Park Focus: Lost River

Lost River State Park protects 3,712 acres in the upper vale of the Lost River in Hardy County, in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. It features scenic, wooded mountains and a rich history connected to the Lee family of Virginia, who made their summer retreat here in the early 1800s when the area was known as Howard’s Lick. Prior to “Light Horse Harry” Lee’s acquisition of the land following the Revolutionary War, the region was part of Thomas Lord Fairfax’s massive land holdings. Lee’s cabin is now preserved as a museum within the park; it is open weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

History enthusiasts may also appreciate the stonework of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), whose Company 1524 built 15 cabins and other park structures between 1934 and 1937. Many of the CCC’s efforts remain intact and are still in use. Visitors will also find an outdoor pool, recreation courts, riding stables and trails, an activities building and miles of hiking trails, some of which lead to the Cranny Crow viewshed at an elevation of 3,200 feet. Organized hikes, campfires, films and other programs take place during the summer.


Park Focus author Audrey Stanton-Smith is a West Virginia writer and journalist.

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