Glade Creek Grist Mill

National Parks trip upgrade: 11 scenic sites nearby

If you love the peacefulness of the National Parks of Southern WV, explore all the nearby state parks and recreation areas while you’re here, too.

Here are some highlights of each:

1. Babcock State Park

Babcock State Park is home to WV’s most photographed icon, the Glade Creek Grist Mill. Stop in for some freshly milled buckwheat and grains before a hike on the surrounding trails.

2. Bluestone State Park

Connected to the Bluestone National Park, the thickly forested Bluestone State Park has cozy cabins and campsites for wilderness-goers who want to stay right in the rugged beauty of the mountains.

3. Camp Creek State Park & Forest

Horseback riders will love Camp Creek’s horse and rider campground, where you can cozy up for the night with up to 6 of your 4-legged companions safely settled in a gated area at your campsite. The grounds have easy access to the park’s more than 30 miles of riding trails.

4. Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park

The site of a key Civil War skirmish, history buffs can delve into the tale of Carnifex Ferry’s secretive retreat and how it led to West Virginia’s statehood. The panoramic views overlooking the Gauley National Recreation area are stunning.

5. Little Beaver State Park

Bring the family for a picnic at the shelters and fun on the playground at Little Beaver State Park, or enjoy a calm fishing trip on the lake, reeling in bass, crappie, channel cat, bluegill and trout.

6. Moncove Lake State Park

Eagles, falcons and other raptors roam the skies above Moncove Lake State Park during migration season, and you can catch a glimpse of their majesty from the trails or while paddling the lake. Perched on nearby Peters Mountain, the Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory brings you eye-level with the massive birds above a fantastic mountain panorama.

7. Pinnacle Rock State Park

Famous for its amazing overlook of the pastoral park valley below, Pinnacle Rock State Park’s signature sandstone formation is a unique landmark stretching 3,100 feet above sea level.

8. Pipestem Resort State Park

Get a relaxing aerial view of the Bluestone Gorge on Pipestem Resort State Park’s seasonal aerial tram. At the Bottom, dine at the Laurel Creek Lodge and restaurant before exploring the river and surrounding beauty.

9. Twin Falls Resort State Park

The trails that wind through the wilderness of Twin Falls Resort State Park are full of natural surprises, like its namesake flowing waterfalls.

10. Bluestone Lake

Bluestone Lake is a fisherman’s paradise, where you can reel in bluegill, large and smallmouth bass, hybrid bass, striped bass, crappie and catfish. And big ones! The state record striped bass was caught right from these waters— a whopping 45.7 pounds!

11. Summersville Lake

The largest lake in the state, Summersville Lake is a perfect place to boat, swim, climb, SCUBA dive and paddleboard, or climb the lighthouse for a sweeping vista of the crystal-blue waters.

How many of these state parks have you visited?