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]
 - Land leased from USDA 1939 [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 West Virginia 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 of hiking trails, ten vacation cabins, an 88-unit campground that has electric hookups, picnic tables, and grills at each site, and many recreation and picnic areas.

History of Holly River State Park[edit]

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, under the direction of the Farm Security Administration, in 1937 began purchasing property to reforest the land and reclaim streams. For the next five years, the federal government continued the effort, purchasing additional land and building recreational facilities. Holly River State Park was created in 1938, under the management of the State Conservation Commission. The state took full control in 1954 when the federal government transferred the deed.[3]


Holly River features a variety of recreational activities including:

  • swimming pool (open seasonally)
  • basketball courts
  • volleyball courts
  • softball field
  • tennis courts
  • badminton
  • horseshoes
  • shuffleboard

During the summer, park staff leads special activities such as nature hikes, hayrides, marshmallow roasts and other sports events.



Cabin 6

Holly River features ten furnished cabins constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s using local natural stone and timber. Situated along a tributary of Laurel Fork Holly River, each cabin includes a stone fireplace along with an outdoor grill, picnic table, linens, and a bathroom with shower. [4]


Campground, Spruce Area.

Holly River's 88-unit campground features electric hookups, picnic tables, and cooking grills at each site. A dumping station and four bathhouses are also provided on site. The campgrounds are normally open from the first Friday in April through the last Monday in November.[5]

Store and restaurant[edit]

A basic store is located in the park providing staple groceries and sundries. A locally operated restaurant is also located in the park. In 2009, 2012, and 2015, the Holly River State Park Restaurant was named by The West Virginia Division of Tourism and the Collaborative as one of the "101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia".[6][7][8]


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 (Pickens Road), Potato Knob is a popular attraction rising approximately 600 feet (180 m) above the surrounding terrain.[9] 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 of the Holly River, a large waterfall on Fall Run. The site features a recently completed observation deck, stairway to the base of the falls, parking lot, and upgraded road access.

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 Division of Natural Resources. To help make the schoolhouse more accessible to park visitors, the Holly River State Park Foundation led a volunteer project to relocate the schoolhouse to near the park headquarters.


Holly River Festival[edit]

The Holly River Festival is held annually during Labor Day weekend at Holly River State Park. It is a family-oriented festival featuring activities such as a talent show, live music, potato peeling and other contests, crafts, old-time one-room school games, various exhibitions and a gospel sing at the Jerry Run Summer Theater.[10]

Irish road bowling[edit]

In recent years, an Irish road bowling has been held at Holly River State Park. Irish road bowling is a very old rural sport from the country of Ireland, and is taking hold on country roads in central West Virginia.[11] The event is held in October each year.[12]

Haunted campground[edit]

The Holly River State Park haunted campground is held near Halloween inside the campground at Holly River State Park. Children from the surrounding area come to trick-or-treat in a safe environment, go on haunted hayrides, and enjoy a party filled with food.


Accessibility for the disabled was assessed by West Virginia University. The assessment found the campground, picnic shelters, swimming pool, and playground to be accessible.[13] During the 2005 assessment some issues were identified concerning signage and slippery stairways.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b West Virginia State Parks Facilities Grid, accessed March 29, 2008
  2. ^ a b 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. ^ Anderson, Stanley J. (1993). The Kanawha Head Project: A History of Holly River State Park. McDowell Publishing. 
  4. ^ "Holly River State Park Website". 
  5. ^ Holly River State Park. "Camprgound Information". hollyriver.com. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia". The Herald-Dispatch. 2009-07-14. 
  7. ^ 101 Unique Places to Dine in WV 2012 (PDF). West Virginia Department of Commerce. 2012. 
  8. ^ 101 Unique Places to Dine in WV 2015. West Virginia Department of Commerce. 2015. 
  9. ^ "Map of Potato Knob". Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Holly River Festival". Webster Springs, West Virginia. Retrieved January 16, 2010. 
  11. ^ "West Virginia Irish Road Bowling". West Virginia Irish Road Bowling Association. Retrieved January 16, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Upcoming WVIRBA Events". West Virginia Irish Road Bowling Association. Retrieved January 16, 2010. 
  13. ^ Guide to Accessible Recreation and Travel in WV, WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities web site, accessed July 31, 2006

External links[edit]