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.
Things to Do
Come enjoy a scenic bike ride along the leisurely trails to get back in touch with nature. A perfect activity for a spontaneous day trip!
See what treasure could be buried right in your own backyard with geocaching! All you need is a smartphone with GPS and a spirit for adventure!
There’s no better place for a hike than Watters Smith Memorial State Park! Hiking trails are available with plenty of opportunities for great birdwatching along the way. The park superintendent includes sightings in monthly reports, and those blooming, singing and nesting observations are recorded here .
Museums & Historical Sites
The Smith residence, built in 1876 to replace the original log cabin, has been refurbished and serves as a museum containing many period-accurate furnishings. A commemorative stone and bronze monument of Smith marks the site of the original log cabin. Guided tours of the museum are offered on certain weekends, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Buildings on the grounds include a horse and cattle barn, mill room, corn crib, hog pen, smokehouse, food storage cellar, woodworking shop, blacksmith shop and a farm barn where equipment and hay was stored.
West Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful and remote areas in the United States. Be sure to download your Park Pack for maps and other park information.Download
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.
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.
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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