There are 4.5 miles of trails at the park that are suitable or trail running. Individual trails range from less than 1 mile to an 8.7-mile loop.
Destination Distance From Downtown
2 of 5 diamonds
Most of the trails are wide and fairly smooth, and switchbacks make the ascent a lot easier than having to go straight up and down.
Time To Complete
Individual trails range from less than 1 mile to an 8.7-mile loop, so plan to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2+ hours at the park. Every trail can be completed individually or combined for a large loop.
While you can’t hunt here, it does border the much larger Mud Camp Creek Wildlife Management Area, so if you are visiting the park in fall or winter, wear bright colors.
Camp Creek State Park is just miles from Interstate 77, but once you are running along its mountain ridges and through its deep valleys, you’ll feel far away from civilization. The park’s 35 miles of trails criss-cross the mountains and take runners alongside roaring waterfalls and quieter creeks and through areas shaded by pines and rhododendrons. Camp Creek has a total of 5 trails designated specifically for foot traffic, and all but one (Piney Ridge Trail) are suitable for trail runners.
What Makes It Great
The many wide paths and the options to extend your run by connecting trails make this a great trail running spot. There are so many options, you can’t go wrong. A good place to start is the short 1-mile Blue Jay Spur Trail that begins with a steady ascent along a ridge that will get your heart pumping. As you climb ever higher you will get impressive views of the park and stream hundreds of feet below. Once this trail ends, turn right to join the difficult Mash Fork Falls trail. Follow the narrow singletrack along a series of rapid switchbacks and down to the majestic waterfall. To finish off this great run, take a left on the gravel access road next to the falls and run alongside Camp Creek until you return to the parking area.
If you are looking for a slight variation, turn left instead of right at the Mash Fork Falls trail and power through a quick downhill that brings you back to the center of the park. From here, you can loop around using a fairly level equestrian trail to finish your run.
Who is Going to Love It
Beginning trail runners will love the opportunity to try long, gradual inclines and to practice descending along winding switchbacks on wide trails that are, for the most part, smooth. The gravel roads that straddle Camp Creek are great for a warmup or cool down, and still provide the peacefulness of nature and the pleasant sounds of a flowing stream. The equestrian trails here are also great for first-time trail runners who want to see what this sport is all about.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To reach Camp Creek State Park, take Exit 20 off of I-77. Turn right off the exit ramp and take your first right. Continue straight and you’ll enter the park in less than 2 miles. There is plenty of parking.