May Editor’s Letter

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? As we were working on this issue, I wondered how many photos I’ve taken in state parks. A quick search on my iPhone revealed that, in the past 10 years, I’ve taken 4,698 photos and a little more than 400 videos. Shew. With nearly 50 state parks and forests in our backyards, each is unique and memorable.

     As I scrolled through my photos, I was reminded of some of my favorite memories. Allow me to share a few. One of the best meals I’ve had at a state park was at the restaurant at Twin Falls Resort State Park in Wyoming County. It was filled with guests and locals, which is always a great sign. There are three state park restaurants that stand out in my memory for their magnificent views—Canaan Valley Resort, Hawks Nest, and Pipestem Resort state parks. You’ll learn about some new and exciting additions to the culinary offerings at the parks on page 4.

     One of the reasons I love to stay at state park lodges is that the customer service seems to always be exceptional. The folks who work behind the check-in desk at Chief Logan are some of the most helpful and nicest people you’ll ever meet. I’m also grateful for the electric vehicle chargers that Chief Logan—and all state parks—provide.

     For stunning waterfall views, head to Blackwater Falls, Camp Creek, and Sandstone Falls state parks. Hike out to Cranny Crow at Lost River State Park or the overlook at Coopers Rock State Forest for a heavenly vista, and of course, everyone needs to take a photo at Babcock State Park of the iconic mill. I love weaving in and out of the boulders under the dense canopy of greenery at Beartown State Park, and for families, the pool at Stonewall Resort State Park gets a perfect score. If you haven’t witnessed the synchronous fireflies at Watoga, it’s a magical moment that you need to add to your list.

      Whether it is sharing an adventure or a simple picnic or quiet contemplative moments, our picturesque park system has served as the memory-making backdrop for my family for nearly 50 years—and I bet it has for yours, too. As I took this pictorial trip down memory lane, I’m reminded that, while the scenery is camera-worthy, our parks aren’t just meant to be photographed—they are meant to be experienced. Hopefully, our “Road Trip 304” story on page 23 will inspire you to revisit a few of your favorite parks and discover something new!

Make memories,