Jane and I just got back from a two-week camper van trip to West Virginia, where there are many good state parks, state forests and national parks. They're concentrated around the New River Gorge and the Allegheny mountains. For us, a "good" park means several hiking trails (preferably loops of three miles or less), campground toilets, reasonably flat campsites, and smallish. Extra credit for quiet and dark at night.
West Virginia also has a few resort state parks with golf courses. They seem well managed, but not our cup of tea. The parks we visited were Camp Creek, Babcock, Watoga, Seneca Forest. The last two nights we spent at Douthat State Park in Virginia, a sweet, vintage place with lots of hikes. (White Oak is our favorite campground there.) Camp sites in state parks cost between $20 and $30 per night. Campgrounds can be crowded on weekends and during leaf weeks. It's already past fall in the mountains.
West Virginia parks do better than parks in surrounding states in many ways. Trail signage is better than average and trails are super well-maintained. Bath and toilet facilities are in decent repair. Nothing glamorous, but certainly functional.
Politically, there are a fair number of proud Deplorables in local towns, but parks themselves tend to be agnostic. That said, park-goers are all socialists, aren't we? The back window of our van says RESIST.
Trail maps in most parks are terrible, West Virginia included. Typically they're photo copies of photo copies of photo copies. That makes it easier to get lost. We didn't see a lot of hikers during the week.
One super cool stop we made on this fall trip was at the Green Bank Radio Telescope near the town of Cass. It's the largest radio telescope in the world, thanks in large part to Senator Robert Byrd, the legendary Democrat from West Virginia. Byrd would be the perfect antidote to Trump if he were still with us.
We'd like to go camping more in North Carolina, but we've pretty much exhausted what's available. The park pickings seem slim given our amazing natural resources. Our favorite is Stone Mountain, we also like Medoc Mountain, near Halifax. I'll write about North Carolina an other states later.
By the by, going away for a couple of weeks and unplugging from regular Trumpdates is a good idea. The only thing I missed was the chance to watch America edge a few steps closer to the brink of disaster, thanks in full to the complete absence of honor on the part of Congressional Republicans. Some things never change.