Fall in love all over again at a West Virginia state park.

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

Written by Devin Lacy
Photographs Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

At the lodge or in your romantic cabin – a romantic getaway is not far away!

West Virginia state parks are state-wide hotspots for outdoor recreation and exploration, full of opportunity for adventure, discovery, and fun. However, our parks are also a place for reflection, tranquility, and rejuvenation, a place to connect with the people you love while connecting with nature. 

When February rolls around each year, it follows the well-worn trail of a hectic holiday season and bright new beginnings. Romance fills the air as couples take the time to reconnect and relax, basking in their time together. Some enjoy the peacefulness of a quiet night in while others spend their evening out on the town, maybe turning it into a weekend away. Parks across the state are making it easier to celebrate your way with Valentine’s Day offerings that will put you at the center of your very own rom-com. 

Sweet Celebrations

This year, Valentine’s Day just happens to fall right in the middle of the week, making it hard for many couples to plan around busy weekday schedules and commitments, especially in the catch-up post-holiday season. Even so, many of our state parks are opening the doors to lovestruck couples looking for a unique and fun way to spend the holiday—the weekend before. Plan to spend Friday, February 9 through Sunday, February 11 being wined and dined at one of these Cupid-worthy parks. 

North Bend State Park is one of the many state parks celebrating the season of love and romance this February, offering guests a program of romance with its “Be My Valentine” package, including a night at the lodge—upgraded to a cabin for an additional charge—dinner, live music, and much more. Arrive early Saturday morning to explore the park and nearby areas. “North Bend has all kinds of hiking trails you can get out and enjoy,” says Kristi Steed, lodge manager at North Bend. “In nearby Harrisville, there is a five-and-dime and other unique shops. You can create some time to yourselves to explore.” That evening, enjoy North Bend Restaurant’s Sweetheart Buffet before hitting the dance floor.

What is Valentine’s Day without some chocolate? Find locally made goodness at North Bends chocolate event.

What makes this event truly unique? Chocolate. “Every kind of chocolate you can think of!” says Steed. In 2023, the North Bend Foundation started the park’s Valentine’s Day chocolate event, bringing locally made chocolates to the park for guests to sample and enjoy as they mingle. “It was a humongous hit. I’ve never seen so much chocolate!” Call 304.643.2931 to make your reservation. 

Lovebirds in Mountaineer Country can head to Tygart Lake State Park to enjoy its Valentine’s Day package, including a one-night stay at the park on Friday or Saturday. The lodge overlooks the nearby lake, with tranquil views that set the tone for a weekend of relaxation. Two tickets for a dinner at the lodge’s restaurant that Saturday will be provided, along with a wine basket. A little cupid tells us sirloin steak and Chicken Marsala are on the menu. 

Pipestem’s lodge offers stunning views of the Bluestone River Gorge for a romantic backdrop.

Chief Logan State Park knows how to celebrate the holidays in style. On the tail of its well-known December celebrations come preparations for the season of love. Two-night and one-night packages are available for the weekend before Valentine’s Day—choose to stay Friday and Saturday night or just Saturday night. On Saturday, Chief Logan hosts a night of dinner and dancing for its Cupid-struck couples. After enjoying a meal at the lodge’s full-service restaurant, lace up your dancing shoes as Coal Fired Band takes the stage from 8 to 10 p.m. As the night closes, retire to your cozy single king or double queen room at the lodge. When morning comes, enjoy a continental breakfast before making your way out into the park to explore or heading home. Tickets for just the dinner and dance are also available, offering a nice night out for those couples who aren’t looking for a full weekend excursion. 

Lodge restaurants are a great option for a couple who would like a great meal without having to leave the park.

Twin Falls Resort State Park is also getting in on the heart-shaped fun. “Valentine’s Day at Twin Falls is both relaxing and romantic,” says Tammy Cooper, park naturalist. “We take the time to make it special with a single rose and chocolates in the rooms. We also have a full-service restaurant on-site that can take the stress of dinner plans out of the equation.” The Valentine’s Day package includes lodging, tickets to its February 10 dance party—complete with a cash bar serving mixed drinks, beer, and wine—and hors d’oeuvres. Call 304.294.4000 to book your stay before tickets sell out. Can’t make it for the party but are still interested in booking one of the park’s mountaintop cabins or a luxury room at the lodge for a different date? Twin Falls’ friendly staff are happy to help you do so. 

For those choosing to celebrate the weekend after the holiday instead of before, head on over to Pipestem Resort State Park to keep the love flowing. As one of the state’s premier family adventure destinations, Pipestem is no stranger to bringing people together. The resort’s two-night package includes lodging for Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17, winter refreshments such as hot chocolate and cookies, a couple’s scavenger hunt, a Sweetheart Dance following dinner at the Bluestone Dining Room, and so much more. A one-night package is also available, and either package can be upgraded to a room overlooking the gorge for a small fee, landing you a gorge-ous view you won’t want to miss. 

Adventure Abounds

Valentine’s Day at a West Virginia state park is the perfect opportunity to not only fall in love with your person all over again, but with West Virginia and the great outdoors as well. And even though not all parks offer typical sweetheart celebrations, there are plenty of opportunities for romance. 

No visit to a state park is complete without time spent outdoors. While the February air might still carry that crisp winter feel, you will not be alone in taking to nature for a hike on one of many trails or a stroll around the immediate grounds. For the more adventurous couples, Canaan Valley Resort State Park might be just the thing—skiing, snowtubing, and more await you there. The sled run at Blackwater Falls State Park is always a good time, too!

And what’s more romantic than a stroll under the stars? State parks across the state are working on keeping our night skies dark and our stars bright by limiting light pollution across their properties. It’s becoming easier than ever to enjoy a night under the stars—you might even catch a glimpse of the Milky Way! To learn more about our Dark Sky parks and the best places to go stargazing, check out the story on page 20.

State park lodges and cabins are cozy places to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with your Valentine

For our more indoor-inclined park guests—at least in the winter—check out the local museums and historical sites or take a train ride through our beautiful mountains. Be sure to check your park’s calendar for other events and activities that might also be taking place, or bring along some games or good books to enjoy together in front of a roaring fire. 

Berkeley Springs, Cacapon Resort, Pipestem Resort, and Stonewall Resort state parks each boast delightful spas with impressive service menus, including options for a couple to treat themselves to an indulgent day of pampering, relaxation, and togetherness. See the story on page 15 to learn more about each location’s unique offerings and how to book an unforgettable experience for two. 

Time still remains to book a trip for Valentine’s Day, but don’t wait too long. “The Valentine’s Day package will usually sell out right before,” Steed warns. “People don’t really think of Valentine’s Day until the last minute.” Since it’s already on your radar, get a head start by visiting wvstateparks.com for offers and availability, and check out the blog for inspiration, itineraries, and guides to customize your experience at a West Virginia state park even more—no matter what time of year you visit.