MATHIAS, W.Va. - Slightly off the technology grid, Lost River State Park
in Hardy County attracts a vacation personality that enjoys tradition, family and friend interaction, with limited distractions. Cabins, outdoor swimming pool, recreation hall, nature center, stables for horseback riding and miles of hiking trails are featured at the park – but not cell phone service.
“Your cell phone won’t interrupt your vacation at Lost River,” according to Supt. Mike Foster. “However, Wi-Fi is available at the park administration building, and the cabin check-in area. Office staff says the opportunity to read a good book, engage in conversation, and play a game of checkers or shuffleboard are activities our guests thank us for offering without the distraction of cell phones.”
Cranny Crow, an iconic view shed, and the Lee House, representing the original 1800 structure at the park, reward visitors who have scenic and historic interests, according to Foster. “The park is a haven for those looking to disengage, at least for a little while, from technology while enjoying a wooded mountain setting. There’s something about a game of checkers and conversation that creates special times at the park.”
“We’re a pen-to-paper type of setting. We get to know our visitors and enjoy seeing families year after year. It’s a very comfortable place to visit and re-visit,” said Mary Sue May, the office clerk who has become a familiar face and friendly voice to visitors at Lost River.
The cabins are fully equipped with linens, kitchenware and televisions. The recreation hall has a 1950s feeling, although the juke box plays CDs rather than 45s. The original indoor inlaid shuffleboard court is in use. A pool and Ping-Pong table is frequently used as well as the checkerboard topped table.
Interpretative and other activities are scheduled at the park throughout the summer, ranging from “meet a horse” to nature hikes. Park naturalist Nick Korolev, an educator/historian, organizes various activities and events held in the nature center and recreation hall as well as guided walks. Activities are posted on the park website, www.lostriversp.com
Lost River State Park activities June 25-30, 2013 include:
Tuesday, June 25
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.: Meet the Horses
A visit to the Hidden Trails Stables introduces visitors to the horses at the park to learn a little bit about our equine friends. The stables operation offers daily horseback riding opportunity and Summer Horse Camps. To learn more about the stables at Lost River visit www.hiddentrailsstableswv.com
Wednesday, June 26
9:30 a.m. – Noon: Lee House
History is revisited at the Lee House. Learn about the remarkable past of Lost River State Park, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Light Horse Harry Lee, and the Lee Sulphur Springs Resort.
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.: Howard’s Lick Tree Hike
Meet the naturalist at the volleyball parking area near Cabin 3 to hike Howard’s Lick Trail and through the picnic area to see and identify some of the 35 native species of trees found at Lost River.
3 – 4 p.m.: Nature Bingo
Nature bingo introduces the family to animals, birds, rocks and plants while learning some nature facts along the way. The activities are at the Nature Center on the end of the Rec Building
Thursday, June 27
9:30 a.m. – noon: Lee House
1 – 5 p.m.: Nature Center Activities
The Nature Center has exhibits, including creek aquariums, as well as nature word searches and other fun activities.
3 – 4 p.m.: Talkin’ Turkey
Learn about West Virginia’s largest game bird. Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey as our national bird instead of the eagle. See how fast you can close a wild turkey box at a hands-on program made possible by the National Wild Turkey Federation educational programs. The activity is at the Nature Center.
Friday, June 28
10 -11 a.m.: Bug Safari
It’s a hunt for bugs around the Rec Building and surrounding field. Everyone will be provided a butterfly net to use. An insect guide for positive identification of the critters is incorporated prior to bug releases.
1 – 3 p.m.: Nature Center
4 – 5 p.m.: Nature Bingo
8 – 9 p.m.: Walk Into The Twilight Zone
The night hike looks for bats, owls, and other late-night creatures. Discussion of how these animals get around in the dark is part of the evening program which meets at the swimming pool area.
Saturday, June 29
10 – 11 a.m.: Creek Critter Crawl
Search Howard’s Lick stream for wildlife and learn about stream ecology, which critters live in the stream and the role they serve in the ecosystem. Meet in front of the Bath House and be ready to explore the creek and get your feet wet!
1 – 4 p.m. Lee House Open.
7 – 8 p.m.: Campfire
Meet other park visitors and area residents, roast marshmallows, sing some songs, and enjoy some good conversation in our no-texting zone. Bring instruments if you’ve got them.
Sunday, June 30
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Lee House Open.
Mike Foster, Lost River State Park Superintendent