Stretching gloriously over an area of 4,127 acres in Clifftop, West Virginia lies the unusually striking Babcock State Park. Babcock State Park, one of the best scenic spots in Fayette County, is adored by visitors for its stellar scenery, proximity to the breathtaking New River Gorge, and the picture-perfect Glade Creek Grist Mill. Located just 20 miles away from the New River Gorge Bridge, this state park provides plenty of opportunities for leisure and recreation. Picturesque hiking trails, watery adventures of rafting and fishing, and thrilling camping and hunting opportunities are just a few of the many reasons why you should visit Babcock State Park in your RV.
One of the most spectacular spots in Babcock is the quaint Glade Creek Grist Mill. It can easily pass as the most picturesque location in the entire park. Built in 1976 using pieces of other non-operational mills, this fully functional mill takes you back to the olden golden times. Resting close to the soothing murmurs of the River Gorge waters, this park allows its visitors to immerse themselves in the calmness of nature.
The number of recreational activities here is large, and the options are varied. You can do it all, from hiking over the scenic trails spread all across the park, to rafting, boating, and fishing among the cool splashes of water. There’s also biking over the finely paved roads to spending lovely moments in the cabins covered in lush greenery. Plus, the delights of RV camping can be wholeheartedly enjoyed thanks to the availability of electric hookups, pet friendliness, and much more. Open daily, this place is ideal for summer and spring visits between April and October. So, what are you waiting for? Bring your RV to Babcock State Park for an unforgettable experience.
You can reach Babcock State Park by car and RV. Walk-in access is also possible. The park can be easily accessed from Beckley, and the main park entrance is two miles south of Clifftop. The park is just 70 miles south of Charleston and can be reached in about an hour and a half via US-60 to WV-41. Maps can be of great assistance for both getting to the park and moving across different parts of the park.
The use of maps is generally preferred over GPS. With the help of a map, one can easily roam around the park from the cabins to campsites, gift shops to hiking trails, and from picnic shelters to the Great Mill. The most popular spot, the Glade Creek Grist Mill, is located just across from the park office, while the campground is just two miles away from it. There are generally no driving restrictions for RVs and cars inside the park, but keep in mind that cars and RVs are not allowed on trails.
At most, only two motor vehicles are permitted at each campsite. It is prohibited to ride bikes in the camping area after sunset unless both front and rear lights are kept on during the ride.
Parking is rarely an issue since plentiful parking lots are located near the park entrance as well as near the camping units. The parking lots are spacious enough for large rigs as well.
Babcock State Park has a large campground consisting of 52 camping units. Of these sites, 28 of them offer electric hookups. Half of the sites are available for reservations, while the others are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Water and sewer hookups are not available, but there are plenty of other amenities for you to enjoy. A large bathhouse is centrally located in the campground, and it also features laundry machines, water filling stations, hot showers, and sewerage dumps. Wireless and cell phone services can also be enjoyed. Other amenities include picnic tables and grills.
The campground is open from April to October and you can make reservations from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The campsites can be pre-booked for a minimum of 2 nights and a maximum of 14 days. Quiet hours are observed at night and the use of generators is prohibited during these hours. A few of the campsites are also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friend along with you on your camping trip.
Half of the 52 campsites at the Campground at Babcock State Park are open from April to October on a first-come, first-served basis for tents and RVs. Reservations are required for the other campsites. Some sites offer electric hookups, and there are lots of other great amenities. You'll have access to water filling stations, laundry facilities, and sewage dump facilities. Plus, you'll be within walking distance to several hiking trails. Some of the sites are pet-friendly as well.
For those looking to get out of the campervan for a night or two and indulge in some creature comforts, Babcock State Park has 28 cabins for rent. There are three different styles of cabins; Vacation cabins, Legacy Cabins, and Economy Cabins. All three types of cabins come equipped with Wi-Fi, modern appliances and cooking utensils, bathrooms with showers, bed linens, and bath towels. There is also an outdoor grill located outside all of the cabins.
The Vacation Cabins are the most modern of the three, and also offer heat and air conditioning, gas fireplaces, television, and microwaves. The Legacy Cabins date back to the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps and have running water and electric along with a wood fireplace. The Economy Cabins are the most basic, offering a shared living and sleeping area, bunk beds, running water, electric, and a screened-in porch.
13 of the cabins are situated on the shores of Glade Creek and the other 15 can be found deeper in the woods to the north. The cabins are open from April through October and reservations can be made in advance.
If no sites are available at Babcock State Park's campground, don't fret. There are a number of alternative options for RV campers in the surrounding area of the park. Gauley River National Recreation Area sits just under an hour to the north and offers 18 primitive, RV-friendly campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. Ten more sites can be found at the New River Gorge National River, just 15 minutes south of Babcock. Sites here are also primitive with no hookups and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Don't let the cold weather stop you from cross-country skiing during your RV trip to Babcock State Park. The hiking trails of Babcock State Park feast its visitors with many beautiful viewpoints. While trees and wildflowers usually surround the trails, the rugged trails happen to transform into excellent skiing trails in the winter. These trails offer a wide variety of scenery for skiers. While skiing on the Island in the Sky Trail, you'll have a magnificent view of the glamorous Glade Creek Grist Mill in the background. The Lake View Trail gives you breathtaking views of Boley Lake.
If you visit the park in the winter, don't forget to pack the camera along in the rig. The soft cotton balls of snow that shine like diamonds spread over the grounds add an extra oomph to the beauty of winters. The magnificence of the Glade Creek Grist Mill is also greatly magnified while covered in inches of snow. With its grandeur at its highest peak in the chills of winter, the mill looks ever so inviting, tempting you to strike a pose with it. Already the most photographed spot of the entire park, this old-fashioned place becomes more eye-catching than usual. The use of drones is also allowed for a few hours a day after seeking permission from the authorities.
Babcock State Park features various hiking trails with difficulties ranging from easy to challenging. The combined length of all hiking trails is 20 miles, and it takes on average two hours to finish a trail. The trails of Babcock feature an extravagant number of creeks, swinging bridges, and scrambling rocks. The Wilderness Trail and Manns Creek Gorge Trail are two of the most popular routes in the park and are both easy to moderate trails. The best thing about hiking in Babcock State Park is that these hiking trails are open all year long, so hiking can be enjoyed during the off-season too.
If you're looking to take the trails of Babcock State Park at a faster pace, you're in luck. There are 10 trails suitable for mountain biking, and riding is permitted on any paved or gravel paths in the park. Old Pond Trail is suitable for bikers of any skill level and is one and a half miles long. For a more challenging ride, check out the Ridge Top Trail. This two-mile trail cuts along some of the highest elevations in the park, and it is sure to get your heart pounding. Most trails connect to each other, making it possible to spend the whole day exploring the park from the seat of your bike.
After a day of driving, it's always good to know that there are fun things for the whole family to do together outside. Unpack the rig, and head over to the playing fields to see what's going on. During the peak season in the spring and summer, the park organizes a large number of engaging outdoor activities appealing to people of all ages. Game courts are set up for volleyball, tennis, and basketball. You'll have a blast throwing around the volleyball or shooting hoops.
Stretching over an area of 19 acres, the breathtakingly beautiful Boley Lake is a heavenly site fit for leisurely paddling. People of all ages visiting the park come to this lake to get a taste of paddling across the Glade Creek Grist Mill. Adventurers demanding more of a thrill like to paddle around the five-mile Glade Creek going straight into the New River Gorge. Apart from paddling, boating and white-water rafting are also widely enjoyed by those visiting the Boyle Lake. So get ready to head out of the RV and coast on top of the glistening waters of the park.
Usually closed during the winter, Boley Lake is an ideal fishing spot for beginners during the spring, summer, and fall. Varied species like largemouth bass and bluegill can be found here. The lake is also stocked with ample amounts of trout. Another, more daring fishing spot is the Glade Creek, which passes by the Glade Creek Grist Mill. You'll have to hike to reach the shoreline, which is why it is recommended for only expert fishers. The trout fish is found in abundance here. A West Virginia fishing license is required if you plan to cast out during your RV vacation.
Visitors to Babcock State Park can step back in time and explore the fully operational Glade Creek Grist Mill. The mill is a replica of the one that once stood in its place before the area became a state park, and is constructed of pieces of other mills that were once a part of the West Virginia landscape. Tours of the Glade Creek Grist Mill can be arranged for visitors to get a chance to peek inside the mill to see how it operates and learn more about the history of mills. You can and even buy the freshly milled corn and buckwheat.