Are you ready for something different? At Stonewall Jackson State Park in Roanoke, West Virginia, you can enjoy several things that you cannot do at other state parks. First of all, some facts. The park is named after Stonewall Jackson, who was one of the most famous generals during the Civil War. Stonewall Jackson, whose real name was Thomas, got his name for being strong as a stone wall while standing his ground during the First Battle of Bull Run. The park was named after Jackson because he was born and raised nearby.
If you want to try something new on your RV vacation, try aqua cycling, which is just like it sounds, riding a bike on the water. Or you can try disc golfing, which is similar to golfing except you use discs instead of golf balls. And the really unique activity at this park is the escape rooms. Test your puzzle-solving skills and interact with teams to escape from a locked room.
But if you would instead do some of the more basic park activities like boating, swimming, and fishing, you can do that too. Stonewall Jackson Lake is just over 2,600 acres and boasts more than 82 miles of shoreline to explore and enjoy. This West Virginia State Park has more than just water fun, though. You can enjoy six hiking and biking trails, an 18-hole golf course, and even some clay bird shooting practice.
Stonewall Jackson State Park is situated in Lewis County, West Virginia, which is about three miles off I-79 and 10 miles from Weston. You can get to I-79 from US-119, US-48, or US-19. No matter which way you are coming from, the view outside your RV window is going to be spectacular, so make sure your passengers have their cameras or cell phones ready. If you are headed in from the northeast, you might want to stop by one of the several museums in Weston where you can learn about the history of the area.
Watters Smith State Park is another fun place to explore during your stay. Just 25 miles northeast of the park in West Milford, this historical park features a museum, log cabins, and fantastic hiking trails. For another unique experience, check out some of the amazing features of the Kumbrabow State Forest, which is only about 45 minutes from the park in the Allegheny Highlands of Randolph County. It is the state’s highest forest at an elevation of over 3,000 feet.
Once you get into Stonewall Jackson State Park, you will find paved and well-groomed roads that are easy to maneuver in just about any motorhome. However, parking is limited in some of the areas, so most RVers just leave the rig at the campsite and use an alternative mode of transportation such as biking or walking. If you forgot your bike, don’t worry, the park has some that you can rent. They also rent boats, kayaks, canoes, and aqua cycles, so they have you covered no matter where you want to go.
With 46 large campsites that offer full hookups, you will have no trouble at all finding a spot you like. Open all year long and located right on the banks of Stonewall Jackson Lake, these campsites are some of the best in the state. Being on a nice long peninsula, each of these sites is just a few steps from the lake so you can wake up and take a swim, toss a line out, or get your boat in the water. Each of the 46 sites provides a picnic table and fire ring with a grate for cooking. There are comfort stations with restrooms and hot showers in each loop and an activity shelter at the end of the peninsula. The kids will love playing at the playground, which is in the loop at the end of the peninsula nearest campsites 25-29. You’ll also have access to four mooring post stations along the north side of the peninsula to dock your boat while you are here. Reservations can be made 12 months in advance from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but all sites are first-come, first-served after Labor Day. You can bring your fur baby, but it must be restrained at all times.
For a posher stay at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park, park the rig and rent one of the cottages or cabins around the lake. The cottages are on the eastern peninsula with a mountain and lake view that is hard to beat. Each cottage has a furnished woodsy interior with a gas grill on the deck, huge bathrooms with tubs, Wi-Fi and TV, a gas fireplace, washer and dryer, and a fully furnished kitchen. The cottages look like fancy homes because they really are. Each huge furnished cottage has over 2,000 feet of space with two to four bedrooms, a fully stocked kitchen, hardwood floors, a stacked stone fireplace, and two to four bathrooms. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and deck. The cottages are located at the most eastern section of the park near Carrion Bay with their own boat dock and ramp. Pets are welcome in certain cottages, so check with the resort when you book your stay.
Another option for your vacation is the Lakeside Lodge, which has amazing rooms from three-person ADA suites with one king bed, a sofa bed, and a deck with a lake view to the huge Presidential Suite that boasts 1,020 square feet. It offers a king-sized bed, full bath, sleeper sofa, desk, armoire, and a living room with another sleeper sofa, dining room table, kitchen with fridge and sink, microwave, and even a hot tub. Each of the rooms features all of the usual amenities such as HD TV, coffee maker, hairdryer, iron, and Wi-Fi.
Many of the rooms are pet-friendly for a small deposit, so bring your fur buddy along. And you can even enhance your stay with a family pizza package, ice-cold beer, or milk and cookies delivered hot and fresh right to your room. The lodge also has a fantastic restaurant that serves anything you desire and a spa that will pamper and refresh you before you get back into the RV. Reservations are needed and can be made up to a year in advance.
During the peak season, the Briar Point Campground operates on a reservation system, but after Labor Day until Memorial Day weekend, the campground's site are all offered on a first-come, first served basis. Before heading to the park, call ahead to see if any of the amenities are winterized in the case of freezing temperatures.
Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park offers six hiking trails with a variety of difficulty and length. The easiest trail by far is the Chipmunk Point Hike, which is one mile long from point to point, starting at the cottages and ending at Chipmunk Point. The point is at the end of a peninsula where you can see for miles. For a more challenging hike, try the 1.5-mile Autumn Laurel Brook Trail. It meanders along the lake until ascending 200 feet to a ridge where you can see all kinds of wildlife along your walk. At the top you can find Turtle Shell Spring, which is named because of how many turtle shells are found nearby. There is also a 0.4-mile fitness trail at the Roanoke Activity Plaza with 10 fitness stations.
Take a leisurely cruise on the Little Sorrel, which is named after Stonewall Jackson’s favorite horse. This 70 x 16-foot cruiser has a whole experience planned for you and your family as you enjoy exploring the bays and coves of the 2,600-acre Stonewall Jackson Lake. The cruise takes about 45 minutes to an hour and ends with dinner at TJ Muskies Bar & Grill. In this casual lounge, you can enjoy crab cakes, burgers, beer, and more. And on Tuesdays, they have Taco Tuesdays with a two-hour tour and lots of tacos. Book your cruise early because they sell out quickly.
Whether you are looking for some topwater fun enjoying some fly fishing for bass and other sport fish, or if you want to fish deeper to the bottom where the big boys are, Stonewall Jackson Lake has it all and then some. North America’s largest freshwater fish, the muskie, are fun to catch with deep-diving plugs or spinners, and saugeye will hit on minnows and bottom rigs like crankbaits and jerk baits. Or you can just go by the old-fashioned worm on a hook with a bobber to catch some perch and bluegill.
Have you heard of an escape room? This newest craze is a fun and creative way to spend a day indoors if the weather is not cooperating or if you just want to stay indoors. You can book an escape room with your friends or family if you have enough people or join with others in a team of six to eight people. Solve the clues and puzzles to escape the locked room to find a hidden treasure, help save a lost mountain climber, or defeat the dastardly pirates who have captured you.
Designed by the King of Golf, Arnold Palmer, this 18-hole golf course is not just fun but picturesque as well. Really, you need to bring your camera when you golf here. Set on the bluffs overlooking the West Fork River, you just cannot beat the view. Whether you play the full 18 holes or the short 2,600-yard King’s Course, you will love the experience. The King’s Course is set up for younger and more inexperienced golfers to learn the basics while providing some tips on what it takes to golf like a pro.
You don’t have to stop at traditional golfing. You can compare it to the newer activity of disc golf. It really is not that much like regular golfing except for the fact that there are nine to 18 holes spread out over the park where you try to get your disc into the hole from a specific spot. So, the walking, the view, and the holes are really all that are common to traditional golfing. But the holes are actually wire baskets on poles that you have to get your disc into. This is one of the only disc golf courses in West Virginia and is definitely a lot of fun.