Cacapon Resort State Park
Cacapon Resort State Park was created during the Great Depression and opened on July 1, 1937. The park preserves and maintains over six thousand acres in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia is located near the historic community of Berkeley Springs. Renowned for the views of Cacapon Mountain, the park also offers a variety of outdoor activities and lodging in a historic inn and numerous cabins that are maintained by the state.
Backstory and Context
Cacapon [ka-kay-pon] State Park is one of thirty-six West Virginia state parks. The name comes from a Native word meaning "healing" or "medicine waters," a name deriving from indigenous claims of the area's restorative properties. The park is also known as the "Emerald of the Eastern Panhandle"- a reference of the natural beauty of Capacon Mountain and the surrounding valley.
Cacapon Mountain is 2,208 feet high and offers an unobstructed view of up to fifty miles from its vista, known as Prospect Rock. George Washington came to the area in 1769 and remarked about the beauty of the area. Lawrence Augustine Washington, nephew to the future president, wrote a passage in his journal about the view from Prospect Rock. "We approached to enjoy the beautiful prospect, for beautiful it is. The lofty towering mountains which rise in proud and successive elevations over each other, until their blue and fading summits, which seemed to touch the very heavens..."
Before the state park was established, the land was full of timber that was cleared and sold, as well as many small farms. Most of the farmers and others in the area struggled during the Great Depression. In response, the state purchased the area and together with federal programs, employed area men and boys and creating the state park.
Visitors to the park can choose from overnight accommodations in the lodge, a number of cabins, or the Old Inn. The lodge is the main building in the park and it contains a lobby, a restaurant, a game room, and 48 hotel-style rooms above the first floor. There are thirty cabins ranging in style, size, and price. Out of the thirty different cabins 13 of them are modern deluxe cabins, which are open all year, 12 of them are standard cabins, and 6 are one room cabins called summer bungalows. The Old Inn is the biggest cabin in the park and it is built like a 1700s cabin and includes multiple bedrooms with connecting bathrooms; this cabin is for large groups and big families. The Old Inn is in the perfect spot to enjoy all of the activities the park has to offer.
The park offers fishing, boating, and swimming at the beach on the side of the lake. There is a nature center and visitors can schedule guided nature hikes as well as horseback rides. There is also a shooting rage, various sports facilities, and 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones in the 1970s.