Hawks Nest state park
A few days ago we took a little trip to Hawks Nest State Park. It’s about an hour a way from us and the road we traveled along a scenic highway. I enjoyed seeing the towns with homes nestled in the ‘hollers’ with the mountains in the background. West Virginia is known for is coal mining and we could certainly see that along the way with the buildings and railways we saw.
Just before we arrived at the state park we stopped by Kanawha Falls. It was a really neat sight. There was a building just beside the falls and you could see the evidence of the power of water as the bank had been washed out. We could see where the water flooded the bank into the parking lot. There were handicap parking signs just above the water and I could see the asphalt under the water. Later someone told me that there has been a lot of rain here. I’m thinking it may flood a bit, too, in the spring due to snow melt? And I would suspect the water would recede a bit during the summer, but I guess time will tell- I’ll have to go back and look.
Just a few miles away we stopped at Hawks Nest State Park. First, we went over to the restrooms. The architecture was really neat- the restrooms look like they were housed in a castle tower. I didn’t even say that out loud, but as Juliette and I went into the restroom, Jaelyn made the comment that she would be waiting outside the castle.
The Park store there was neat, too. They had all kinds of fun West Virginia memorabilia- a corn cob pipe, figurines made from coal- fun stuff like that. Across the road from the store was an overlook where you could see a great view of the river including a bridge.
From there we drove down a bit to the lodge where there was another gift shop, tram and boat rides, and a restaurant. There was a short trail down some steps to an overlook called the ‘Lover’s Leap’. The Lovers Leap is a Native American legend where a chief’s daughter was to marry another the son of a chief in a neighboring tribe. The daughter was in love with a warrior from her own tribe and refused to marry the man her father had promised her to. She was sent to her wigwam where she later escaped while her ‘guards’ were sleeping. She raced to her beloved warrior and they ran off together. They were found out and chased. They were surrounded at the cliff edge where they plunged to their deaths to be together in death rather than apart in life- or so the legend goes.
After leaving the lodge we drove to another trail to hike, Hawks Nest Rail Trail. The trail has two bridges and waterfalls. There are also the remains of a goal mine that was operational during the 1920s. It’s a great trail along Mill Creek. The Creek is beautiful. I would have deemed this a river because when I think of a creek I think of a small trickle of water. That is definitely not the case with this creek. In some areas it looks quite deep. We saw several waterfalls ranging from small to large. There’s a great bridge that goes across it. When we first drove up we were not sure we were in the correct place. I felt as if I were going to drive up into someone’s backyard. We started the trail near the town of Anstead.
Beautiful. Absolutely, Beautiful.