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Off the beaten path: State park system's off-grid getaways take social distancing to next level


CAMP CREEK — To get to West Virginia State Parks’ newest remote lodging unit, you have to work for it. But judging from its popularity, it’s worth the effort. 

From a parking area near the Camp Creek State Park and Forest’s office, guests shoulder packs containing food, water, sleeping gear, lights and clothing, and begin ascending a series of switchbacks up Farley Ridge Trail. 

“The first mile is pretty steep,” said Monty Ball, Camp Creek’s superintendent. “After that, it starts to level off.”  

The trail’s next 1.5 miles follow a ridgeline to an intersection with Almost Heaven Trail, where a right turn leads the way through the overgrown fields and meadows of a former farm, eventually reaching the Almost Heaven Trail Shelter and its adjacent campground. 

Used by backpackers and equestrian campers, it’s a great place to grab a spot on a picnic table bench and rest in the shade, but it’s not the final destination. 

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