Babcock State Park, located in Fayette County, was one of the first state parks to be created in West Virginia. The bulk of the land was deeded to the state of West Virginia in 1934, for only $2 an acre. The land had already been timbered at that point, and was considered to be near worthless, but a Civilian Conservation Corp camp was established there and the CCC went to work building trails and cabins. The park officially opened in 1937.
Today Babcock State Park is once again heavily forested, with over 4,100 acres to explore, numerous hiking trails, and a small lake for fishing and boating. One of the iconic sights is the Glade Creek Gristmill, which is one of the most photographed spots in West Virginia. Although it may look old, the mill was only completed in 1976, and is a replica of the original gristmill that used to operate on Glade Creek. The new mill operates on a demonstration basis to let visitors see how a historic gristmill operated.
Like all our state parks, Babcock is boon to the local economy. Babcock State Park had an economic significance of $3,625,415 in 2015, and was 60% financially self-sufficient. Learn more about state parks’ contribution to the economy here.