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  /  Boarding Pass   /  Pipestem State Park: The Ultimate Destination

Pipestem State Park: The Ultimate Destination

Spring has arrived. Trees have popped open their green and floral finery. The morning chill is leaving the hills faster as days grow longer. Summer is right around the corner. What time of the year does that make it? Time to get out of the house into the great outdoors.
Sure the backyard with its lounge chair, swing set and grill is appealing, but beyond that is an entire world filled with family adventures. Why settle for the familiar?
One place that offers mountain-to-mountain adventures is Pipestem State Park, a 4,050-acre property located on the border of Summers and Mercer counties.
Pipestem is described by wvstateparks.com as, “West Virginia’s premier family adventure resort on the east rim of the Bluestone River Gorge.”
The park has so much to offer. While the weather is seasonably cool, swim in the indoor heated pool or wait for the temps to rise and take a dip in Adventure Lake, or get wet at Splash Park. Wanting to get soaked in a more natural setting? Navigate nearby waterways via tube, paddleboat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Fish nearby Bluestone Dam. For even more excitement, whitewater rafting adventures are available on Bluestone River.
Water sports are fun, but there’s so much to do on dry land. Ride a trusty steed. Take a mountain bike excursion. Get out for the day to play golf on the 18-hole championship course, disc golf, fling golf, mini-golf or footgolf. Each of these activities can be quite peaceful and relaxing.
Seeking more exhilarating experiences or family challenges high above the streams and soil? That’s where the zipline tour comes in. Get an overhead view of Pipestem’s version of a fresh start to summer 2021 from above, while zooming along a zipline or traveling on the aerial tramway.
Pipestem State Park welcomes visitors to, “Experience the thrill of soaring through the treetops of West Virginia and beholding panoramic views of flourishing forest and river below on the Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour.”
Fresh air and sunshine sure do make an active family hungry. No need to leave the state park to enjoy lunch, dinner or a snack. Pipestem has a variety of dining rooms, and a grill and lounge to satisfy ravenous appetites brought on by the adventure de jour.
Day trips are enjoyable, but vacations are exponentially more fun. Schedule that vacation at Pipestem State Park to create those family memories over the span of a weekend, week or even longer as the park offers 82 campsites, 26 cabins and two lodges to fill a variety of overnight needs.
Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour consists of nine zips, one cable bridge and one belay with heights of up to 350 feet off the ground, with the longest zip measuring up to 1,600 feet and boasting speeds up to 50 mph.
Tours depart every half hour from the Canyon Rim Center and can last anywhere from 3-4 hours.
Tours finish at the Mountain Creek Lodge in the bottom of the Bluestone River Gorge where guests have the opportunity to purchase food and drinks before riding the aerial tramway back up the mountain.
Tours will continue in rain or cold as scheduled unless notified otherwise.
All guests must be at least 10 years of age and weigh between 90 and 250 lbs. Guests who are pregnant will not be allowed on Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour.
Tours are limited to eight guests or fewer with two professional guides to help every step of the way.
Adventure Lake
Pipestem State Parks urges parents to “Turn the kids loose and let them run wild. Climb giant inflatable mountains, slides, trampolines and jump into our lake. We encourage all grown-up kids to do the same! This is vacation, after all. Mom and dad can sit on our beach in a lounge chair soaking up the sun after playing with the kids.”
Splash Park
Kids’ zone, with 18 splash features, invites youngsters to, “Spray your friends, slide and run around through numerous spraying flowers, circles and animals. Beware of the dumping buckets! Parents can witness the wonderment and joy of little ones experiencing the water features. When you get tired, no worries! Take a break and sit in a lounge chair on our concrete pool deck and in no time you’ll be back soaking up the fun!”
Wristbands can be purchased at Splash Park. Advanced booking is recommended. Free admittance for children three and under with an adult. There is no minimum age limit.
All participants must wear a life jacket and complete a waiver form for entry.
The lake and splash park are open from May 22 to September 6.
Overnight Accommodations:
Pipestem Resort State Parks’ 26 vacation cabins are fully equipped for an enjoyable vacation. Linens, cooking utensils, cable television, wi-fi, air conditioning, microwave, fireplace, and outdoor grill/fire ring are some of the key features. Units vary in size from two- to four-bedroom, of unusual design, and are open year-round.
Check-in begins at 4 p.m., and check-out is by 10 a.m. for all cabins. Designated pet-friendly cabins are available.
The resort features 82 campsites, 31 of which are equipped with full hookups, nineteen sites are electric only. The campground is open year-round, weather permitting.
Campsite amenities include areas for small pop-up tents, large RVs and everything in between (campers with units over 25 feet in length may contact the park to discuss suitable sites); heated bathhouses; coin laundry; campground store and playground area. Campsites may be reserved anytime online, by phone, or at the campground office.
Reservations may be made for no less than two consecutive nights on weekends (Friday and Saturday) or one-night Sunday through Thursday. There is a 14-night maximum stay.
McKeever Lodge
The year-round McKeever Lodge has 111 guest rooms and suites, many with scenic views of the gorge. It has designated pet-friendly rooms, wi-fi, an indoor heated pool, game room, saunas and an exercise room. Amenities include a gift shop, cozy reading areas, a conference center and an observation deck with stunning views. Due to renovations, McKeever Lodge will be under construction until July 6. McKeever Lodge will remain open throughout renovations and will continue to offer all services.
Mountain Creek Lodge
The seasonal Mountain Creek Lodge, open May through October, is accessible only by the park’s popular aerial tramway. The lodge’s 30 rooms offer a relaxing view of the Bluestone River. The gourmet Mountain Creek Restaurant serves dinner by reservation.
Call ahead to see if the aerial tram is open.
Dining Options
Bluestone Dining Room
Mountain Creek Dining Room
Black Bear Grill and Lounge
Tramway Sweets & Treats
Other Accommodations
Outdoor amphitheater
Seasonal shuttle to park activities
Fitness room
Specialty gift shop
Bolar Lookout Tower
Electronic vehicle servicing equipment
So, “If you’re looking for outdoor activities, stunning mountain views and opportunities to make cherished memories with your family, Pipestem is the place to be,” notes wvstateparks.com.
For more information, visit wvstateparks.com, call 304-466-1800 or email pipestemsp@wv.gov.

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