West Virginia State

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Historic Sites
Tourist Attractions

Historic Sites

Blennerhassett Historical State Park
A splendid, reconstructed mansion replaces the one originally built by Harman Blennerhassett in 1800 and destroyed by fire in 1811. The tranquil, tree-covered island in the Ohio River on which the house rests was the site where Blennerhassett and Aaron Burr allegedly planned in 1806 to establish an empire in the Southwest. The house is decorated with original pieces and furnishings of the period. Visitors may travel to the island on unique sternwheelers which leave from Point Park in downtown Parkersburg. Bicycle rentals, picnicking, guided mansion tours, horse drawn wagon rides and a traditional crafts village with demonstrations are featured on the island. The Blennerhassett Museum at 2nd and Juliana Streets is open year-round and features items owned by the Blennerhassetts, an archaeological exhibit, Civil War relics, old clothing, guns and a gift shop. Contact the park for operating hours. Special events, battle reenactments and other activities take place throughout the year. For information call: (304)420-4800

Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park
The site of a major battle during the Civil War, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield preserves an integral part of the historic heritage of West Virginia. The Patteson House, which was situated between Union and Confederate lines during the skirmish, has been restored as an interpretive museum containing Civil War relics from the area, and a film about the battle is offered. Hiking trails to scenic overlooks, picnicking, game courts and a playground are also featured at this historical site. An annual battle reenactment is held in the fall. For information call: (304)872-0825

Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park
On November 6, 1863, the largest Civil War engagement of West Virginia's history occurred on this high, mountain plateau overlooking the beautiful and vast Greenbrier Valley. Standing among the tall trees, it is not difficult to imagine the fierce battle that took place here over a century ago. Part of the battlefield is restored and marked for visitors, and a small museum contains Civil War artifacts. Recreational opportunities include hiking trails to scenic overlooks, an observation tower, picnicking and a playground. A battle reenactment is featured every other year. For information call: (304)653-4254

Prickett's Fort State Park
Located on the site of an early frontier stronghold, this fort has been reconstructed to resemble its original 1774 counterpart. Within the compound are 16 cabins, a meeting hall and a storehouse which features authentic demonstrations of pioneer crafts. Also on site is the restored home of Job Prickett (c. 1860). In addition, the park offers picnicking, an amphitheater for the performing arts and a boat-launching ramp affording access to the Monongahela River. For information call: (304)363-3030

Watters Smith Memorial State Park
The heritage of early West Virginia is preserved in the pioneer homestead restoration at this park. Through the wisdom of a descendent, the late 1700s farm of Watters Smith was bequeathed to the state park system to be preserved for posterity. A log cabin similar to the original was moved and reconstructed on the park, the Smith family home (c. 1876) has been restored as a museum, and an additional museum houses many early farm artifacts. Guided tours are offered from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. In addition, the park features swimming, picnicking and hiking trails. For information call: (304)745-3081

Tourist Attractions

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine
Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine is a restored coal mine featuring 1500 feet of underground passages. Visitors ride a man trip car guided by miners. On the grounds there is a museum, craft shop and snack bar. For information call: (304)256-1747

Camden Park
Since its inception in 1903, historic Camden Park has provided countless days of summer fun, entertainment and memories for the young as well as the young at heart in this region. Nestled between the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Camden Park's twenty six acres are home to 25 amusement rides, including a kiddieland, log ride and three coasters. Camden Park offers games, food stands, a cafeteria, gift shop, miniature golf course, stern wheeler riverboat, extensive picnic facilities and authentic Native American burial mound. For information call: (304)429-4321

Organ Cave
Organ Cave is one of the longest caves in the United States with over 40 miles of mapped passageways. Pioneers have known of Organ Cave since 1704. For information call: (304)645-7600

Extreme Expeditions
A whitewater rafting outfitter on two of the best whitewater rivers in the east - the New and Gauley Rivers in West Virginia. Rafting is our specialty but Extreme Expeditions is a special place in itself. For information call: (888)Go-Extreme