About This Park

Pipestem Resort State Park sits on the east rim of the Bluestone River Gorge, which carves through the plateau to the scenic Bluestone River 1,200 feet below. The 4,050-acre park is located on the border of Summers and Mercer counties and features two hotels, one of which lies at the bottom of the gorge and can only be accessed by an aerial tramway. In addition to canyon floor sites, Pipestem offers elevated views from the Bolar Lookout Tower overlook.

Pipestem Resort State Park

Things to Do


859 attraction is located outside of the park.
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • 859
    Hunting
  • 859
    Museums & Historical Sites
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Snow Sports
  • Swimming
Groups, Meetings and Weddings Rules & Regulations Download Park Pack & Map

History

Pipestem Resort State Park gets its name from the native pipestem or meadowsweet plant. Native Americans and early pioneers used the hollowed-out twigs as shafts for tobacco pipes. For generations, the descendants of Scotch, Irish and English farmers farmed the relatively flat plateau on the east side of the Bluestone River Gorge. The land was rich in beauty but poor in jobs. In the 1960s, West Virginia received financial assistance to buy property to create a park that would attract visitors who could help grow the local economy. The park was built with grants provided by the Area Redevelopment Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce under the administration of President John F. Kennedy. The park officially opened on Memorial Day 1970.

Accommodations

Lodging

Pipestem Resort State Park has two lodges, the year-round McKeever Lodge and the seasonal Mountain Creek Lodge. McKeever Lodge has 113 guest rooms and suites, many with scenic views of the gorge. It has designated pet-friendly rooms, WiFi, an indoor heated pool, game room, saunas and exercise room. Diners may choose from the full-service flair of the Bluestone Dining Room restaurant, or the casual atmosphere of the Black Bear Snack Bar. Other McKeever Lodge amenities include a gift shop, cozy reading areas, a conference center and an observation deck with stunning views.

The seasonal Mountain Creek Lodge is open May through October and is accessible only by the park’s popular aerial tramway. The lodge’s 30 rooms offer cable TV, Wi-Fi, microwaves, refrigerators, telephones and a relaxing view of the Bluestone River. The gourmet Mountain Creek Restaurant serves dinner by reservation.

Event and Meeting Space

There’s plenty of space for your next conference or special event, plus plenty of activity to keep guests entertained while they’re here. And the picturesque views and backdrops are a bonus, too! Event and meeting spaces are available for private events, weddings or business meetings.

Cabins

Pipestem Resort State Park has 26 fully-furnished rental cabins complete with household needs. The cabin units vary in size, from two to four-bedroom. Pet-friendly cabins are available so bring your furry friends along for the fun, too. All cabins have Wi-Fi and are available for year-round rentals.

Camping

Pipestem Resort State Park has 82 campground sites open year-round, 31 of which are equipped with full hookups and 19 sites with electric only. Amenities include heated bathhouses, coin laundry, a campground store and a playground area. Small pop-up tents, large RVs and everything in between are welcome! Campers with units over 25 feet in length may contact the park to discuss suitable sites. West Virginia State Park campground reservations are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. Campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-serve basis through October 31.

Dining

With dining options on-site, you may never have to leave! Pipestem Resort features several enticing dining options, all of which are open to the general public.

The Bluestone Dining Room overlooks the breathtaking Bluestone Gorge and is the main full-service restaurant at Pipestem Resort. Open year-round, the restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.  Special buffets are frequently planned.

Wings & Swings, located at the Pro Shop, caters to golfers, tennis players, and to the general public. Featuring brews, subs, and sandwiches, Wings & Swings offers the perfect casual bite before or after tee off or while exploring the park.

Black Bear Snack Bar features lighter fare and speciality coffees that appeal to families on the go or those just needing a quick bite. In the evening, the Black Bear features a selection of adult beverages and snacks. Black Bear is located at McKeever Lodge.

Tramway Sweets & Treats offers ice cream and other confections seasonally at the Canyon Rim Center.

Cannonball is the snack bar located at the Recreation Center. It is open during the summer months at the outdoor pool.

Mountain Creek Dining Room is a unique riverside location, accessible only by the park’s popular aerial tramway. The lodge’s Mountain Creek Dining Room is known for outstanding meals and high-quality preparation, so reservations in advance are a must!

Shopping

Everything you need for that vacation is right here, plus a little extra.

Pro Shop – Features logoed golf apparel and unique golf merchandise.

Expressions of McKeever Lodge – Features apparel, art glass, and speciality gifts.

Campground Store – Features staple products and groceries to make your stay more convenient and enjoyable.

Canyon Rim Gift Shop – Offers a wide selection of souvenirs and gifts.

Mountain Artisan Center – Features West Virginia hand-crafted merchandise.

Recreation Center Speciality Shop – Features logoed apparel, recreation equipment, disc golf, and archery supplies.

Mountain Creek Outfitters – Offers outdoor adventure apparel and gear.

Trails

Canyon Rim Trail

Beginning near the employee parking area at Canyon Rim Center, this steep trail descends 500 feet to Heritage Point, a massive sandstone outcropping. The overlook offers an excellent view of the Bluestone River Gorge and Mountain Creek Lodge.
Distance 0.7 miles

Cottage Trail

This easy trail begins at the park road behind Cottage Number 1 and travels down to Long Branch Lake where it joins the Lake Shore Trail.
Distance 0.7 miles

County Line Trail

This steep, somewhat rugged trail begins at the Nature Center parking lot, comes through the edge of the yard and then travels a short distance toward the stables. It then descends into the woods, crosses two knobs, passes Indian Branch Falls (1.2 miles) and ends at the River Trail.
Distance 1.9 miles

Den Tree Trail

This is a nongame wildlife trail that begins on the edge of the arboretum, crosses the Law Hollow Trail and ends at the wildlife viewing area on the dam at Long Branch Lake.
Distance 0.6 miles

Dogwood Trail

This is a relatively easy walking trail that begins beside the pond at the Nature Center, passes through an oak-hickory forest along the park road, and loops back to the Nature Center.
Distance 0.6 miles

Farley Loop Trail

The most rugged trail in the park, Farley Loop Trail begins behind the Mountain Creek Lodge. After a quarter mile of steep switchbacks, a short spur takes you to Raven Rock overlook and a tremendous view of the gorge. Another half mile of steep, rocky switchbacks takes you through a pine thicket to the patrol cabin. Above the cabin, the trail turns sharply to the right and passes two cemeteries before descending one mile to the Bluestone River. To return to Mountain Creek Lodge, turn right (upstream) and follow the River Trail.
Distance 3 miles

Lake View Trail

Beginning along the park road between the Recreation Center and the Nature Center, this trail follows an old roadbed through mostly open habitat to its junction with the Lake Shore Trail near Long Branch Lake.
Distance 0.4 miles

Law Hollow Trail

The trail begins at True Road and follows an old logging road down to the Lake Shore Trail just below the spillway for the dam.
Distance 0.5 miles

Lick Hollow Trail

This trail begins at the Mountain Creek Lodge parking area at Canyon Rim Center. It descends into Lick Hollow and then routes back up to the rim of the hollow where there is a beautiful view of the Bluestone Canyon. The trail then loops around and returns to the parking area.
Distance 1.6 miles

Long Branch Trail

Starting from the park road across from the McKeever Lodge and beside the arboretum, this short, steep paved trail offers easy access to Long Branch Lake. The trail also serves as a service road (authorized vehicles only).
Distance 0.3 miles

North Side Trail

This .5 mile loop trail begins at the Park Headquarters parking area, passes down into the woods and returns to the large field behind the building.
Distance 0.3 miles

Turkey Spur Trail

This trail begins along the park road between Park Headquarters and Cottage Number 1, with a 0.3-mile unnamed trail to Turkey Spur. The trail connects Cottage and Lake Shore trails and in 0.4 mile joins with Lake Shore Trail.
Distance 1 mile

River Trail

This trail begins behind McKeever Lodge. After about a 0.25 mile of steep descent, the trail becomes relatively level. One and a half miles from the lodge, it crosses the Canyon Rim Trail. After passing under the Aerial Tramway, the trail meets the County Line Trail about 2.25 miles from McKeever Lodge. The trail goes through a series of switchbacks for 1.25 miles to the Bluestone River. After wading the river, it is an easy 0.75 mile walk to Mountain Creek Lodge. The trail then continues downstream for another mile where it ends at the junction of the Farley Loop Trail and the Bluestone Turnpike Trail.
Distance 5.25 miles

South Side Trail

This trail begins along park road 0.1 mile down the hill from Park Headquarters. It travels through mixed forest 0.6 mile to its junction with the Lake Shore Trail. Look for split rail fences, rock piles and other signs of early settlers.
Distance 0.6 miles
Download Park Pack & Map

Nearby Attractions

National Coal Heritage Trail Interpretative Center

The National Coal Heritage Trail’s Interpretative Center is housed in a charming, reconstructed train depot at 100 Station Square in Bramwell. The center displays relics from West Virginia’s coal history, making for a fascinating and historic excursion.

Hinton Railroad Museum

Learn more about West Virginia’s rich rail history at the Hinton Railroad Museum.  Browse through artifacts from the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from 1873 to the present day. The museum is open June through August in downtown Hinton.

Veterans Memorial Museum

Salute our veterans at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Hinton. The museum features memorabilia dating back to the Revolutionary War to present day, all donated by citizens of Summers County.

“Those Who Served War Museum”

Delve into more historic artifacts, ranging from the Revolutionary War to present day, with special emphasis on World War II.

Chuck Mathena Center

With a nearly 1000-seat theater, state-of-the art audio and visual capability and stunning architecture, the Chuck Mathena Center is one-of-a-kind experience in southern West Virginia.  Located in Princeton, the stage plays host to year-long national touring productions, theatre and musicals, concerts, dance and more.

Bluestone State Park

Untamed and majestic, this tranquil lakeside park near Hinton makes an ideal retreat. Modern cabins are available for rent (14 year-round, 12 seasonal) as are 4 campgrounds.

Camp Creek State Park and Forest

Remarkable waterfalls and lush, thick forests make this park a Mercer County highlight. Simple campgrounds for campers (including one for horses) are available for rent. Camp Creek also has a remote pack-in-pack-out site for backpackers– a real treat for anybody who wants to rough it! 

Photos

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