Holly River State Park

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Holly River State Park
West Virginia State Park
Holly river run 3 ForestWander.jpg
Mountain run at Holly River
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Webster
Elevation 2,467 ft (751.9 m)
Coordinates 38°39′59″N 80°19′37″W / 38.66639°N 80.32694°W / 38.66639; -80.32694Coordinates: 38°39′59″N 80°19′37″W / 38.66639°N 80.32694°W / 38.66639; -80.32694
Area 8,294 acres (3,356.5 ha) [1]
Established 1938 [2]
Owner West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
Nearest town Hacker Valley, West Virginia
Location of Holly River State Park in West Virginia
Wikimedia Commons: Holly River State Park
Website: Holly River State Park

Holly River State Park is a state park located in Webster County, West Virginia. Situated on the Left Fork of the Holly River near the town of Hacker Valley, it is the second largest park in the West Virginia state park system with a total of 8,294 acres (3,356 ha).[1] The park features over 42 miles (68 km) of hiking trails, ten vacation cabins, an 88-unit campground, and many recreation and picnic areas.


The creation of Holly River State Park began circa 1937 with the Farm Security Administration's Kanawha Head Project to resettle families from marginal farmland.[3] 250 Works Progress Administration workers rehabilitated the land and constructed facilities in the project area.[3] Holly River State Park was formed in 1938 when the West Virginia Conservation Commission took control of the area, and the state obtained ownership of the site in 1954.[3][4]


Holly River features a seasonal swimming pool, a softball field, and courts for playing basketball, volleyball, tennis, and other popular activities. Special activities such as guided hikes, movie nights, and sporting events are offered during the summer.[5]


Holly River has over 42 miles (68 km) of hiking and biking trails.[6] Two trails, Ridge Road Trail and Rock Camp Trail, are designated as horse trails.[7]



Cabin 6

Holly River features ten furnished cabins constructed in the 1930s using local natural stone and timber. Situated along a tributary of Laurel Fork Holly River, each cabin includes a stone fireplace.[8]


Spruce Area of campground

Holly River features a modern 88-unit campground that is open seasonally.[9] Several campsites are designed to accommodate equestrian users and include access to corrals.[7]

Store and restaurant[edit]

Holly River features a small on-site store providing staple groceries and sundries. A restaurant operated by a local concessionaire is also located in the park. It has been named one of the "101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia" several times.[10][11][12]


Potato Knob[edit]

Located at 38°38′21″N 80°19′38″W / 38.63917°N 80.32722°W / 38.63917; -80.32722

Located off Webster County Route 3 (Left Fork Holly River Road), Potato Knob is a popular attraction rising approximately 600 feet (180 m) above the surrounding terrain.[13] Potato Knob Trail winds its way up the steep incline to the summit of the hill.

Upper Falls[edit]

Upper Falls

Located at 38°38′09″N 80°19′13″W / 38.63583°N 80.32028°W / 38.63583; -80.32028

Located near Potato Knob is Upper Falls, a large waterfall on Fall Run. The site features an observation deck and stairway to the base of the falls.[14]

Windy Gap School[edit]

Windy Gap One Room School

Located at 38°39′57″N 80°21′16″W / 38.66583°N 80.35444°W / 38.66583; -80.35444

Windy Gap School is a former one-room schoolhouse that was located on a remote tract of land owned by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The Holly River State Park Foundation led a volunteer project to relocate the schoolhouse to near the park headquarters to make it more accessible to visitors.[15]


Holly River Festival[edit]

The Holly River Festival has been held annually during Labor Day weekend at the park since 1992.[4] The family-oriented festival features activities such as a talent show, live music, contests, crafts, old-time games, and exhibitions.[16][4]


Accessibility for the disabled was evaluated by West Virginia University in 2005. The campground, picnic shelters, swimming pool, and playground were found to be accessible, but issues were identified with signage and slippery stairways.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "West Virginia State Parks At-a-Glance" (PDF). West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. March 8, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 26, 2008. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  2. ^ Where People and Nature Meet: A History of the West Virginia State Parks. Charleston, West Virginia: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company. April 1988. ISBN 0-933126-91-3. 
  3. ^ a b c Sweeten, Lena (May 11, 2010). "New Deal Resources in West Virginia State Parks and State Forests" (PDF). West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Anderson, Stanley J. (1993). The Kanawha Head Project: A History of Holly River State Park. Utica, Kentucky: McDowell Publishing. 
  5. ^ "Recreation". Holly River State Park. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Hiking". Holly River State Park. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Horseback Riding and Equestrian Facilities". Holly River State Park. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Cabins". Holly River State Park. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Retrieved August 12, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Campground Information". Holly River State Park. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia". The Herald-Dispatch. 2009-07-14. 
  11. ^ 101 Unique Places to Dine in WV 2012 (PDF). West Virginia Department of Commerce. 2012. 
  12. ^ 101 Unique Places to Dine in WV 2015. West Virginia Department of Commerce. 2015. 
  13. ^ "Map of Potato Knob". Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ Hartigan, Rick. "Upper Falls Holly River". West Virginia Water Falls. Retrieved August 12, 2017. 
  15. ^ Ghion, Kathryn (September 3, 2015). "Historical Tour: Windy Gap School". WBOY-TV. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Holly River Festival Raises Funds for State Park in Webster County". WBOY-TV. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  17. ^ Guide to Accessible Recreation and Travel in WV, WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities web site, accessed July 31, 2006 Archived July 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]