October 31st, 2022:
After several days of wild and wonderful adventures in West Virginia’s New River Gorge country, my mom and I began our journey back to Raleigh, NC.
Luckily we still have a few rambling roads and gorgeous vistas to explore before this vacation ends.
Traveling south on I-77, the road traversed gorgeous mountain scenery and sheer rock cliffs. I-77 is one of my favorite interstates -it runs all the way from Charlotte NC into WV and overall provides gorgeous views from Piedmont to Appalachian High.
Several WV and VA state parks are located in close proximity to I-77 – allowing interstate travelers a quick nature detour.
Thirty minutes south of Beckley, be sure to stop at scenic roadside detour – Camp Creek State Park. Only two miles off I-77, Camp Creek offers lush wooded views, tumbling waterfalls and thirty-five miles of trails.
True to its name, Camp Creek offers top camping opportunities and creekside access, including trout fishing.
The smell of lush forest and sound of the babbling brook relaxed the soul. This is the quiet spot you can just sit still and relax for hours.
Unfortunately the misty drizzle turned into a heavy rain after twenty minutes in the park…
Our next stop was a scenic roadside turnout (marked on I-77) with dramatic views of The Bluestone River.
The Bluestone is part of the ‘Three Rivers Recreation Area,’ which includes The New, Gauley and Bluestone Rivers.
Bluestone National Scenic River: The Bluestone River and the rugged and ancient gorge it has carved is a richly diverse and scenic area of the southern Appalachians. Bluestone National Scenic River is preserved as a living landscape that provides an unspoiled experience for visitors and a haven for a variety of plants and animals. The park protects a 10.5-mile section of the Bluestone River in southern West Virginia. (from NPS site)
The Bluestone rises in Virginia (near Tazewell) and is a tributary of The New River…it flows seventy-seven miles and is renowned for recreation.
The Bluestone River is one of the most remote areas in the eastern US, with the national recreation area only access via two state parks – Pipestem and Bluestone (see below)
Pipestem State Park is your destination for adventure! This family water park and recreation hub sits on the east rim of the Bluestone River Gorge, and includes exhilarating zipline tours, guided trout fishing trips, mountain bike excursions and an adventure lake and splash park.
Bluestone State Park is more relaxed and ideal for the weekend lake/river getaway. Enjoy waterfront views from a cozy cabin with rustic charm.
The rain picked up and fog covered the mountaints – evaporating them in the mists. Unfortunately this put a stop on our other planned roadside detours off I-77 in VA and near Pilot Mountain in NC, but fear not, we’ll explore those areas again.
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