Civil War history and natural beauty meet at Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park

Hiking trails and picnic shelters make this park an ideal spot for a family gathering

Nov. 6, 1863, Pocahontas County: Confederate forces under Brig. Gen. John Echols clashed with Brig. Gen. W.W. Averell’s Union troops, attempting to prevent the unit from joining other Federal troops in a raid on Confederate railways. The South’s effort failed, and Confederate resistance in the state collapsed.

Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park commemorates one of the most significant Civil War engagements in West Virginia. The park is on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Civil War Discovery Trail, which links more than 300 historical sites in 16 states.

Park amenities include picnic shelters, hiking trails and an observation tower, but it’s the park’s rich history that draws people here.

Securing its place in history

“Untouched grave sites of fallen soldiers, letters from soldiers to loved ones and a small museum of other artifacts really make this place come alive and help to underscore the importance that the American Civil War has in our history. After taking in the observation tower, graveyard and museum, I recommend taking a small hike to the overlook. Along the path are informative signs showing troop movements and key facts of the battle. The observation tower has an area that would be great for a family picnic or family reunion.”

John K, TripAdvisor reviewer  

Dedicated in 1928 as West Virginia’s first state park, this historic battlefield was transformed into an outdoor recreation area by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Highlights include a museum, replica cannon, and even the graves of Confederate soldiers. Trails are marked with interpretive signage depicting the battle that was fought there.

The refurbished CCC log cabin that serves as a museum is open seasonally and by request during the winter months. The museum holds a unique collection of artifacts, including Civil War rifles, bullets, cannon shells, soldiers’ uniforms, a Confederate drum, and letters and other correspondence from the war.

Every other October on even-numbered years, the park hosts a re-enactment of the famous Civil War battle, complete with smaller skirmishes, a ladies’ social, and period worship service.

Top picnicking spot

“The place was breathtaking at the tower overlook. It isn’t wheelchair accessible but just being there on top of the mountain gives you the same view. You can see for miles over the mountains. Such a lovely view. There are many areas in the park that you could have a picnic. At the tower there is a place for children to play, with swings [and] see-saws.”

Carrie M, TripAdvisor reviewer

An abundance of mountain scenery, history and amenities make Droop Mountain Battlefield an ideal place for a family picnic or class reunion. The park has two picnic shelters that can be reserved, and two play areas for children.

At the center of the park, an observation tower offers sweeping views of the Greenbrier Valley, where visitors can envision troops moving over the hills.

Several miles of hiking trails wind through the woods, showcasing rock cliffs and caves, scenic overlooks, Civil War trenches and other historic sites.

Nearby attractions

Lodging is available nearby in the restored company houses at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, while Watoga State Park accommodations include cabins and two campgrounds.

Explore natural wonders at Cranberry Glades Botanical Area and Beartown State Park. Discover the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope at Green Bank Observatory or tour the home of a Pulitzer Prize-winning author at Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Museum.

There’s so much to explore … why not book a cabin stay and spend several days discovering Almost Heaven?  Don’t delay … Make plans today for your West Virginia State Parks getaway!

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