After my first experience on a nude beach I felt confident enough to go to a nudist resort. I knew where I wanted to go long before I had even thought about going to a nude beach, and that was Avalon Resort. It is a naturist resort nestled in the mountains of West Virginia. It was quite a bit of a drive for me but, spoiler alert, very well worth it in the end. I ended up meeting a bunch of great people and I am already making plans to go back.
I went up for Memorial Day weekend, arriving on Friday and leaving Sunday afternoon. There were a lot of neat events planned at the resort for the weekend, though admittedly I didn’t really participate in them. I had originally planned to in order to socialize, but I ended up meeting a crew on Friday night that I hung out with all weekend.
I arrived on Friday and quickly and easily checked in. There is a gentle incline from the office to the campground and I was staying in a spot that was all the way at the top of right hand loop. There were a lot of campsites and a good number of them were occupied. I didn’t go around my loop so I am not sure how full it was, but from what I heard around the resort it was a fairly busy weekend.
My campsite itself was pretty nice. There was a stone fire pit for burning (just about each campsite has one) and lots of space to spread out. I parked my car just enough off the path and lost my clothes. It felt so great to just stand barefoot in the dirt and leaves. Then I remembered I was camping, it was already early evening, and I had to get everything setup. I had gotten an Alps Mountaineering 3-person tent for this trip. Setting it up in the buff was a breeze and in no time I had my tent up and sleeping pads down.
There was still a good amount of sun hanging in the sky so I decided to wander down to the pool which had just opened that day. It was a bit of a hike from my spot to the pool but I enjoyed all the exercise nonetheless. Later during the weekend I realized that most people simply drove from their campsites down to the pool/lodge area. The pool was very refreshing in the hot evening sun but a small rain shower showed up to put a little damper on everything. Before I fully let the rain win though I took refuge in the little patio beside the Oasis Grill and had a grilled cheese for dinner. As I was finishing my dinner I realized that I never tested out waterproofness of my tent so I decided to hike back to check on it.
I wasn’t worried about it being wet since it was a brand new tent and should still be sealed well, but crazy things can happen. Nothing had though, and my rain fly was keeping everything inside nice and dry, albeit a lil warm and humid haha. Not wanting to just sit around my first day there, I decided I would go wander the woods a bit. There are three different marked trails at Avalon: Green, Yellow, and Red for increasing difficulty. I had neglected to grab a trail map though so I just kept a straight line away from my tent so I didn’t lose my bearings too badly.
Now, with every trip there will of course be a low point and I guess this is where I will point out mine. Avalon Resort is going through a bit of a transition period with their forestry. They recently discovered that all the pine trees in the area were infested with pests and separately a good deal of other trees were rotted from the inside out, heart rot I believe it was called. So there is a bit of an upheaval in their trail area. For the most part it is still very nice to go and hike. The forest is very much alive still as I nearly stepped on a toad during my journey. Not having a previous idea of what the area looked like though is hard to compare. One of the people I hung out with had expressed a great concern about all the deforestation. However, he said that after he was able to hear the full plan from management he was much more relieved about the situation. I had read online about the tree removal in the Avalon newsletter but seeing it in person was a different story. Despite its current state I still can’t wait to go back to actually hike the trails and try to help out to restore them back the way they were.
So like I said, I didn’t lose my bearings too badly in the woods; I knew roughly where I needed to point myself and stumbled right back into my campground loop. There was still a touch of light out and waaay too early to go to bed so I headed back down to the main area to check out the indoor pool and hot tubs. It was pretty quiet in there but nice to just relax in the warm air. I hopped into one of the open hot tubs and started to just drift off in the hot water when I had someone ask to join me. We got to talking about everything from where we were from to the weather to the current US political climate. It was great to just chat and laugh with someone I had never met. After a while of soaking my new friend asked if I had been to the Nudsino yet to which I had not.
Inside the Nudsino was a very well stocked bar, a pool table, and about 5 video poker machines of different games. Not being a drinker myself I just had a Pepsi but people were ordering a wide variety of drinks. Something of a personal note, I really appreciated that no one was pushy or questioned why I didn’t drink. That was my father’s problem to the end and so I’m always mindful that it could happen to me. But no one made a big deal or even really question when I passed on a shot. Back to the Nudsino, I was introduced to a bunch of different people by my first friend. We talked about TV, where we grew up, and about some of naturism’s problems. It was so awesome to have a meaningful, passionate discussion with a stranger. Before I knew it, the bartender was doing last call and there was talks of a bonfire around.
I got a lift back to the campground area from the gentleman I met in the Nudsino and his girlfriend. We went back to their place to grab some chairs and supplies to take to the bonfire that was a couple spots up. At the bonfire was a good group of 12 or so just hanging out being crazy in the crackling fire light. There were shots, there were cheers to Avalon, and there was a 3-panel door thrown on the fire; it’s never really a bonfire until some furniture goes up lol. That night will always stick with me as my first great naked time. Everyone was having a great time, laughing and singing and dancing in the moonlight. I had to call it quits around 3am though; for reference Fridays are my early night and I’m usually asleep before 11:30pm haha. I heard later the party went on for another hour into the night.
Sleeping on the ground was much worse than I thought it would be. I had a thick blanket folded over a couple times, then a foam yoga mat on that, and finally my sleeping bag. Despite the little sleep I got, I still ended up waking up early, sore from tossing and turning. I lazed around my tent for a while till I decided to meet up with the couple from last night for breakfast. They were preparing eggs and sausage with some new to me new people so we all had a friendly meal.
After we ate, my friend had a small project that he wanted to take care of that involved bringing down a dead tree that was broken half way up and just hanging over a campsite; otherwise known as a widow maker. My contribution to the effort was to stay out of the way but it was really something special to think about here is someone volunteering to do something to make the campground better. This isn’t something he had to do or even something he said he would do for the management. This was just 1 human being wanting to do the right thing. It started to really sink in then that Avalon is not just a destination, but a community.
With a full belly and the excitement passing, I headed back to my tent for a bit of an afternoon nap. I got a couple hours of sleep before going back to the outdoor pool. It was much more lively than the day before and felt good to relax in the afternoon sun. I stayed there until the sun had set well behind the trees before heading back to check out the shower situation. I had heard there were outdoor showers and sure enough I had some near my campsite. They weren’t anything special or fancy, but something about just having an outdoor shower versus going inside to shower was just so great. It also felt nice to get cleaned up while camping. The shower wasn’t just cause though as there was a dance planned in the Bare Barn. I was going to hang out with the people who hosted the campfire on the first night, but I ended up playing pool in the Nudsino and spent the evening there. I barely made it to midnight before I was calling it a night and headed back to my tent.
Sunday was my last day there. I actually slept better after rearranging some of my bedding so I woke up later and went for a hike around. I went to the pond and looked at the streams. I was kicking myself for not grabbing a trail map but I didn’t have time to go on an epic journey anyway. I spent the last few hours I had trying to lose my white tail. While I was breaking down my tent, one of the administrators was driving around the campground letting everyone know that there would be a potluck dinner, and everyone was invited. I was bummed that I couldn’t stay but I had a decent drive ahead of me. I packed up my tent and dejectedly put on pants so I could head to the office for check-out.
So to TL;DR it all, I had an amazing first time naturist event at Avalon Resort. I got to meet all kinds of really diverse and friendly people, spent time hiking the woods, and even got to work on my tan. While not necessarily sleeping the best on the ground, I felt very refreshed and more alive than I had in years. After my experiences at Avalon I can’t wait to go back there, as well as other naturist locales. Anyone who is on the East Coast in the area really should check it out.