Tucked into a valley in the rugged mountains of southern West Virginia is a state park that is arguably the most picturesque of any spot in that scenic filled state. Babcock State Park is a 4100 acre state park that showcases a 19th century gristmill that derives is power from Glade Creek, a fast moving stream that is strewn with beautiful large boulders. This breathtaking scene is often spotted on calendars, magazines, and on bank cards produced by regional banks.
The gristmill is an operable mill that was assembled from parts of other mills around the state. The mill grinds buckwheat and cornmeal which is offered for sale at the park. Visitors to the park can see the mill in action and witness firsthand a slice of life of a by-gone era.
Babcock offers log cabin rentals that are also very unique. Some of the park’s cabins sit very closely to Glade Creek. Each of these cabins contains a fireplace. Glade Creek swiftly roars through the rocky stream bed offering a soothing background sound. The stream moves very fast and parents with small children would probably not want them alone near the water. The setting, however, is second to none. Other cabin choices are also available in the park. Pets are permitted in some cabins. Babcock also offers tent or trailer camping to its visitors. Campgrounds offer both electric and non-electric sites, showers, and toilet facilities along with other standard offerings.
In addition to the trout filled Glade Creek, Babcock offers many other leisure activities. A small lake is also located in the park where non-powered boats are available to rent. The park has a swimming pool, game courts and many miles of hiking trails for both challenging and relaxing hikes. Horseback trail riding is also offered on a seasonal basis. Other events and activities are available in the park, check with the park office for more information.
Babcock State Park is located near the New River Gorge National River, the New River Gorge Bridge (as seen of West Virginia’s state quarter), multiple whitewater rafting opportunities and many other recreational and cultural sites. The park is located about an hour south of Charleston, West Virginia, three hours north of Charlotte, North Carolina, and about four hours southeast of Columbus, Ohio.
Babcock State Park is certainly a destination for those seeking a quiet vacation. If you are only passing through this area, you should take the time to see this beautiful park, you will not be disappointed.