Watoga State Park

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Watoga State Park
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)[1]
Watoga State Park.jpg
Watoga Lake
Map showing the location of Watoga State Park
Map showing the location of Watoga State Park
Location of Watoga State Park in West Virginia
LocationPocahontas, West Virginia, United States
Nearest townSeebert, West Virginia
Coordinates38°06′13″N 80°08′59″W / 38.10361°N 80.14972°W / 38.10361; -80.14972Coordinates: 38°06′13″N 80°08′59″W / 38.10361°N 80.14972°W / 38.10361; -80.14972
Area10,100 acres (41 km2)[2]
Elevation2,894 ft (882 m)
EstablishedMay 1934[3]
Named forWatoga Lake
Governing bodyWest Virginia Division of Natural Resources
New Deal Resources in Watoga State Park Historic District
Watoga State Park is located in West Virginia
Watoga State Park
Watoga State Park is located in the United States
Watoga State Park
LocationHC 82 (9 miles southwest of WV 39), near Marlinton, West Virginia
Area10,269 acres (4,156 ha)
NRHP reference No.10001227[4]
Added to NRHPFebruary 4, 2011

Watoga State Park is a state park located near Seebert in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The largest of West Virginia's state parks, it covers slightly over 10,100 acres (41 km2).[2] Nearby parks include the Greenbrier River Trail, which is adjacent to the park, Beartown State Park, and Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. Also immediately adjacent to the park is the 9,482-acre Calvin Price State Forest. It is one of the darkest night skies of all of West Virginia State Parks.[5]


Watoga State Park’s name comes from the Cherokee word for “starry waters.” [6] The land that forms the nucleus of Watoga was originally acquired in January 1925, when the park was initially planned to be a state forest. In May 1934, a decision was made to instead develop the site as a state park. Much of the development on the site was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the park was first opened on July 1, 1937.[3] Development of the park stopped during WWII, but after the war, work on the park resumed, and the first camping area opened in 1953, and eight deluxe cabins opened in 1956. Recreational use of the park increased during the 60s and 70s, requiring the addition of another camping area.[6] Today, the park is supported by the Watoga State Park Foundation which promotes the recreation, conservation, ecology, history, and natural resources of the park.[7]

New Deal Resources in Watoga State Park Historic District[edit]

The New Deal Resources in Watoga State Park Historic District is a national historic district encompassing 59 contributing buildings, 35 contributing structures, 2 contributing sites, and 11 contributing objects. They include water fountains; trails; a swimming pool; a reservoir; rental cabins; and picnic shelters; as well as a former CCC camp. The park is the site of the Fred E. Brooks Memorial Arboretum, a 400-acre arboretum that encompasses the drainage of Two Mile Run. Named in honor of Fred E. Brooks, a noted West Virginia naturalist who died in 1933, the Arboretum's construction began about 1935 and a dedication was held in 1938.[8]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.[4]


Cabin 31, Watoga State Park, West Virginia. June, 2020.
  • 34 cabins
  • 2 campgrounds with 88 total campsites (50 with electricity)
  • Swimming pool
  • 11-acre (45,000 m2) fishing lake with boat rentals
  • 37.5 miles of hiking trails
  • Brooks Memorial Arboretum
  • Ann Bailey Lookout Tower
  • Greenbrier River Trail
  • CCC Museum
  • Picnic areas

Hiking Trails[edit]

Watoga State Park has many hiking trails to choose from that vary wildly in length and difficulty. There is a wide variety of trail choices, so any level hiker will enjoy their time on the Watoga State Park trails.

A small list of these trails includes[9]

  • Allegheny Trail
  • Ann Bailey Trail
  • Arrowhead Trail
  • Bearpen Trail
  • Brooks Memorial Arboretum Trails
  • Buck and Doe Trail
  • Burnside Ridge Trail
  • Honeymoon Trail
  • Jesse's Cove Trail
  • Kennison Run Trail
  • Lake Trail
  • Monongaseneka Trail
  • North Boundary Trail
  • Pine Run Trail
  • T. M. Cheek Trail
  • Ten Acre Trail
  • South Burnside Trail

These trails are regularly maintained by the Watoga Foundation,[10] and you can look at a map by clicking here.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Watoga State Park". Protected Planet. IUCN. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "West Virginia State Parks Facilities Grid" (PDF). West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 2/14/11 through 2/18/11. National Park Service. 2011-02-25.
  5. ^ R, Mike (2021-08-24). "State Park Bortle 2 Scale Information In The US". CosmosPNW. Retrieved 2022-01-24.
  6. ^ a b "Watoga State Park". wvstateparks.com. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  7. ^ "ABOUT WATOGA FOUNDATION". watogafoundation.org. Watoga State Park Foundation Inc. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  8. ^ Lena L. Sweeten (July 2010). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: New Deal Resources in Watoga State Park Historic District" (PDF). State of West Virginia, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
  9. ^ "Watoga State Park". West Virginia State Parks. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  10. ^ "About Watoga Foundation -". Retrieved 2020-05-07.

External links[edit]