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Big Earl’s Campground is located in Julian.

In the community of Julian just over the bank from the highway, you can find Big Earl’s Campground, a wonderful place to relax where, on most days, you can witness some of the best dune buggy off-road vehicles in the region. Most, but not all are there for the ATV trails, some of which are soon to become the Ivy Branch of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System.

The Ivy Branch trail is one of the few trail systems in the eastern United States designed for multipurpose types of riding. Jeep and Buggy enthusiasts have their own designated sections, which makes this place so unique and appealing. Most people who ride the trails in the area use the regular types of ATVs, side-by-sides and motorcycles, but the trail can also accommodate horseback riders and hikers as well.

Hannah Ball is the owner-operator of Big Earl’s Campground, which offers some of the finest amenities. Cabins are available in many sizes, and the tent camping and RV camping are the best spots in the area for access to the trails. Hannah is carrying on traditions started by her dad, Big Earl.

Big Earl’s has a fine heritage of hosting some rocking music festivals providing all-inclusive bundles with food and camping. All-day music for consecutive days will be offered for events, but, of course, day passes will also be available. Hannah says she wants to make sure all traditions for the campground continue with some high-quality music-filled festivals this summer.

One of the best features of the grounds is all the space and the ability for people to spread out. A huge section of bottom land awaits there for every type of camper or glamper. The Little Coal River section of the Coal River Water trail adjoins the property as well, providing campers with access to the river for swimming, fishing, kayaking and boating.

Like all small business owners through these unique times, Big Earl’s has experienced a small decline in traffic and could use some local support and some word-of-mouth advertising. Southern hospitality is at its finest at Big Earls and the grounds and cabins are always immaculate. Where Big Earls sits makes it the most desirable of locations to enjoy the amenities of Wild Wonderful Southern West Virginia. Big Earls sits in the shadow of the most amazing all-terrain vehicle trails and sits on the banks of the fast-growing flatwater water trail. Some call it the Walhonde Water Trail, which comes from a Native American term that translates to “mountain river.” To others, it is known as the Coal River Water Trail.

You might just find that Big Earl’s is the perfect spot to see Southern West Virginia and all it has to offer. It is a clean, quiet place to escape the everyday bustle. The hospitality you will encounter will have you recommending the place to others, and you, yourself, will want to return time and time again.

Robert Miller is the adventure and tourism instructor at Boone Career & Technical Center.

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