Moncove Lake State Park is situated right on the southeastern edge of West Virginia on the banks of the 144 acre Moncove Lake. The Moncove Lake area was established in 1960, following the damming of Devil Creek in eastern Monroe County. 250 acres were pulled out of Moncove Lake Wildlife Management area in 1990 to […]
West Virginia's state parks are beloved by tourists and locals alike. Over 7 million people visit West Virginia's state parks every year, and that number is growing. Visitors use parks for hiking, biking, camping, boating, fishing, wildlife viewing and more. Scattered across the state, parks showcase a wide variety of ecosystem types, scenic views, and outdoor recreation options.
Parks are also great for West Virginia's economy. In 2015, the economic significance of state parks was between $213.4 million and $248.7 million. Every $1 of general revenue invested parks generates $13.15 in economic activity.
Many of our parks have a backlog of maintenance issues, and need additional investment to continue to be an asset to locals and visitors alike. Friends of Blackwater is working to raise awareness of this issue, and we will be bringing you opportunities to advocate for the park system. In the meantime, learn a little more about our parks with the blog posts below or take our state park survey.
Lost River State Park is located on 3,700 acres at the headwaters of the Lost River which flows from Mathias through the Lost River Valley and on to Sandy Ridge Mountain where it sinks below the earth and reemerges as the Cacapon River. It has a rich history, passing through the ownership of the Henry […]
Little Beaver State Park is in Randolph County, near the town of Beckley. Created in 1941 as a 4-H camp, it was sold to the state for $1 in 1970 and was established as a state park. Little Beaver includes stone work done by the CCC in the 1930s, including the nearby Little Beaver Lake, […]
Holly River State Park, the second largest West Virginia state park, was unofficially created in 1938 as a reclaimed conservation site after being destroyed by over fishing, over hunting, timbering, and poor farming practices. The Department of Agriculture began to buy this land in Webster county, relocating the Swiss families living there, and started reforesting […]
Hawks Nest State Park, named after the osprey, or fish hawks, that used to inhabit the cliffs, is a peak on Gauley Mountain that overlooks the New River Gorge in Anstead, WV. Old Native American trails passed through Hawks Nest, followed later by settlers in stage coaches on the same roads, and those same routes […]
Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park is the oldest park in the state and is a part of the Civil War Discovery Trail, dedicated in 1929 as a memorial to the men and women who participated in what is thought to be the largest Civil War battle in West Virginia on November 6, 1863. The veterans […]
Chief Logan State Park is named for a leader of the Mingo tribe, who lived in the area before the Revolutionary War. The area that would eventually become the state park was first purchased by a local commission, then sold to the DNR. It opened as a state Recreation Area in 1960, and then became […]
The town of Cass, in Pocahontas County, was founded in 1901 by the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company. That same year, construction began on a railroad that would haul timber to the lumber mill in town. For a brief period, the town boomed, and the mill at Cass processed over 1.25 billion board feet […]
Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park sits on the edge of the Gauley River Canyon, and commemorates an important battle in the Civil War. In 1861, Union soldiers were victorious at Carnifex Ferry and forced the confederate army to retreat across the Gauley River and on towards Lewisburg. The formation of West Virginia as an independent, […]
Legend has it that Canaan Valley gets its name from an early fur trader who arrived in the valley in the 1700s and declared “Behold, the land of Canaan”, comparing the area to the biblical promised land. Many early visitors had the opposite opinion, however, in 1853, Harper’s Monthly Magazine described the area as “filled […]
The name Cacapon is thought to be derived from a Shawnee word meaning “medicine waters”, which referred to the Cacapon River. The area that became Cacapon was logged and converted to small farms early in its history, but by the early 1930s, these “truck farms” were no longer economically viable and families were selling the […]
Bluestone State Park is home to Bluestone Lake, the third largest body of water in the state. The huge lake is formed by a dam on the New River, which was built in the 1940s. Construction was begun in 1942, but suspended during World War II, so it wasn’t finished until 1948. Almost immediately people […]