About This Park

Babcock State Park and its 4,127 acres of rhododendron-lined trails and rippling, rock-strewn streams is one of West Virginia’s most iconic locations. Located 20 miles south of the New River Gorge Bridge, the park is most known for the Glade Creek Grist Mill, a fully functional replica of Cooper’s Mill. Other attractions include recreational activities like hiking, fishing and boating.

Babcock State Park

Things to Do

  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • DeerViewing 859
    Hunting
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Rafting
859 attraction is located outside of the park.

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Groups, Meetings and Weddings Rules & Regulations Download Park Pack & Map

History

In the 1930s, two CCC camps located in Clifftop, Camp Beaver and Camp Lee became the site of what is now known as Babcock State Park. The original camp buildings are gone today, but Babcock’s Campground is located at the former site of Camp Lee. All plans for the administration building, cabins, and other work were drawn up by park staff at the park and approved by the Department of the Interior.  The camps at Babcock, Watoga, Cacapon, Lost River, and Oglebay were operated by the Civilian Commission of West Virginia in cooperation with the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior.  Other help included a skilled stonemason foreman who supervised the park’s stone quarry and work on the administration building.

The Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock is a new mill that was completed in 1976.  Fully operable, this mill was built as a re-creation of a previous one that once ground grain on Glade Creek long before Babcock became a state park.  Known as Cooper’s Mill, it stood on the present location of the park’s administration building parking lot. Of special interest, the mill was created by combining parts and pieces from three mills which once dotted the state.  The basic structure of the mill came from the Stoney Creek Grist Mill which dates back to 1890.  After an accidental fire destroyed the Spring Run Grist Mill near Petersburg, Grant County, only the overshot water wheel could be salvaged.  Other parts for the mill came from the Onego Grist Mill near Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County. A living monument to the over 500 mills which thrived in West Virginia at the turn of the century, the Glade Creek Grist Mill provides freshly ground cornmeal which park guests may purchase depending on availability and stream conditions.  Visitors to the mill may journey back to the time when grinding grain by a rushing stream was a way of life, and the groaning mill wheel was music to the miller’s ear.

Accommodations

Cabins

Babcock State Park has 13 legacy cabins along Glade Creek, five legacy frame cabins, eight economy cabins and two handicap-accessible vacation cabins. Each legacy cabin has a wood-burning fireplace, fully equipped kitchen and bath with shower. The economy cabins have a combination living/dining/bedroom with built-in double bunks or single-size bunks, small bath with shower, and a screened-in porch. The accessible vacation cabins have heating and air conditioning, a gas fireplace and HDTV. Specific cabins are designated as pet-friendly. All cabins have Wi-Fi, modern appliances and are stocked with cooking utensils, dishes, flatware, bed linens and bath towels. Cabins are open mid-April through late October, weather permitting, so book your reservations now!

Camping

Babcock State Park’s 52-unit campground has 28 sites with electric hookups and 24 non-electric sites. The campground has a central bathhouse with coin-operated washers and dryers, a water fill-up station, and two sewage dump facilities. Wi-fi is also available and cell phone service is available from most major cell phone companies. If you are looking to bring a group, Babcock offers a group tent camping area that can accommodate up to 20 tents and features a covered shelter with nine picnic tables, electric and a covered stone fireplace. The campground is open mid-April through late October, weather permitting. Half of the campsites at Babcock are available for reservations, while the remainder are rented on a first come, first served basis. Reservations begin the Friday before Memorial Day and end Labor Day, but make sure to plan in advance because spaces are sure to book up fast!

Trails

Connector Trail

The trailhead is located along the service road where Twin Hollow Trail crosses. This a short and steep trail connecting Twin Hollow Trail to Ridge Top Trail.
Distance 50 yards
Difficulty Moderate

Island-In-The-Sky Trail

The trailheads are at the grist mill and at a small parking lot in the sharp curve along the road to Boley Lake. The trail is mostly uphill if starting at the grist mill and mostly level if starting at the sharp curve. The trail has beautiful vistas and high cliff areas, so watch your children carefully.
Distance 0.5 mile
Difficulty Easy to moderate

Lake View Trail

The trailheads to this mostly level loop around Boley Lake are at the lake parking lot or at the gate above the grist mill. A spur from the grist mill gate is 0.5 mile, uphill and moderately difficult. The metal bridge along this spur was originally a gangplank from the showboat Rhododendron.
Distance 1 mile loop
Difficulty Easy to moderate

Manns Creek Gorge Trail

The trailheads are across from Campsite 26 and at the first parking area at Camp Washington Carver. This is not a loop trail, so return along the same route or walk the Camp Washington Carver Road back to the campground.
Distance 2 miles (one way)
Difficulty Moderate

Mountain Heath Trail

The trailhead is 300 yards north of the main intersection on the road leading to the Manns Creek picnic area. The parking spur is on the right side of the road, with the trailhead on the left. Numbered posts and a booklet available at park headquarters take you around this self-guided trail, which leads to the Natural Arch off from the right side of the parking spur.
Distance 0.25 mile
Difficulty Easy

Narrow Gauge Trail

The trailheads are at the service road between the campground and economy cabins and on Sewell Road approximately 0.75 mile below Cabin 3. The gentle grade follows the bed of Manns Creek Railway that connected Clifftop with Sewell until its closure in 1956. Railroad ties, telegraph poles and other remnants of the old railway are still evident. Mountain bikes are permitted but must be carried around difficult sections of the trail.
Distance 2.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty Easy

North Slope Trail

The trailhead is shared with the Narrow Gauge Trail and is located next to Manns Creek Bridge on the service road. The first half of the trail is level and follows Manns Creek. The second half of the trail is very steep and is a difficult climb, connecting to the Ridge Top Trail.

Distance 0.5 mile (one way)
Difficulty Easy

Old Pond Trail

The trailheads are at the parking lot for the Natural Arch and at the gate before the intersection to the Manns Creek overlook. The trail has some uphill sections from either starting point.
Distance 1.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty Moderate

Ridge Top Trail

The trailheads are across from the Short Cut Trail or past the Natural Arch parking area on the right, if coming from the main park entrance. The trail has steep uphill sections from either starting point. It follows along the crest of a ridge at some of the highest elevations at the park.
Distance 2 miles (one way)
Difficulty Moderate to difficult

Rocky Trail

This short, steep trail connects Skyline Trail with Narrow Gauge Trail and is a stone staircase constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It is much easier to walk downhill from the Skyline Trail.
Distance 0.5 mile
Difficulty Difficult

Short Cut Trail

The trailhead is shared with the Ridge Top Trail parking area along Manns Creek Road. The trail has a fairly steep downhill section connecting to the Old Pond Trail.
Distance 300 yards
Difficulty Moderate

Skyline Trail

The trailheads are at Manns Creek overlook in the picnic area and across the road from Cabin 5. Hikers must return along the same trail or by park roads. The trail follows a natural cliff line with spectacular vistas. It features a high cliff area, so watch your children carefully.
Distance 2 miles (one way)
Difficulty Moderate to difficult

Triple Creek Trail

The trail begins at the swimming pool parking lot and connects to the Wilderness Trail. It features three creek crossings.
Distance 1 mile
Difficulty Moderate to difficult

Twin Hollow Trail

The trailhead is at the gate before the Manns Creek intersection. The trail follows a beautiful hollow on the west side of the service road and main park road and has a few steep sections.
Distance 0.5 mile (one way)
Difficulty Moderate to difficult

Wilderness Trail

The trailhead is at the sharp curve on Boley Lake Road. It is a mostly level, remote, dead-end trail that connects with Triple Creek Trail.
Distance 1.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty Moderate
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Nearby Attractions

Adventures on the Gorge

This popular New River Gorge resort has been a family favorite since 1972. Whitewater rafting, zip lining, and guided hiking are just some of the recreational trips you can try.

Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park

The park, set on the rim of the Gauley River Canyon, was the setting for the 1861 Civil War battle during which Confederate troops were driven out of the Kanawha Valley. The park features the Patterson House Museum and three overlooks of the Gauley River.  The Battle of Carnifex Ferry is re-enacted here on odd-numbered years so be sure not to miss out.

Hawks Nest State Park 

This 276-acre park with a lodge and restaurant is known for its scenic overlooks of the New River Gorge and exciting transportation. Visitors can ride the aerial tramway to the bottom of the gorge and ride a jetboat to the base of the New River Gorge Bridge. How’s that for beating traffic?

Summersville Lake

Plunge into the clearest water east of the Mississippi. Known as the “Little Bahamas of the East,” this exotic lake is a popular spot for boating, swimming, scuba diving, and stand-up paddle boarding. It’s also West Virginia’s largest lake, with 60 miles of shoreline.

 

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