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Historic Places

From raging battles to booming industry, these now reclaimed parklands have a deeper story to tell. Explore the ruins of old mine towns, mysteries of old battlegrounds and more.

The Turnpike Trail

Follow the Bluestone River 9.5 miles through the rugged gorge connecting the Pipestem and Bluestone state parks. The historic route is littered with remnants of early farming and timber settlements.

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  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Activity Time: Year-round
  • Special Notes: The tram from Pipestem is only open seasonally, but you can still reach the trail
Locations

Richmond Hamilton Farm

The Richmond Hamilton Farm near Hinton gives a peek into the pioneer days. The preserved subsistence farming stead once provided all the sustenance for an entire family. Raising both crops and animals, they got enough to survive or traded for other things they needed. They were truly living off the land, but it was a harsh challenge. Today, waysides guide you around the historic property.
This preserved farmstead will take you back to the days of subsistence farming, when a single family would grow and raise everything they needed to live right there on the land.

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  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Activity Time: Year-Round
  • Special Notes:

Camp Brookside

Camp Brookside was a summer camp site for the kids in the Union Carbide coal camps. It brought together children of the mine workers and management alike to play, learn, earn badges and more. The camp is being restored, so it can continue to serve local children with educational programs and camps.

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  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Activity Time: Year-Round
  • Special Notes: undergoing restoration

Prince Depot

A picturesque art deco gem, the Prince Depot is still a stop along the Amtrak lines. Its unique design was forward-thinking for its era, merging style and sustainability. Inside, you can still see the original "Chessie" cat logo, one of the most popular company symbols in history.

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  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Activity Time: Year-round
  • Special Notes:

National Coal Heritage Trail

The 187-mile Coal Heritage Trail winds through the Southern WV coalfields, including ruins of old mining towns abandoned in the National Parks. Here are 7 must-see stops on the Coal Heritage Trail, but there's so much more to explore:

Discover coal heritage >
  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Activity Time: Year-round
  • Special Notes:

Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park

Trace the grounds of a key Civil War skirmish. As the Confederates pushed to reclaim the Kanawha Valley, the Union pushed them to retreat back across the river at Carnifex Ferry, solidifying the Union control of this vital strategic stronghold. It paved the way for the creation of West Virginia, since the state split to join the Union while the Confederates were pushed out of the area.

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  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Activity Time: Year-round
  • Special Notes:
Locations

The Legend of John Henry

Have you heard of the Steel-Drivin' Man? Not just any steel-drivin' man— The Man Who Beat The Machine. Tale goes that this rail-building superman squared off against the steam-powered drill that was gonna replace him, and won! Right after, the strain of the physical exertion killed him, but the folk hero went down in history for proving the value of the workin' men. And it all happened just a few miles from the Bluestone and New Rivers in the Great Bend Tunnel near Talcott, WV. A statue stands in his honor in the middle of the memorial park, right by the tunnel where he took his courageous stand. Join us for the annual John Henry Days Festival to celebrate his memory.

Discover the legend >
  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Activity Time: Year-Round
  • Special Notes:
Locations

Thurmond

This classic boomtown is now a ghost town, but you can still explore the history of its heyday. Stop into the old depot to learn more about the stunning volume of coal along the rails, the richest banks in the country, and the infamous former hotel— a lavish "den of sin" where the world's longest poker game was played.

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  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Activity Time: June- August
  • Special Notes: Stop by the depot for visitor information

Nuttallburg

Tucked back into the forest are the remains of a near-forgotten old coal town. Rusted mine equipment sits in the shadow of a towering coal tipple, with a conveyor that stretches more than 1,000 feet, sweeping up the mountain. Interpretive signs lead you along the trails and through the tales of this once-thriving town.

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  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Activity Time: Year-round
  • Special Notes: Off the beaten path