Editor’s Note: Our friend Mary Elliot is setting out this summer with her family to become a “Very Important Parks Person.” If you visit 15 mandatory parks and forests and five more of your own choosing, you get a $25 gift card, a patch and bragging rights. She’s blogging about her experience and has agreed to let us post her stories here on WeHeartWV.
Park excursion number two takes us to Valley Falls State Park, one of my favorites. Growing up in Fairmont, I’ve gone to Valley Falls numerous times for group picnics, dates, an occasional wedding and generally when I need to connect to the outdoors. This is my home park.
Coming into the park we find the place to get our VIPP stamp in a little mailbox at the entrance. The park does have staff but they are generally out and about during park hours. There are maps available here for those looking to hike and bike. The main entrance road leads to a parking lot, restrooms, playgrounds, vending machines, and several picnic shelters.
The area that we all know as Valley Falls used to be home to a lumber and grist mill in the era where railroad was king. The railroad is still important to this park as it marks the entrance to the falls area.
One of my favorite things about this park is the rather easy walk out to the rocks where the falls cascade down the Tygart River.
You can get very close and just listen to the water.
A generation ago, swimming was allowed (don’t do it! Its not allowed and is altogether dangerous) but sitting on the rocks watching the river tumble by is the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.
The park itself is truly a family friendly place, they have a ton of areas to picnic and and nice playground to let the kiddos burn some of that magic toddler energy.
On this trip we decided to stop by grandma’s for dinner on our way home. If you’re passing through, pop down Hammond road and she might feed you too!