Babcock State Park
Backstory and Context
Babcock State Park offers 4,127 acres of beauty and a fast flowing trout stream to its guest. It also has several overlooks where visitors can view the mountain vistas. The park is nearby the heart of the whitewater rafting industry, New River Gorge National River.
Colorful flowers can be seen by visitors to the park from later spring to early summer. Paddleboats, rowboats, and canoes are available for rent at the marina at the 19-acre Boley Lake where good fishing abounds.
The rustic administration building which is built of native sandstone is a good place to start a tour of the park. It is the home of park headquarters and a small gift shop. Across from the administration building parking lot is the Glade Creek Grist Mill.
The Glade Creek Mill was built at Babcock State Park in 1976. The mill was built as a recreation of the Cooper’s Mill that was located where the current administration building parking lot is. The Glade Creek Mill is fully operable. The combination of parts and pieces from several old mills throughout West Virginia played a role in its creation.
Stoney Creek Grist Mill, which dates back to 1890, provided the basic structure. It was dismantled and moved, piece by piece, from Pocahontas County to Babcock. A fire destroyed the Spring Run Grist Mill located in Grant County. The only part of the mill that could be saved was the waterwheel, which is now powered by the Glade Creek at Babcock. Some of the other parts that made up the mill came from Onego Grist Mill which was located near Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County.
The Glade Creek Mill is a living monument to over 500 mills that once thrived in the state of West Virginia. It also provides visitors to the park the opportunity to purchase freshly ground cornmeal and buckwheat.