Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Welcome To Hawks Nest State Park

For our family reunion we went to Ansted, WV and Hawks Nest State Park. I had no idea when we set out how wonderful our entire trip would be. The park is absolutely beautiful and so are the mountains!

Welcome to Hawks Nest State Park

I must first interject that Hawks Nest State Park holds a very special place in my family's heart. My Grandparents are from Ansted, WV and my mom has many memories of visits and get-togethers long after they moved away. As magical as the park is on it's own, it really came alive for me as my mom told of events that happened there decades before. I was very happy to participate in my own memories at the park since our reunion was held in the Conference Room at the Lodge!

Ansted, WV

The restaurant at the Lodge did such a great job catering to our reunion. Everything went incredibly smooth and all the staff were really nice and helpful. Even the conference room has a beautiful view of the river. And if you step right outside of it you are at the best lookout spot and steps away from the tram and the gift shop. Our event was wonderful and I'm glad we chose Hawks Nest State Park to have it.

This is the view from the resturant. You can see the river too,
but I was trying to get the bridge on the horizon.

We stayed in the Lodge at Hawks Nest State Park and found it very pleasing. Many of my family were staying in the Lodge with us, so we were able to swim together, eat breakfast together, and have late night chats on this particular bench we seemed to gather around the entire weekend. As accommodations go, it was wonderful. All the people we worked with were incredibly nice and the room was clean, spacious, and restful (when my two year old would let me rest that is.) There is also a great view from the balcony. Even though our room didn't face the river, you could still see much of the beautiful view. Also, the continental breakfast was delicious! We wouldn't leave our last morning without partaking in it one more time.

Hawks Nest Lodge

The park itself is absolutely beautiful! It is very well kept and all the Park Rangers we talked to were fantastic and really nice. There are many overlooks and trails to go on. There is a tram to get to the bottom of the river. We didn't really get to go on any trails since we were busy with the reunion, but I hear they are very nice as well. There is also a great big playground, which looked like lots of fun. Again, we were a little too distracted to make it over there. But we did try out the pool (only available to Lodge guests) and it was lovely.

Zoey loved this view. I believe she would
have stayed here all weekend if she could.

The tram and a gorgeous view of the river

I did make it to the Overlook right down the road from the Lodge, still part of the State Park. It was AMAZING! That is where I took my Wordless Wednesday picture as well as many others. It was such a gorgeous view! You could see up the river, the railroad bridge, and the dam. The whole scene was just breathtaking and so peaceful. For this particular moment, I left Zoey at the Lodge with her Granny and came to soak it all in. Even though Zoey would have been just fine on the Overlook, I'm glad I took a minute for myself and just enjoyed the view. The West Virginia mountains really are spectacular!

The most beautiful scene.

The dam from the Overlook

Quaint gift shop/refreshment stand at the Overlook

Stairs leading to one of the trails

The entire trip was amazing! I'm so glad we could all go together and create such wonderful memories. Our family reunion was unforgettable and we all had so much fun! I know Zoey had a great time hanging out with her cousins and climbing any "mountain" she could find. (She really just climbed big hills, but we are from the beach so any incline feels like a mountain.) I could continue gushing about my weekend for quite a while, so instead I will stop myself here. But I will say, if you are ever looking for an adventure in the mountains (I didn't even mention there are great White Water Rafting spots there), I would recommend Hawks Nest State Park in Ansted, WV.

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