Our First Ever Winter Camping Trip: Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park


It’s something that doesn’t appeal to everyone. But, we gave it a shot and had walked away with a better and chillier understanding of Winter Camping.

We left Friday evening toward Stonewall Jackson Lake & Resort State Park with our toy-hauler in tow. We have named her MOGBC, short for Mobile Office Grid Base Camp. She can carry all of our outdoor toys and has been modified into a sleeper in the case of inclement weather.

Daddy and Mason enjoying some morning cuddles.

I have been running MOGBC in winter mode all season, but parked. Towing her is where I received my first hard lesson of Winter Camping. It has been pouring down the snow and coming off a snow-covered mountain we broke traction. The weight of the toy-hauler started pushing us off the side of the hill. With some quick thinking, I put the tires in a ditch and rode it out until we came across a clear patch of road where we were able to regain complete control and slow our speed. Lucky for us, no blown tires, no culverts, and we didn’t get pushed over the hill. I have never been pushed off a hill before, so those of you Winter Camping, be safe with the extra weight behind you. It was an expereince we didn’t enjoy.

Campfire by the lake.

When checking into the campground we had the choice of any spot. We were the only campers there. We picked a beautiful spot by the lake and set up camp. Electric plugged in, LP gas hooked up, our sleeping quarters were up and warming. We kept it set at 72 degrees and went outside to build a fire.

We built a big campfire and used our Sun Canopy as a windbreaker. Before you knew it we were loving Winter Camping. The air was so clean and crisp. No insects at all. Just pure peace, silence, and relaxation.

A few things we found interesting was the swap of material. Ice, we really didn’t need. Firewood, we needed 4 times the amount. Sunshades, we use as windbreakers. Of course, nights are longer in the Winter Months, but having lights and a fire outside twice as long made for a very beautify and relaxing atmosphere.

Enjoying the snow.

As of 2018, 6 WV State Parks have their campgrounds open for Winter: Beech Fork, Canaan Valley, Camp Creek, Moncove Lake, Stonewall Jackson, and Twin Falls. If you decide to brave the cold this Winter Season, make sure to call ahead and see what facilities are available. Stonewall only operations one bathroom and shower house during the Winter Months and shuts down the others. Even so, it was fun for all of us to get out and enjoy this experience.

As previously stated, it isn’t for everyone. Some couldn’t believe we went or that it would even be an option. But, it is an experience I am ready to do all over again.

Mommy and Mason enjoying some morning cuddles.


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