CACAPON, W.Va. — Could a destination RV Camp be coming to Cacapon?

The West Virginia DNR submitted a Request for Proposals to possible vendors in December to seek private investors interested in constructing such a park at the 6,000-acre Morgan County state park.

The Winchester Star reports three companies have submitted proposals, although a vendor has not been selected.

The WVDNR is holding a public hearing on the proposals at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Washington Fairfax Room at the Cacapon Resort State Park Lodge, 818 Cacapon Lodge Road, Berkeley Springs.

One proposal, from Blue Water Corporation would put 240 RV camping sites behind the park’s Nature Center, or 350 RV sites north of the northern portion of the Ziler Loop.

According to the Star, a  proposal from River & Trail Outfitters would add about 50 RV camping sites in the Cabin Loop Trail area. The company’s submission includes plans for an Airsoft course and shuttle bus services for mountain bikers.

A proposal from Scenic LLC would establish a 173-site campground at the base of Cacapon Mountain.

Proponents say the project would help make the park more financially self sufficient.

You can read the statement on the West Virginia State Park’s Website here:

Cacapon Resort State Park opened in 1937.

A group of local activists including Cacapon Trails and Friends of Cacapon Resort State Park oppose the proposed RV park addition.

The Morgan County Commissioners wrote a letter earlier this month to West Virginia Chief of Parks Brad Reed opposing most of the proposals from vendors:

Re: Cacapon Resort State Park RV RFP & Proposals
Dear Chief Reed,
We are writing today in response to the State’s request for public opinion concerning the proposals received by the WV DNR for the Cacapon Resort State Park RFP. We would be remiss if we didn’t first take this opportunity to thank the WV DNR, you, and your staff for the support that you all have graciously given to our beloved park over the years. We couldn’t be more proud of our beautiful new Lodge and accommodations. Furthermore, we can’t thank you enough for your recent support of the new mountain bike trail construction and the match provided for the Federal EDA grant to help make that dream a reality.
In regards to the proposals received for the recent RFP, we want to express some of our concerns. As you know, Cacapon State Park (CSP) is a treasured resource for locals and visitors alike, known for its stunning natural scenery and historic significance. We believe that a large-scale RV park (our definition of “large-scale” is an RV park with more than 100 combined sites) would create or significantly contribute to the following problems:
Excessive traffic and safety issues at the US 522 entrance and throughout the park There is only one entry/exit to CSP and it seems it would create a very undesirable and unsafe situation due to the increase in traffic and the size of the vehicles that would be coming and going. Additionally, the roads throughout the park are winding and narrow and there are places where natural rock outcroppings reach all the way to the edge of the road.
Overcapacity of the parks sewer plant — When the new lodge was built, the sewer plant was due for a major upgrade to handle the additional waste. As the project costs continued to rise and cuts were required, the sewer plant upgrades were scaled back significantly. The Warm Springs PSD, who oversees the sewer plant, says that the plant is already at capacity and certainly cannot handle a large-scale RV park and all the waste that it would generate.
Clear-cutting of trees and excessive excavation – A large-scale RV park would require significant clearing and excavation, which would damage the natural landscape and destroy important habitats for birds, mammals and other wildlife and damage certain native plant species. Runoff from the site would contribute negatively to our local watershed and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
To put it plainly, we simply cannot imagine the impact that an RV park of the size/scope of two of the proposals would have on CSP and we don’t feel that it would be for the better. On the contrary, we feel like it would diminish many of the reasons that folks visit our park to begin with: the natural beauty, the historical significance, and the peaceful tranquility.
We would greatly appreciate if the State would consider the small-scale proposal and frankly, are very intrigued at the idea of the State exploring the notion of partnering with the company that is already planning a large-scale RV park less than ten miles from CSP on the other side of Cacapon Mountain. That particular group has been working with our County Planning Commission and our Economic Development Authority for the past couple of years and has put great thought and effort into planning a campground that is adequate in size/scope for that area/parcel. They have also been working on a plan with the members ofthe Cacapon State Park Foundation that have spearheaded the mountain bike trail grant writing/construction, to connect their campground with CSP via an additional mountain bike trail. Working with them would seem like a win-win-win- for the State, CSP and Morgan County.
We appreciate you taking the time to read this and for seeking our input. As we stated before, we would love to be a part of any “evaluation committee” or “work group” that may be created to review the merits of each of the proposals. If we can answer any questions or concerns or be of assistance in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Sean Forney
Joel Tuttle
Bill Clark
Cc: Governor Jim Justice
Secretary Chelsea Ruby
Senator Charles Trump
Senator Craig Blair
Delegate George Miller
Delegate Darren Thorne