Pipestem State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Pipestem State Park is an ideal combination of natural beauty and man-made recreational opportunities. The 4050-acre park is located on the border of Mercer County and Summers County in the gorge of the Blue Stone River of West Virginia. The park obtained its name from the pipestem or meadowsweet plant native to the area. Native Americans and early pioneers used hollowed-out twigs of the plant as shafts for their pipes. Originally, the natural beauty of the area attracted farmers of Scotch, Irish, and English descent. In the 1960’s, the state of West Virginia, motivated by a desire to improve the local economy, developed the area into the park you can enjoy today.

Amenities at Pipestem State Park abound. The park offers a tramway that whisks guests from the heights of the canyon rim down 3600 feet to the stunning Bluestone River Gorge. The park provides a variety of recreational opportunities such that regardless of the size and diversity of interest in your family, there will be something here to please everyone.

Pipestem State Park boasts opportunities for the nature enthusiast with fishing, boating, biking, hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and sledding. At the same time, the park provides opportunities for both indoor and outdoor swimming with an Olympic sized pool, and a variety of golfing options with an 18-hole championship golf course, a 9-hole short course, and mini golf.

Pipestem State Park provides stunning vistas from the soaring aerial tramway, the Solar Lookout Tower, the lookout along the Lake View Trail, and the 18-hole golf course. The park offers entertainment in the outdoor amphitheater and supports any business that guests need to conduct with business and conference facilities. This year-round facility offers all levels of lodging with two lodges, 26 cottages, and 82 campsites. Whether you desire a vacation from civilization or a vacation of luxury, this park can support your dream trip.

RV Rentals in Pipestem State Park

Transportation in Pipestem State Park

Driving

Pipestem State Park is easily reached in just over three hours from Charlottesville, VA using I-64.

Pipestem State Park is approximately a 4 hour drive from Raleigh, NC via I-40W and I-77N.

Parking

Parking can be found at many places within the park area. There is parking provided at the golf course, the stables, both lodges, and the recreation center.

Public Transport

There is no public transportation provided in the park. However, well trimmed roadways create a ribbon through the rolling hills of the park, and there is an aerial tramway that transports guests from the canyon rim to the river below.

Campgrounds and parking in Pipestem State Park

Campsites in Pipestem State Park

Reservations camping

Pipestem State Park

Pipestem State Park offers 82 campsites that are open year round. The park offers 31 sites with full hookups and 19 with electricity only. The park provides heated bathhouses, a coin operated laundry, a campground store, and a play area for the kids.

Campers up to 25 ft are welcome. Those with campers and RV's over 25 ft in length will need to call for information and reservation of sites suitable for their rig.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Pipestem State Park

In-Season

Swimming

Pipestem State Park offers exceptional opportunities for those who enjoy swimming. The park boasts both indoor and outdoor pools. There is an Olympic sized outdoor pool at the Pipestem State Park Recreation Center.

There is also a year-round indoor pool at the McKeever Lodge. This pool is open 8:30 am to 9:45 pm daily and is free to lodge and cottage guests.

Boating and Fishing

Pipestem State Park is surrounded by Long Branch Lake, the Bluestone River, and the New River, making it a boat lover's dream. Long Branch Lake has a boat dock that is open all summer from 10:10 am to 5:45 pm daily. Guests may rent row boats, paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes.

Pipestem State Park offers superb fishing. Trout and small mouth bass are plentiful in the Long Branch Lake and the Blue Stone, and New Rivers. Guests must have a West Virginia fishing license and to fish. A trout stamp is also required if guests intend to fish for trout.

Golf

Pipestem State Park is an ideal destination for golfers of all ages and abilities. The park boasts an 18-hole par 72 championship golf course. This course, designed by Geoffery Cornish, features stunning views of the Bluestone Canyon. It is open Monday through Thursday 7:30 am to 7:00 pm. This golf course is open weekends 7:00 am to 7:00pm.

Pipestem State Park also provides a driving range open 8:00 am to 6:30 pm daily and a 9-hole par 3 short course. The short course, located at the Recreation Center, also offers fling golf, foot golf, disc golf and miniature golf.

Off-Season

Cross- Country Skiing, Sledding, and Snowshoeing

For cold weather enthusiasts, Pipestem State Park offers an opportunity to enjoy the stunning views of the Bluestone River Gorge while sledding, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing. The park offers 7 cross-country trials with over 15 miles of terrain.

The park's ungroomed trails offer stunning scenery from mountain top overlooks to the valley floor where guests can expect to see a frozen winter wonderland. The trails offer options suitable for beginners as well as skilled skiers. There is also space available on the 18-hole golf course for first-time skiers and children to learn before starting off on the trails.

Sleds and cross-country skis can be rented at the Pipestem Pro Shop.

Horseback Riding

Pipestem State Park provides trail rides for horse lovers with a stable located approximately two and a half miles from McKeever Lodge. Stables are open 9 am to 5 pm mid-March through December. Riders must be at least seven years of age. Due to the popularity of this activity, it is recommended that guests make reservations.

Hiking

Pipestem State Park offers a wide range of options for hiking enthusiast. The park has 16 trails covering over 18 miles. Trails vary from less than a mile in length to approximately five and a quarter miles. Hikers will find trails to match their particular skill level.

Most of the trails are wide and rolling. However, there are trails that can become narrow with steep drop-offs. So, although the park is pet friendly, hikers may wish to pick trails that will allow their pets plenty of space.

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