Photo Credit: Billy Bowling
Pipestem Resort State Park is known as the Year-round Crown Jewel of the West Virginia State Park System, and luckily for those of us in Mercer County, this gem is right in our backyard. Easily accessible via I-77 and WV-20, Pipestem is an excellent day trip for families, couples and solo travelers staying in Mercer County.
With so much to see and do here, we thought we’d share just a few of our favorite parts of the park.
County Line Trail
The park spans 4,000 acres and features numerous options for outdoor activities including: 15 trails — ideal for hiking, biking and horseback riding — vistas for rock climbing and rappelling; a splash park; a lake for fishing; river access for kayaking, tubing, rafting, and stand-up paddleboarding; an aerial tramway; and a nature center. The park also has shops, where you can find outdoor gear and accessories, West Virginia souvenirs and crafts, and several dining options that range from full-service to an ice cream shop/soda fountain.
Have you ever felt like you need to be two places at once? Well, at Pipestem, you can! Take a hike, bike or ride horseback down the County Line Trail, and you’ll be able to straddle both Mercer and Summers Counties. This challenging wooded 1.9 miler begins at the Pipestem Nature Center and continues along Indian Branch before ending at River Trail.
Indian Branch Waterfall
A little over a mile into your trip on the County Line Trail, you’ll come to the perfect place for a pitstop — Indian Branch Falls. Take in the beauty of the waterfall, which features a 45-foot plunge and is surrounded by moss-covered rocks and plant life.
Last, but certainly not least, is Pipestem Peaks. This extensive aerial tour, measuring 300 feet and consisting of nine ziplines, a cable bridge, and a belay — just opened to the public in May. However, it is quickly becoming one of the park’s standout features. Pipestem Peaks is an adrenaline rush — riders will face speeds up to 50 mph — with awe-inspiring sights (keep your eyes open and you’ll see the forests, vistas, Bluestone River and more) wrapped in one. Try it out for yourself!
While you’re planning your Pipestem adventure, we suggest taking a look at some of the convenient lodging options and visiting the happening Mercer Street Grassroots District in nearby Princeton. Check out our themed itineraries for more ideas on how to make the most of your visit to Mercer County.
This post was last updated on June 19, 2019