About This Park

Located on a small island in the Ohio River, Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park features a Palladian mansion and museum visited by 40,000 people each year. This historical park is accessed by sternwheeler riverboat from Point Park on 2nd Street in Parkersburg. Once on the island, visitors may enjoy tours of the grounds and mansion and horse-drawn carriage rides. Tours are offered when the park is open, from May through the last weekend of October.

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park

Things to Do


859 attraction is located outside of the park.
  • Biking
  • 859
    Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Museums & Historical Sites
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History

The history of Blennerhassett Island has made it the Ohio River’s most famous island. In 1789, the island was settled by Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett, wealthy Irish aristocrats fleeing political persecution and personal scandal. Over the years, the couple’s mansion gained a reputation for being the West’s most beautiful home. Then, in 1805, they allowed their estate to become headquarters for Aaron Burr’s military expedition to the Southwest, an episode that raised the island to national renown and awarded it a permanent footnote in American history. The Burr conspiracy, which is suspected to have involved a treasonous plot to create a new country independent of the United States, has become the subject of many stories, poems, artwork and Broadway shows. The Blennerhassetts fled the island when Burr’s scheme collapsed but the mansion and history remain.

Accommodations

Blennerhassett Island State Park offers primitive camping for groups such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and 4-H and church youth groups. To camp on the island arrangements must be made in advance. Campsites include firewood, fire rings and picnic tables.

Camping

For large groups wanting to experience the island much like early frontier settlers, a primitive campsite is available with advanced reservation and planning.

Additional Information

Walking Tours

Come explore the historical island! Tours of Blennerhassett Island State Park and its reconstructed mansion offers visitors a glimpse of life on a colonial plantation. Volunteers wearing period-accurate costumes conduct tours through the mansion. Self-guided walking tours and horse drawn wagon rides also are available.

Schedule and Operating Hours

Blennerhassett Island is open from the first of May until the end of October each year. While touring the park, visitors should allow at least three hours for a complete tour. This includes the sternwheeler ride to and from the island. Stay up-to-date on this year’s sternwheeler ride information and museum hours of operation.

Shopping

There’s plenty of shopping to do for visitors who want to bring a piece of the island back home with them. Experience great hospitality and charm in the shops of Blennerhassett.

Nearby Attractions

Blennerhassett Hotel

This historic hotel, located back on the mainland in Parkersburg, is a luxurious historic hotel that offers guests a relaxing place to stay. The hotel offers a package that includes a boutique room at the hotel, a sternwheeler ride to Blennerhassett Island, a horse-drawn carriage ride, a tour of the mansion, passes for the history museum and more.

Oil and Gas Museum

Located in Parkersburg, this nationally recognized museum presents the intriguing history of the oil and gas industry, including how the accumulation of wealth from oil impacted West Virginia’s statehood. The museum also has expanded displays on the Civil War and other local industries.

City of Parkersburg

Located at the North Bend Rail Trail’s western point, the city of Parkersburg has an Art Center, coffee shops, bakeries, old fashioned diners, shops and the Blennerhassett Museum for all visitors to enjoy.

North Bend State Rail Trail

North Bend Rail Trail stretches 72 miles across north-central and western West Virginia. This wilderness path takes travelers across 36 bridges and through 10 tunnels and is part of the 5,500-mile American Discovery Trail, which spans the length of the United States. The trail has become one of the most renowned recreational trails through the Appalachians.

North Bend State Park

North Bend State Park offers many recreational activities, including fishing, hiking, biking and horseback riding. Water recreation and boat rentals also are available at the park’s 305-acre lake.

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