About This Park

The heritage of early West Virginia and the pioneer spirit of Watters Smith are both preserved in the homestead restoration at this 532-acre historical park. This historical park, located in Harrison County, features log cabins, period-accurate buildings and a museum that depicts pioneer life from 1796 to the early 1900s. The grounds are open to picnicking and hiking, and the park also is a popular site for birdwatching.

Watters Smith Memorial State Park

Things to Do

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

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History

The land that is now Watters Smith Memorial State Park was settled in 1796 by Watters Smith and his wife Elizabeth. The couple built a home, farmed the land and raised eight children. In 1876, Smith’s great-grandson, Alexander, reconstructed the family’s original hand-hewn log cabin. The land was donated to the West Virginia Parks system in 1949 when Burr Smith willed the 236-acre farm to the state with instructions it be developed into a park honoring his great-great-grandfather. Today the cabin is used as one of two museums in the park. The farm was operated as a family business for four generations, and the implements on display in the museums and in the barns and sheds were used to keep it running.

Accommodations

Watters Smith Memorial State Park does not provide any overnight accommodations, but visitors may camp, rent cabins or stay in the lodges at nearby Stonewall Resort or Tygart Lake State Park.

Additional Information

Picnicking

Bring along your homemade goodies for a delicious picnic in the park! Watters Smith Memorial State Park has a large picnic area equipped with game courts. You can also enjoy hiking and biking trails and an activity building that can seat up to 60 people.

Nearby Attractions

Holly River State Park

A favorite among nature lovers, Holly River is known for its hiking trails and scenic waterfalls. The park has cabins, camping facilities, a restaurant and swimming pool.

Philippi Covered Bridge

This historic bridge spanning the Tygart River is the oldest and longest covered bridge in West Virginia and is still in use today. Built in 1852, the bridge was used by both Confederate and Union armies and it played a key role in the Battle of Philippi – the first land battle of the Civil War.

Prickett’s Fort State Park

The rustic log fort is a reconstruction of the original Prickett’s Fort and is a living history site where interpreters recreate late 18th century life on the western frontier through period dress and craft demonstrations.

Teter Creek Wildlife Management Area

Teter Creek’s 137 acres include the 35-acre, trout-stocked Teter Creek Lake and 20 tent/trailer campsites. Hunting prospects include deer, grouse, turkey, squirrel and waterfowl.

Tygart Lake State Park

Located about an hour from Watters Smith, this park is a cozy, quiet getaway for couples and families. Tygart Lake State Park visitors enjoy hiking and golfing, and fishing and boating on the 10-mile long, 1,750-acre Tygart Lake. The park also offers lodging, cabin rentals and camping.

Valley Falls State Park

This day-use park is a popular destination for hiking, fishing and picnicking. The park’s beauty is enhanced by series of foaming waterfalls on the Tygart River. Once the site of a thriving railroad community, the land still bears remnants of the 19th century sawmill and gristmill that operated along the river.

West Virginia State Wildlife Center

View West Virginia’s unique wildlife up close and personal. The West Virginia Wildlife Center houses 29 species of animals that can be viewed along a 1.25-mile long interpretive trail through the forest. Facilities here include a gift shop and picnic area.

 

 

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