History comes alive at Prickett’s Fort state park

Experience life on the Virginia frontier

Take a trip back to 18th century life on the Virginia frontier at Prickett’s Fort State Park. Dedicated as part of the 1776 bicentennial, this day-use park in Fairmont features a reconstructed colonial fort, living history demonstrations and outdoor recreation.

A BIG step back in time! Reproduction of the original Revolutionary War fort in the heart of West Virginia! Lovely trails, water, house, and staff! Reasonable cost and well kept. The graveyard was very interesting, and rest place of some Rev War and Civil War soldiers.”

Sunsup605, Trip Advisor reviewer from Warrenton

Living history

The park’s main feature is its reconstruction of the original Prickett’s Fort. Set on a rise overlooking the confluence of Prickett’s Creek and the Monongahela River, this rustic log fort is a re-creation of the original fort of 1774, which served as a refuge from Native American war parties on the western frontier of Colonial Virginia.

Costumed interpreters lead tours during which visitors can watch artisans demonstrate a variety of colonial skills, including blacksmithing, leatherworking, spinning and weaving. A gun shop features the only public demonstrations of 18th century firearm manufacturing in the state.

Start your visit at the Prickett’s Fort Visitor Center houses a museum orientation gallery, research library and gift shop. Visitors can also tour the Job Prickett House, built in 1859 by the great-grandson of Capt. Jacob Prickett, the fort’s namesake. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is furnished with antiques originally used by the Prickett family. The Prickett family cemetery next door contains a memorial stone dedicated to Col. Prickett.

 “This park has so many educational events and demonstrations and even free concerts at the amphitheater! I knew I wanted to visit this park so I checked out their calendar of events and chose the event I most wanted to attend which happened to be the Sheep to Shawl weekend. We got to see everything from the sheep being sheared (the old-fashioned way of course) to a shawl being made from that wool and everything in between. It was awesome!”

—Connie F, TripAdvisor reviewer

Outdoor recreation

There’s plenty to enjoy at this park for both history lovers and nature lovers alike. Recreational facilities include picnic areas, nature trails, fishing and a boat launch. The park hosts bass tournaments in season. Proper fishing license and stamps are required and may be purchased online at www.wvfish.com.

Park visitors also have access to two rail-trails: the MCPARC trail to Fairmont and the Mon River Trail south to Morgantown. Bikes are available for rent at the Visitor Center.

The park also hosts a variety of summer plays and concerts at the amphitheater next door to the Visitor Center.

Nearby attractions

Lodging is available nearby at Tygart Lake State Park. Set on the 10-mile-long, 1,750-acre Tygart Lake, the park offers boating, fishing and swimming among its amenities. Accommodations are available at the park lodge, campground and guest cabins.

Once the site of a lumber and grist mill community, Valley Falls State Parkis noted for its picturesque waterfalls on the Tygart Valley River. Recreation includes picnicking, hiking and fishing.

History enthusiasts won’t want to miss a guided tour of the pioneer homestead at Watters Smith Memorial State Park. The Smith family home has been restored as a museum, and an additional museum houses many early farm artifacts. Tours are offered Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Take a trip back in time to Prickett’s Fort State Park. Plan your West Virginia State Parks getaway today!

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