Williams River Sites

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

There are 30 separate, rustic campsites located along Williams River Road, designated as Forest Roads 86 and 216. Many of these sites are close to the river, and are very popular with anglers. These campsites, as well as Tea Creek and Day Run Campgrounds, are the only places camping is permitted along Williams River. Toilets are closed in winter.

Campsites are scattered along the Williams River Road, from the Three Forks area upstream to a point near the river's headwaters.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Sites 21-30 -- located upstream of the Highland Scenic Highway are open. Sites 1-20 -- located downstream of the Highland Scenic Highway are open now with no services and non-motorized vehicle access only due to road construction. Pack it in, pack it out.
Fees There are four bulletin boards and self-service stations located beside the toilets near Sites 5, 8, 11, and 20.
Permit Info: Sites are not reservable. Sites are on a first come, first serve basis.
Open Season: mid-March - end of November
Usage: Medium-Heavy
  • Maximum length of stay is 14 days.
  • Checkout time is 2 p.m.
  • Dogs are permitted if on a leash at all times. Leash must be 6 feet or shorter. Food storage order applies to pet food also.
  • Single site limit is one wheeled camping unit only, defined as motorhome or travel trailer; no more than 8 people; no more than 2 vehicles. Vehicle pulling camper or trailer is considered 1 of the 2 allowed vehicles. Tents must be contained within the campsite.
  • Vehicles must be parked on gravel or paved spur, not in the woods, grass or road. 
  • Discharging and draining gray water and black water (sewage) onto National Forest Lands is illegal and punishable by fines under 36 CFR 261.11(c) and 36 CFR 261.11 (d). Dump station and water fill are available in Richwood at Four Seasons Outfitter and Adventure Sports. Dump stations are also available in Marlinton. Cranberry Campground has its own dump station that is donation based.
  • Please see bulletin boards for more information.
Water: None
Restroom: Six accessible vault toilets serve Sites #1-20 and are located near sites #5, 6, 8, 11, 14, and 20.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: More information on this campground  for sites 21-30 is available through the Marlinton Ranger District, PO Box 210, Marlinton WV 24954 (304)799-4334.  More information for sites 1-20 is available through the Gauley Ranger District, 932 North Fork Cherry Rd., Richwood, WV 26261 (304)846-2695.

General Information


From Cowen, West Virginia, follow State Route 46 to the start of Williams River Road, designated as Forest Road 86. The first campsites are about 10 miles upstream from Cowen. Twenty-one campsites (administered by the Gauley Ranger District) are located along the river up to the Highland Scenic Highway bridge (State Route 150). Ten campsites (administered by the Marlinton Ranger District) are scattered along the Williams River Road upstream from State Route 150. Williams River Road becomes Forest Road 216, about 3 miles from State Route 150.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


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