Open Year-round
Yes
Reservations possible?
No
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
No
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Wolf Gap is a lovely small forest service campground of 9 spots. On some very old descriptions and the info board it shows the campground as having 10 spots, but one has been closed probably due to drainage issues. It is a great, quick weekend getaway from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area that provides wonderful hiking opportunities.

The recreation area is right on the broad ridgeline of Great North Mountain, a ridgeline that extends for 50 miles on the border of Virginia and West Virginia. The campground itself is in Virginia, but walk down the road 10 feet and you’ll be in West Virginia! In the 1930s the area was the site of an early African-American CCC camp, although no signs mark the historic significance of the site, nor are there any old ruins. There is a picnic ground with a parking lot for day hikers and overnight backpackers.

The campground is the front door to Great North Mountain. Two trails leave from the campground. To the north, Mill Mountain Trail goes to Big Schloss. It takes off to the north from the campground between campsites 8 and 9. It provide the access to the Big Schloss, a very popular 4-mile out-and-back day hike with great panoramic views. Beyond Big Schloss, the crowds thin out and the trail provides access to the extensive backcountry of Great North Mountain with numerous backpacking opportunities. Tibbits Knob is shorter and takes off to the south directly across SR 675 from the campground entrance, providing a short hike to Tibbets Knob. Tibbets Knob also has a great view but significantly lower crowds than Big Schloss. These trails are good day hikes and can also be connected to an extensive network of longer hikes and backpack trips. Potomac Appalachian Trail conference (PATC) “Great North Mountain, Map F” is a good start on planning for hikes. PATC volunteer crews have completed some great trail work in the area.

The campground consists of one loop, and the majority of spots are on the outer part of the loop. There is a vault toilet, but there are no trash cans. Bring your own water. The pump was vandalized several years ago, and there are no plans to replace it as of this writing. Due to the lack of water, the campground is free. Maintenance seems to be continued, and the campground is still in good shape. None of the sites are big, which fortunately limits the campground to tents, truck campers, and very small trailers. Each site has a fire ring and picnic table. None of the sites are bad, but the backside of the loop (sites 7, 8, 9) is a smidgeon quieter because they are a bit further from the road. There is a small, seasonal stream that runs through the campground. If you stay at site 2, you will get to hear it gurgling all night. 

Expect the campground to be full by 6:00 p.m. on most fall weekends and any holiday weekend. But due to its small size, it will be pretty quiet even when it is full. Again, since big rigs can’t get in, you won’t have to deal with generator noise. On nice weekends the parking area will fill up, and people will be parking pretty much anywhere they can. Fortunately they clear out in the early evening. Alcohol is prohibited. Even late in the season you should be able to collect enough firewood for a fire. There is extensive tree cover, so don’t expect your solar panels to completely charge your batteries. The best sites are 7, 8 and 9, since they are slightly more isolated. 

Both Verizon and ATT get a weak signal; there is enough to get a text in and out, but rarely can you call. Closest services are at Woodstock right off Interstate 81 and Wardensville, West Virginia. If you get tired of hiking, Lost River has a small café with really good sandwiches and a good selection of gourmet sodas and craft beers.  

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Fall

Congestion

Frequently full

Parking Pass

None

Price per night (basic site)

0.00 $ (0.00 €)

Pros

Great trail access to Great North Mountain day hikes and overnight backpacks.

Cons

Can be crowded.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Managed by

George Washington National Forest

Features

Vault toilet
Big vistas
Family friendly

Access

Vehicle

Total number of sites

9

Maximum trailer length

12.00 ft (3.66 m)

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Blue Ridge Highlands, Virginia
Shenandoah Mountains + Valleys, Virginia

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