Get ready for summer with a Memorial Day trip to these state parks

Plan a picnic with family and friends and enjoy the great outdoors

On Memorial Day weekend, we honor those brave soldiers who served our nation. It’s also a time to spend some quality time with family and friends. Those first warm days that preclude summer’s arrival are an ideal time to head to a West Virginia state park for a cookout and to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Here are just a few suggested trips to get your vacation started:

Wilderness Getaway

With 40 miles of hiking trails as well as a lake for boating and fishing, Watoga State Park is a favorite destination for outdoor lovers of every type. The park has two campgrounds and guest cabins—including the historic Legacy cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Memorial weekend promises a lot of excitement at the park, with activities like guided nature hikes, a glow walk and campfire cooking.

Lake Adventures

The sparkling waters of Tygart Lake provide a scenic backdrop for lounging the day away at Tygart Lake State Park. Fishing boats, pontoons, kayaks and canoes are available for rent on the 10-mile-long, 1,750-acre lake, and a beach area is roped off for swimming. Accommodations are available at the full-service lodge that overlooks the lake; the park also has a campground and guest cabins. For a fun side trip, head over to Prickett’s Fort State Park, which commemorates late 18th-century life on the Virginia frontier. Military veterans get free admission to the fort on Memorial Day (May 27).

Wheeling About

Its proximity to the 72-mile North Bend Rail Trail makesNorth Bend State Park the perfect base for a leisurely afternoon bike ride. There’s also the park’s Quest program, a customized, choose-your-own adventure in which participants can learn a new outdoor skill like kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking. Accommodations are available at the park’s full-service lodge, guest cabins and campgrounds. And if you’re planning on visiting during Memorial Day weekend, plan to attend the 15th Annual Engines and Wheels Festival, a daylong event featuring old-fashioned engines and turn-of-the-century industrial, oil field and farm machinery.

Pipestem Peaks

Zipline Tours

Pipestem Resort State Park is the place to be for thrill seekers of all ages. The park recently debuted its Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour and it is preparing to add a bunch of exciting activities, including an adventure lake and splash park at the resort and whitewater rafting and tubing on the Bluestone River. Your group also can enjoy activities like golf, horseback riding and trout-fishing expeditions. Accommodations range from cabins and campgrounds to two full-service lodges—McKeever on the rim of the Bluestone Gorge, and Mountain Creek, accessible by aerial tram at the bottom of the gorge.

What’s Happening

Lots of fun and exciting things are taking place Memorial weekend—and all summer long—at West Virginia State Parks and Forests. Visit our online calendar to find additional events and activities.

Veterans Discount

West Virginia State Parks thanks you for your service. We offer a 10 percent discount off lodge rooms and cabins to all veterans and active duty military personnel. To receive the discount, use code Vets10 when you make your reservation and present a valid military ID at check-in.

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