West Virginia State Parks

The West Virginia State Parks Include Two Civil War Battlefields

The State Parks in West Virginia are managed by the state`s Division of Natural Resources and at present they control thirty five state parks, one railtrail and one river trail.

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The system of state parks in West Virginia dates back to July 4th 1928 when Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park became their very first unit.

West Virginia is a state in the eastern part of the United States and is notable for being in the mountainous Appalachian Range.

The Glade Creek Grist Mill At Babcock State Park

The nickname of West Virginia is the "Mountain State" and its terrain is extremely rugged with many deep valleys and steep ridges.

The highest point in the state is Spruce Knob which stands at 4,863 feet above sea level. The average elevation across West Virginia is the highest of any state east of the Mississippi at 1,500 feet.

A good example of the type of terrain found in the state is the
New River Gorge.

A thousand feet deep in places, it is an area of stunning scenery and it is no surprise that a number of West Virginia state parks are to be found in its vicinity. Examples of these are Hawks Nest State Park, Babcock State Park and Bluestone State Park.

The Incredible New River Gorge Bridge

No Native American tribes lived permanently in the region but it was considered to be prime hunting territory and once the European settlers arrived many murderous raids were carried out.

This background led to the shaping of a number of state parks in West Virginia.

Lost river State Park was created on the site of a skirmish that took place in 1756 during the French and Indian War. The Tu-Endie-Wei State Park commemorates a 1774 battle against Shawnee Indians led by Chief Cornstalk.

Pricketts Fort State Park has a number of reconstructed buildings which graphically shows what the settlers had to do to protect themselves against raiding parties of Native Americans.

Some Of The Buildings At Prickett`s Fort State Park

West Virginia was one of only two states to be created during the American Civil War, the other being Nevada. It became the 35th state when it joined the Union on June 20th 1863 after it had split away from Virginia.

Situated right on the border between North and South, it supplied about the same number of troops to either side during the Civil War. It was lucky enough not to suffer too badly during the hostilities.

There were no full scale battles on its land only skirmishes and minor engagements. Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park and Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park commemorate two of these events.

The Lookout Tower At Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park

West Virginia is renowned throughout the United States for two industries and the railroads that allowed them to flourish. They are coalmining and lumber.

Following the Civil War and the rapid expansion of the railroad these two industries enjoyed a boom time. This was because they were able to transport large quantities of these materials to the expanding industrial markets in America and abroad.

A number of West Virginia state parks have been created to remember the importance to the state of coal mining, logging and the railroad.

For example, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park not only has an eleven mile stretch of line on which it runs steam trains but it also includes the former logging town of Cass which was once home to one of the largest sawmills in the world.

Cathedral State Park shows its visitors the sort of old growth trees that were logged over vast acres of the state. This park now protects a large tract of old forest.

White Water Rafting Through The New River Gorge

The West Virginia State Parks are among the most scenic in the United States and they have superb facilities to attract the millions of guests who visit every year.

The area is also extremely popular for a wide variety of outdoor activities. There is white water rafting on the Gauley and New Rivers as well as some terrific fishing, hunting, skiing, hiking and rock climbing.

Here is a list of the West Virginia State Parks.

  • Audra State Park
  • Babcock State Park
  • Beartown State Park
  • Beech Fork State Park
  • Berkeley Springs State Park
  • Blackwater Falls State Park
  • Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park
  • Bluestone State Park
  • Cacapon Resort State Park
  • Camp Creek State Park
  • Canaan Valley Resort State Park
  • Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park
  • Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
  • Cathedral State Park
  • Cedar Creek State Park
  • Chief Logan State Park
  • Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park

  • Fairfax Stone State Park
  • Hawks Nest State Park
  • Holly River State Park
  • Little Beaver State Park
  • Lost River State Park
  • Mancove Lake State Park
  • North Bend State Park
  • Pinnacle Rock State Park
  • Pipestem Resort State Park
  • Prickett`s Fort State Park
  • Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park
  • Tomlinson Run State Park
  • Tu-Endi-Wei State Park
  • Twin Falls State Park
  • Tygart Lake State Park
  • Valley Falls State Park
  • Watoga State Park
  • Watters Smith Memorial State Park

Here are the parks indicated on a map of West Virginia