West Virginia’s Babcock State Park is a treasure

The Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock is a new mill that was completed in 1976.  Fully operable, this mill was built as a re-creation of a previous one that once ground grain on Glade Creek long before Babcock became a state park.  Known as Cooper’s Mill, it stood on the present location of the park’s administration building parking lot. Of special interest, the mill was created by combining parts and pieces from three mills which once dotted the state.  The basic structure of the mill came from the Stoney Creek Grist Mill which dates back to 1890.  After an accidental fire destroyed the Spring Run Grist Mill near Petersburg, Grant County, only the overshot water wheel could be salvaged.  Other parts for the mill came from the Onego Grist Mill near Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County. A living monument to the over 500 mills which thrived in West Virginia at the turn of the century, the Glade Creek Grist Mill provides freshly ground cornmeal, which park guests may purchase depending on availability and stream conditions. Visitors to the mill may journey back to a time when grinding grain by a rushing stream was a way of life, and the groaning mill wheel was music to the miller’s ear. Photos by David Taylor

By David Taylor

Before wrapping up last weekend’s whirlwind escapades through Raleigh, Summers, and Fayette Counties, we made one last stop on our way home at probably the most photographed park in the state – Babcock State Park.

We’ve been to Babcock previously at different times of the year, and every single time, the weather-beaten Glade Creek Grist Mill is always worthy of a few photos along with the waterfallsLast weekend’s “in-state” excursion was relaxing, exciting and we simply had a blast seeing just how pretty the mountain state really is.

According to the state, in the 1930s, two CCC camps located in Clifftop, Camp Beaver and Camp Lee became the site of what is now known as Babcock State Park. The original camp buildings are gone today, but Babcock’s Campground is located at the former site of Camp Lee. All plans for the administration building, cabins, and other work were drawn up by park staff at the park and approved by the Department of the Interior.  The camps at Babcock, Watoga, Cacapon, Lost River, and Oglebay were operated by the Civilian Commission of West Virginia in cooperation with the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior.  Other help included a skilled stonemason foreman who supervised the park’s stone quarry and work on the administration building.

 Babcock State Park has 4,127 acres of incredible scenery for visitors to view.
Accessibility for the disabled was assessed by West Virginia University. The assessment found the campground, picnic shelters, restrooms, and ramps and doorways to public buildings to be accessible. The park also has accessible fishing access and two accessible cabins. Source-Wikipedia
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