Spend your spring break at these family friendly state parks

Recreation, history and nature merge in these Almost Heaven getaways.

Spring break is almost here! Have you made plans yet? Whisk the family off to a fun and affordable getaway at a West Virginia state park. Early spring is the perfect time to search for blooming wildflowers and enjoy the sound of running mountain streams. Spend your spring break at these family friendly parks!

Enjoy a camping and fishing paradise

Plan a family trip to Beech Fork State Park and enjoy a fun-filled week of camping, hiking and fishing. The park’s Old Orchard Campground is open year-round and has showers and restrooms, coin-operated laundry, free Wi-Fi and full hookups for your RV. The Camper’s Corner Store opens in April and offers basic grocery needs and camping and fishing supplies, so you don’t need to leave the park all week. (More time for activities!) All campsites are on the shores of the 720-acre reservoir, so you can fish right from your campsite. Anglers 15 and older must have a valid fishing license, which may be purchased online at wvfish.com.

You might also like: If you’re spring break is on the week of April 1-6, visit a state park participating in the West Virginia Gold Rush stockings. Unlike regular trout stockings that include a mixture of golden rainbow and regular rainbow trout, these stockings will include only golden rainbow trout, making this a truly special fishing experience.

Walk in George Washington’s footsteps

Enjoy a walk through history in West Virginia’s state parks in the eastern panhandle. Cacapon Resort State Park got its name from the Native American tribes that were drawn to the warm mineral springs in the Eastern Panhandle. In fact, the park’s name is a derivative of the Shawnee term meaning “medicine waters.” During colonial times, a young George Washington rode his horse on the same trails that would become part of a state park. Recreational offerings at Cacapon include hiking, fishing, horseback riding and championship golf. Accommodations are available at the park’s 48-room lodge, which has a full-service restaurant. There’s also four types of guest cabins.

You might also like: Soak in the warm mineral waters that once served as George Washington’s Bathtub at Berkeley Springs State Park. Visit Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and learn about John Brown’s Raid, said to be the spark that ignited that Civil War.

Your Quest for adventure

If your family is open to a new experience, North Bend State Park is the place to be. The park’s Quest program is a customized “choose your own adventure” in the great outdoors. Guests can get one-on-one instruction in a variety of activities, including kayaking, rock climbing and wilderness navigation. Equipment, if necessary, is included with the program. Park accommodations include a 29-room lodge with a full-service restaurant, nine deluxe vacation cabins and two campgrounds, which are open seasonally.

You might also like: There’s no better bonding experience than a family bike ride. The 72-mile North Bend Rail Trail, with its gentle grade and terrain of fine gravel and dirt, is ideal for riders of all ages and experience. A short connector trail leads from the park to the rail trail.

Coal Country excursion

Set in the National Coal Heritage Area, Chief Logan State Park pays tribute to the area’s rich history with its Museum in the Park, which hosts exhibits on regional interest like Native American culture, coal mining and the Hatfield and McCoy feud. During summer the local theater group Aracoma Story Inc. hosts productions at the Liz Spurlock Amphitheater, but shows are played at the Coalfield Jamboree in downtown Logan during the off season. The park also has 18 miles of hiking trails, a lake stocked with trout and catfish and even an outdoor exhibit of live animals native to the state. Book your stay at Chief Logan Lodge, which features 75 modern rooms and suites, a full-service restaurant, indoor pool, hot tub and fitness center.

You might also like: If you’re a four-wheelin’ family, Chief Logan is the ideal base camp for your off-roading adventures. The park is just a short drive to the Bearwallow trail head—part of the 600-mile network of Hatfield-McCoy Trail System that runs through southern West Virginia.

Visit four parks for the “price of one”

Watoga State Park offers over 10,000 acres of natural beauty and recreation in the heart of the wild and scenic Monongahela National Forest. Overnight accommodations are available in two types of cabins — modern and standard — and two campgrounds. With 40 miles of hiking trails and excellent fishing opportunities at Watoga Lake, there’s plenty to do in this park. But you’ll find even more options for fun practically right in your backyard, as Watoga is just a hop, skip and a jump to several other beautiful and amazing state parks. With this many parks to visit, you’ll feel like you’re getting deal!

You might also like: Experience natural wonders dating back to the Pennsylvanian Age with a boardwalk stroll through the towering rock formations of Beartown State Park. At Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, the kids will love climbing the observation tower at and learning about the famous Civil Battle that was fought there. Enjoy a family bike ride (and maybe do a little fishing along the way) on the 78-mile Greenbrier River Trail.

The Ultimate in Family Fun

With its stunning views of the Bluestone Gorge, Pipestem Resort State Park is the crown jewel of southeastern West Virginia. The park’s recreational offerings include everything from guided horseback rides to championship golf. Throw in hiking, fishing and concerts at the outdoor amphitheater, and you’ll never run out of things to do. Year-round accommodations are available at the 113-room McKeever Lodge, which has two restaurants, an indoor heated pool, game room, saunas and an exercise room. The resort also offers year-round camping and 26 fully-furnished rental cabins. Pipestem’s aerial tramway won’t open until summer, but you can find a great view anytime of the year at the Bolar Lookout Tower near the park entrance. The tower sits at an elevation of 3,000 feet and offers a scenic view of the Sun Valley.

And big changes are coming to Pipestem! The Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour, slated to open this spring, will have nine zip lines crossing the Bluestone River and Gorge at heights of more than 300 feet. Other attractions coming in 2019 include a splash park, lake adventures, guided trout fishing trips, kayaking and standup paddleboard tours, rock climbing and rappelling instruction, guided mountain bike excursions and tubing and whitewater adventures. (Contact the park for opening dates.)

You might also like: The 2,040-acre reservoir at Bluestone Lake State Park is a favorite fishing spot for bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill. Boat rentals are available in season at the marina.

Where will your family spend spring break? Make your #AlmostHeaven plans today!

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