan's Avatar
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    Planning road trip to WV labor day, questions from VA

    Planning on taking a mini-cation labor day weekend fri-sun. Making the trek from Hampton Roads to the areas of Cass for the Railroad. Spruce Knob for camping and hiking, maybe swimming(have to do some more research), National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Seneca Caverns and maybe a few other spots.

    I plan on both OCing and CCing depending on mood. Doing my research including the WV PDF file.
    Curious if anyone has any information on the places i mentioned as far as if firearms are prohibited, allowed, or any stories to share. I saw State Parks and Forests you can carry in, correct?

    Going with a few other friends and if im going to catch problems over OCing any of these places Ill just CC, mostly concerned about the radio center. Normally I would not "cave in" and CC but the point is the trip is no stress no worries.

    And is there anywhere free to camp at random without notice around this area? Will be camping if theres no last minute rooms available at hotels within 20-30 miles.
    Last edited by GreatDaneMan; 08-17-2012 at 01:36 AM.
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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    You've made an excellent and very full trip plan. I tent camp about 30 nights a year in the region off of motorcycles, and take groups into the region's attractions regularly. You will encounter no problems at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory carrying a weapon. The ONLY hassle I've ever had in WV has been from deputy sheriff's, three occasions, twice at gas stations, once at a diner. The Fed lands all follow state criteria, state parks are OK, regarding carrying.

    On federal forest land, [and most other federal property, unless posted to the contrary] you can engage in "dispersed camping"; off of forest service roads, pick a spot and camp. Down side with a group is no facilities at all, potable water, etc. I have found the most accommodating and least expensive camping to be at Seneca Rocks, and it is a good staging area to hit all your plans from. At Seneca Rocks, along with the rocks, you'll find The Discovery Center, a Forest Service operated information center. At the heart is Yokum's Vacationland and Harper's Store. Yochum's offers two camp sites; Princess Snowbird across from the General Store. It gets inhabited by the climbers, gypsies, carnies, and other riff raff. Up the road a half mile to the north west is Yochum's Stable, Motel and Restaurant. They also have a camp ground along the river. Kind of a "best kept secret" of the area. $6.50 a head to camp, pick your spot. Their grandson comes through with a pickup loaded with firewood. Ten bucks will get you all the dry split wood you'll need for a couple of nights. Shelter house if things turn ugly, showers, and your stuff is safe if you stage out of there. The river is too low now for tubing, rafting or swimming. Yochum's has an indoor pool. Above Harper's Store is an eat joint with fantastic sandwich menu and pizza. Yochum's still have rooms available, from 45 bucks for the basics to 70 bucks for room with kitchenette. You are 25 minutes from Spruce Knob, 38 miles +- from Cass / Green Bank.

    A unique evening experience might be 30 mile trip north to Thomas, and the Purple Fiddle. Good food, coffee, music and if the weather goes south on ya, twenty bucks a head puts you in a bed under a roof.

    You have a pretty full schedule. Marlinton, Cass RR, Green Bank Observatory and a trip through Snowshoe will wear out an Olympic athlete. You didn't mention the crown jewel's of the Monongahela....Smoke Hole or Dolly Sods.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member GreatDaneMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    You've made an excellent and very full trip plan. I tent camp about 30 nights a year in the region off of motorcycles, and take groups into the region's attractions regularly. You will encounter no problems at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory carrying a weapon. The ONLY hassle I've ever had in WV has been from deputy sheriff's, three occasions, twice at gas stations, once at a diner. The Fed lands all follow state criteria, state parks are OK, regarding carrying.

    On federal forest land, [and most other federal property, unless posted to the contrary] you can engage in "dispersed camping"; off of forest service roads, pick a spot and camp. Down side with a group is no facilities at all, potable water, etc. I have found the most accommodating and least expensive camping to be at Seneca Rocks, and it is a good staging area to hit all your plans from. At Seneca Rocks, along with the rocks, you'll find The Discovery Center, a Forest Service operated information center. At the heart is Yokum's Vacationland and Harper's Store. Yochum's offers two camp sites; Princess Snowbird across from the General Store. It gets inhabited by the climbers, gypsies, carnies, and other riff raff. Up the road a half mile to the north west is Yochum's Stable, Motel and Restaurant. They also have a camp ground along the river. Kind of a "best kept secret" of the area. $6.50 a head to camp, pick your spot. Their grandson comes through with a pickup loaded with firewood. Ten bucks will get you all the dry split wood you'll need for a couple of nights. Shelter house if things turn ugly, showers, and your stuff is safe if you stage out of there. The river is too low now for tubing, rafting or swimming. Yochum's has an indoor pool. Above Harper's Store is an eat joint with fantastic sandwich menu and pizza. Yochum's still have rooms available, from 45 bucks for the basics to 70 bucks for room with kitchenette. You are 25 minutes from Spruce Knob, 38 miles +- from Cass / Green Bank.

    A unique evening experience might be 30 mile trip north to Thomas, and the Purple Fiddle. Good food, coffee, music and if the weather goes south on ya, twenty bucks a head puts you in a bed under a roof.

    You have a pretty full schedule. Marlinton, Cass RR, Green Bank Observatory and a trip through Snowshoe will wear out an Olympic athlete. You didn't mention the crown jewel's of the Monongahela....Smoke Hole or Dolly Sods.
    Planning on leaving bright and early friday and knocking out Cass the same day @ noon.

    Good info man thank you. now i gotta check out those places. Was a permit or fee required to camp off a road?
    Last edited by GreatDaneMan; 08-17-2012 at 12:16 PM.
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  4. #4
    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatDaneMan View Post
    Planning on leaving bright and early friday and knocking out Cass the same day @ noon.

    Good info man thank you. now i gotta check out those places. Was a permit or fee required to camp off a road?
    No permit, no fee for dispersed camping. Here's a link that will keep you informed of situations on Federal Forest land:

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mnf/home/?cid=FSM9_011239

    In the Spruce Knob area, along County Route 29 south of Whitmer, you can camp free along the road at fire rings. FYI: In many Forests, if you look on maps for where hiking trails cross roads, you will likely find dispersed camping rings. There aren't any current open flame restrictions in the Monongahela Forest. It is a good idea to make the effort to call to check, as conditions change. There is a district office at Petersburg, 304-257-4488 that is helpful and knowledgeable. Keep an eye open for Copperheads and Timber Rattlers. And an ear clear for for banjo music.
    Liberty is so strongly a part of human nature that it can be treated as a no-lose argument position.
    ~Citizen

    From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave".

    "People are not born being "anti-cop" and believing we live in a police state. That is a result of experience."

  5. #5
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    A few things I would keep in mind when visiting the forests of WV:

    - WV's hunting laws can be interpreted in such a way, as the open carry of a firearm "in the woods", would be illegal outside of a normal hunting season. See WV Code 20-2-5, paragraph 9, available here: WV Code 20-2-5

    - The WV Attorney General has taken it upon himself to publish a gun laws pamphlet which states only WV residents can open carry. Available here: Booklet: WV Gun Laws. However, no one can seem to find any statue support for this.

    Don't want to ruin the trip, just keep you informed.

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