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Virginia's Audra State Park and Other Wonders

Before heading west on our 2016 campground tour, we stopped at a regional campground near the western border of Virginia called Natural Chimneys.


Yes, those are jousting poles. The park is close to several annual renaissance fairs and you can practice your jousting skills on the track next to the campground.

The campsites themselves were a big letdown.


Just a pair of big fields with no privacy.


The river offered up small trout to a couple of boys fishing.


And then there were the namesake chimneys.

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If you look closely at the sketch below, drawn in 1871, you can see two ladies, one in the hole.


Figuring that meant it was ok, Freddy and I went inside to check it out. Then a ranger stopped by.

"You can't be in there."

"There isn't any sign", I said

"See that fence? That is as close as you can go."

"I thought that fence was to keep the jousting horses out. And those other people went inside," I replied.

"What other people?"

"The ones in that sketch over there," I said.

He mumbled something about that being 145 years ago and made us get out.

So we walked around a bit more.

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And then Freddy dragged me back in.

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And then we left.

West Virginia comprises a big chunk of the Appalachian Mountains. We crossed over several of those on the way to our next campground. Nestled in the valleys between the hills (I say hills because the highest pass we crested was 3500 feet) are several locations that were scenes of fighting during the civil war.

Like German Valley.


Last Union Raid Sign

We stayed at a wonderful campground in the north-central part of the state.


The 67 sites include a handful with electric hookups and about a dozen right on the Middle Fork River, such as numbers 4, 6, 19, 22, and 29. Costs range from $20 to $26.

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Freddy liked site 29 because it had a high water beach.

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We were there in the first week of May with the river flow still high from all the rains. Come summer, the river calms down and is extremely popular for swimming and tubing.


We stayed in site 21, an electric spot next to the bathroom and store.

Audra-State-Park_021 Audra Bathroom and Laundry Audra-Store

They offer laundry facilities in the bathhouse so I put a load in. Apparently I was the first to do so since the campground opened in mid-april because my clothes came out, umm, muddy.

Near the day use area, below the bridge, is a swimming spot.

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Sandy in the summer. Freddy showed off his ballerina pose.


There are several trails to explore.

Audra-Trail-Sign Audra-Trail

A wonderful campground, but it does have some animal issues. Turns out the local deer were having parties and then heading into the nearby town of Buckhannon to whoop it up with cows of questionable morals. Residents even called the police.


Park Rangers addressed the issue by banning the deer parties.


I was told that things have quieted down, but they are bringing in additional rangers for the summer to make sure campers are not bothered by the wildlife's wild life.

Regards and happy camping, Park Ranger


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