West Virginia state park spas offer a relaxing getaway.

This story was originally published in the February 2024 issue of Wonderful West Virginia. To subscribe, visit wonderfulwv.com.

Written by Wendy Holdren

Folks who have visited West Virginia State Parks are familiar with the breathtaking views and abundant outdoor adventure opportunities, but they may not know that a relaxing oasis awaits them as well. At the spas at Berkeley Springs, Cacapon, Pipestem, and Stonewall, guests can treat themselves or their loved ones to restful and rejuvenating experiences, such as massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, all in unique and tranquil settings.

Special services and packages cater to a variety of visitors, including history buffs, couples, adrenaline seekers, golfers, mother–daughter duos, brides-to-be, and more. The spas offer something for anyone seeking a serene setting and relaxing experience.

Soaking in the History 

Located in the state’s Eastern Panhandle, Berkeley Springs State Park is home to historic mineral springs. Spa manager Jamie Foltz says the springs were first discovered by Native Americans, who traveled from as far away as Canada to use the healing and therapeutic waters. The mineral springs were also visited by the nation’s first president, George Washington, in March 1748 and then for many subsequent years. “Washington is the one who had a famous impact on the springs and gave it popularity throughout the colonies,” Foltz says. 

Visitors at the state park have a unique opportunity, as Berkeley Springs is the only spa that has direct access to the springs. While the medicinal benefits are unconfirmed, many people enjoy a soak in the springs, which have a high concentration of minerals—such as sodium chloride, sodium sulfate, sodium nitrate, calcium sulfate and magnesium carbonate—supporting relief from skin disorders, gastrointestinal congestion, and sore and tired muscles as well as overall relaxation. 

Within the 4.5-acre park, the historic Roman Bathhouse is located at the north end and the Main Bathhouse is located at the south end, but they are in close proximity to one another and within walking distance. Built in 1815, the Old Roman Bathhouse offers an operational bathhouse on the main level with nine private Roman baths, each of which holds 750 gallons of mineral water and can comfortably fit up to four adults, available for 30- and 60-minute soak sessions. Historically designed for public bathing and socializing, Foltz says, the private baths allow small groups of friends and family to relax and enjoy the mineral waters, creating a unique and memorable experience together. On the upper level at the Old Roman Bathhouse, visitors can find a seasonal museum operated by volunteers. 

The Main Bathhouse features 11 treatment rooms, including two couples/dual service rooms, four additional Roman baths, five whirlpool baths, and a gift shop located by the entrance. Main Bathhouse guests can experience therapeutic, hot stone, deep tissue, prenatal, and couples massage services, cupping, and reflexology. Guests can tailor their experience by also indulging in mineral baths—with a temperature of roughly 102 degrees—and sauna sessions. Facial and body treatments will be coming soon to the lineup. 

“The mineral baths combined with spa services delivered by excellent providers creates a relaxing and rejuvenating experience like no other,” Foltz says. “The park itself is truly a beautiful gem in the heart of town. Guests can be transported back in time and explore the rich history of the park while receiving the same health benefits of the mineral water along with spa services that have evolved throughout the years.” 

Book your spa experience at 304.258.3976 or 304.258.2711.

Outdoor Adventures, Indoor Indulgences 

Just 10 miles from Berkeley Springs, travelers can find Cacapon Resort State Park nestled along the beautiful backdrop of the eastern slope of Cacapon Mountain. “‘Cacapon’ is a Shawnee Indian word meaning ‘healing waters,’” explains Foltz, who also manages the Healing Waters Spa. While the spas are situated in close proximity, Foltz says each is unique in its offerings. 

Photographed by Nikki Bowman Mills

The state park elevation ranges from 800 feet at the entrance of the park to 2,400 feet at the pinnacle, offering breathtaking views and unique landscapes. Within the park’s 6,000-plus acres, guests can enjoy golfing on a Robert Trent Jones signature golf course, mountain biking on various levels of professionally built trails, clay shooting at the Wobble Clay Shooting Range, horseback riding with CCC Outfitters, or hiking the many trails. Foltz says nature and recreation programming are provided year-round. Throughout the summer, boating and swimming opportunities are available along the sandy beach at Cacapon Lake. Also during the warmer months, glamping stays offer a comfortable overnight stay under the stars. 

After a full day of outdoor adventures, visitors are invited to refuel indoors at the full-service restaurant, take a dip in the indoor pool and hot tub, relax at the lodge in front of a roaring fire, or, of course, luxuriate in the Healing Waters Spa. With services focusing on an active lifestyle, such as the Going for Green and Trail Therapy specialized massages, spa guests can rejuvenate, relax, and recharge during their stay. Fully furnished cabins, the Old Inn—the first lodge in the West Virginia State Parks system, and the Lodge—the newest in the West Virginia State Parks system—offer overnight accommodations to complete the getaway package. 

“Healing Waters Spa has the privilege of providing services for individuals, couples, friends, and families,” says Foltz, who expresses pride in serving the local community and guests from near and far. “We offer a variety of massages, facials, body treatments, nail services, waxing, Reflexology, and Reiki. Based on our guests’ needs, our service providers and support staff can create and customize a truly relaxing experience ranging from a single service to a full spa-day journey.” 

Healing Waters Spa services may be booked at 304.258.1022, ext. 6125.

A Secluded Retreat 

Located in the central part of the state, Stonewall Resort State Park invites guests to experience the Mountain Laurel Spa, which boasts being “Close to Nature, Far from Ordinary.” 

One of West Virginia’s newer state parks, Stonewall Resort’s park and lake were completed in 1990 as part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project and named for area native Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. The resort has been operated by a private developer in partnership with the state since 2002. The full-service spa offers massages, facials, body treatments, and more. To enhance their relaxation, visitors can also take advantage of the resort’s fitness center, indoor / outdoor pool, and hot tub. 

Massage services, offered to both individuals and couples, include Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, warm bamboo, tension relief, and more. The spa highlights its seasonal offerings, such as a Pumpkin Spice Scrub & Butter Cream service featured in October and November and a Peppermint Scrub in December and January. 

In addition to the spa, guests can unwind at the Adirondack-style lodge, cottages, or campgrounds. Dining options are available at three restaurants, including Stillwaters, Lightburn’s, and TJ Muskies Lounge. Recreational activities offer something for all ages, including biking, golf, swimming, boating, hiking, and more. Just beyond the park are several attractions, including Appalachian Glass, Mountaineer Military Museum, Lambert’s Winery, and more for folks looking to venture beyond the state park borders.

To book spa services, call 304.269.8881.

Serene Scenes

In the southern reaches of the Mountain State, guests at Pipestem Resort State Park can enjoy the new Mountain Serenity Spa, located at the McKeever Lodge. The full-service spa offers massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and body treatments alongside a “gorge-ous” view of the Bluestone Gorge. Pipestem visitors also enjoy dining, shopping, golfing, and ziplining. 

Spa services were a long-anticipated addition at Pipestem, says spa manager Tara Pack. “When Governor Jim Justice provided additional state park funding, we knew we wanted to earmark some of it for renovations on the seventh floor of the McKeever Lodge to incorporate a spa.” The state funding also provided renovations to the lodge, conference rooms, and service center. 

Mountain Serenity offers a relaxing retreat as soon as guests arrive. “Seeing the mountains of the Bluestone Gorge is instantly calming,” Pack says. “The spa has relaxing music playing and aromatherapy. The design of the spa itself is also gorgeous, with teal and cream tile. You really get that ‘wow’ factor when you walk in.” Catering to individuals, couples, and groups, the spa boasts its ability to offer something for everyone. 

Unique to Mountain Serenity is the Mother and Daughter Retreat, featuring a facial, manicure, and pedicure for each participant. Moms-to-be and brides-to-be can also indulge in special massage packages tailored to their specific needs. The spa welcomes their male clients to treat themselves to a special combination, too, For the Fellows, which offers a 60-minute therapeutic massage, gentleman’s facial, and a “man-icure” or pedicure. 

Locals can enjoy a unique perk at Pipestem, as the park is offering a monthly membership for access to spa services, the weight room, and the swimming pool. This is a great opportunity for Beckley-, Hinton-, and Princeton-area residents to bundle their wellness services, Pack says. To book an appointment, call 304.894.4198 to reach the spa directly.

To learn more or book your appointment or stay, visit wvstateparks.com.