Need a cure for the winter blues? Work or school got you down? Head to North Bend State Park for a rejuvenating weekend in the beautiful hills of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Book your lodging in advance
Located about 40 minutes east of Parkersburg, North Bend offers a secluded retreat in the woods surrounded by rolling hills, lakes and streams. North Bend’s full-service lodge and cozy vacation cabins are open year-round. The park also has two campgrounds that are open spring through fall, weather permitting. Book your room, cabin or campsite online before your stay.
Start your day with a hearty meal. The lodge restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Now it’s time to grab your gear and tackle box. Fishing opportunities abound for anglers on the North Fork of the Hughes River, and North Bend’s 305-acre lake has a boat ramp, accessible fishing pier and other fishing access points. The river downstream of the dam is stocked with trout January through April.
Then, spend a quiet afternoon exploring more than 26 miles of trails that wind through the park. Take a walk around the lake or climb the wooded hills to explore fascinating rock formations. Look for wildlife and interesting plants. You might even find some historic structures; the park is located in West Virginia’s historic oil and gas fields, and some wells dating back to the 19th century can still be found in the park.
Relax and unwind by the fire in your cozy cabin, or enjoy the peaceful lodge setting. You’ll have a busy day tomorrow!
Go for a leisurely bike ride on the North Bend Rail Trail. The 72-mile trail can be accessed via a connector trail from the campground. Its wide, level grade is ideal for beginner bicyclists and families with younger children. Formerly a railbanked spur of the CSX system, the trail winds over bridges and through tunnels, passing through peaceful farmland and charming small towns. Picnic benches dot the route, so you might want to pack a box lunch and stop for a bite while you soak up the scenery.
The afternoon is yours to explore the surrounding area. Enjoy a driving tour of the Quilt Barns of Ritchie County, or take a walking tour of historic Cairo just outside the park. Grab the kids and head over to Berdine’s Five and Dime in nearby Harrisville. The eclectic little store has been in continuous operation since 1908 and carries a unique selection of goods, from toys and games to handmade soaps, snacks and collectibles.
As you wind down your weekend with a delicious dinner at the lodge, you might want to start planning your next West Virginia State Park adventure. Planning a visit during the warmer months? North Bend’s marina is open seasonally and rents canoes, kayaks and paddle boats. A swimming pool is also open seasonally.
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