Our Visit to Pipestem State Park


After another awesome weekend rafting the Gauley and spending time with friends, we left Fayetteville again and headed toward a new destination that Rebecca in particular was very excited about — Pipestem Resort State Park in West Virginia. Way back, before she was even a twinkle in her parents’ eyes, they had honeymooned at one of the park’s two lodges. They had always told her about how beautiful it was, and we were excited to check it out!

Turns out that if anything, they undersold it. This place was phenomenal. Trails and interesting things to see all over, and everywhere you turned, another gorgeous vista! We got in mid-afternoon, and were immediately impressed with how quiet and pretty the campground was, and with how nice the bathrooms were! We picked a great spot, set up, and decided to do some quick exploration before it got dark.

The first thing we went to see was the Bolar Lookout Tower. Only a 5 minute walk up a mostly-paved path from the parking lot right inside the park entrance, the tower commanded some amazing vistas.


Seriously amazing. We could see for dozens of miles in just about every direction.


From there, we gave ourselves the driving tour of the park, stopping to check out some of the sites and attractions. Probably the most amazing was this gorgeous overlook, right across from the gorgeous rental cabins that we’re totally going to come back and visit one day. It was the kind of place you could stay all day with a book and maybe some binoculars.


Unfortunately, I woke up the next morning fighting some kind of illness, so we spent the next 2 days pretty well inert. Rebecca used it as an opportunity to get ahead on work, and I did a lot of sleeping and reading.


By the second afternoon, however, I was getting antsy, so we decided to go take advantage of one of the highlights of Pipestem — the tram down to the valley resort!

This part of the resort was where Rebecca’s parents had stayed on their honeymoon, and it was easy to see why. The lodge had a beautiful dining room with 20 foot windows looking at the river and up the mountain (which you can see below on the left).


The river was very beautiful, and seemed very tame after our time on the Gauley!


Tame enough that the Yoga Queen was at it again.


After we finished exploring and took the tram back up, we decided to end the day with a hike out to Heritage Point, a beautiful overlook less than a mile’s steep hike from the Canyon Rim Center parking lot. It was a beautiful and challenging hike, and we were rewarded with even more tremendous views.


Overall, we spent four days in Pipestem, and loved our time there!

Have you ever been to Pipestem Resort State Park? What did you love about it? Let us know in the comments!


I grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Virginia, and married a girl from New Hampshire, so I can drive the East Coast in my sleep. I love exploring, jumping out of airplanes, whitewater rafting, fast cars, comic books, and generally refusing to act my age. More practically, I love budgeting and financial planning, renovating and updating older homes (and now campers), and learning to make our family as self-sustaining as possible.


  1. I grew up not far from the park. Maybe an hour drive or so. For some reason it became my birthday tradition to drive to Pipestem and spend the weekend in the lodge. As kids we enjoyed the pool and the adventure of it. I believe I remember some short hikes and always, always there was a match of shuffle board. Although some years shuffle board was a bit more treacherous than others. Did I mention my birthday is in February? So some years were white and wonderful and others not as bad. But always it was a memorable family weekend. I still visit the park when I go back home. Maybe to reminisce, maybe to just keep the beauty alive in mind.
    Thanks for sharing your journey. I love my home state and love seeing other people take a moment to appreciate its true beauty.

    1. Stacie — what a wonderful birthday tradition! I’m sure the park is a wonderland in winter 🙂 When we were there we were saying we’d love to be there for a snowy weekend.

      West Virginia is beautiful — we’re so happy we had the chance to explore it, but I know we just scratched the surface. We’ll be back!

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