A visit to Chief Logan State Park in W.V.

GrumpybearStarred Page By Grumpybear, 19th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Outdoor>Hiking & Walking

There is a place I used to go, to contemplate upon the nature of the land. A place that has two log cabins, hidden bridges and trails that can lead you into the heart of the wooded hills above the nature walks they have available. Almost a fairy tale land where wild animals will actually walk past you and not be afraid. And the surprise of the deer walking up to you to be fed a tid bit of your lunch or whatever you may have to give them. It is Chief Logan State Park.

A Notion to Visit Our Logan Park

If you want to come visiting our local park, Chief Logan State Park in West Virginia, You would be warmly welcomed not only by the people you will meet but the wild animals that reside in the park itself. Tucked away in a Cul de sac area in Logan County, it is a self contained nature preserve that is 4,000 acres and packed with things to do, where there is only one road into and out of the park.

The Hidden Retreat

As you turn into the park, there will be a small stream on your left. A little way in and you must look for it, is a hidden trail up the small hill to the right of your vision. A trail once, but now just a dead end half road that goes no where. The small stream continues on your left and eventually leads to a hidden bridge over the water that one could walk through. This is the circular walk called the Little Waterfall Walk. You couldn't go very far but you will eventually find a table and can picnic there in the silence and serenity of the place. Here wild animals will come right up to you and silently with their eyes beg for a bite or two of your lunch. Butterflies will glide past you seeking out some of the flowered trees or the many different types of flowering herbs that reside on the bank of the stream. Then on the right you will catch a glimpse of a log cabin, where the supervisor of the park lives.

The Park

Going on into the park you will find the winding road that follows the meandering stream on the left, but on the right you will find several places to stop and let your children play on the playground equipment or lunch at one of the picnic tables strewn through out the small but well visited park. To the right, up past the playgrounds is an old trail that used to be used as a walking area for residents wanting to walk for their health.
A little farther on and you will come to a fork in the road where a restaurant used to sit between them. A lovely place to stop if you would have rather eaten there than have a picnic. The food was delicious as I had eaten there several times when my husband and I were dating and when our sons were small. its been along time now though. Today it is a museum. A white statue of Chief Logan stands in front of it. Over to the side of the museum you will find an old bell and a statue of a coal miner.

The Right Forked Road

If you take the right fork, you will find it is peppered with Picnic Shelters and play ground equipment. The stream crisscross here a few times. Eventually you will come up to a road that goes up the right side of a hill, where you will find the duck pond and fishing area. Its quite beautiful there but the water does sometimes get stagnate when rain doesn't fall and refresh the water. If you go up there, you will have to come down the way you went up. Shortly there after when you come down, you will find your self, still going on to a circular place where you will find the last hidden picnic shelter. You go to the right and it circles around and comes out the the left side. They call this the Wildlife Center now, I don't especially like to go to that shelter as it is well hidden and wild animals come out that are not so friendly. I am especially apprehensive of the black bears. Black bears even come out of the hills where I live. Last fall one came out beside our house and climbed up a pine tree. Eventually it came down and went back into the forested hills behind my home. It is common for them to come out around here.

The Left Forked Road

Now just after you go past the museum that used to be a restaurant, you will find a couple of parking lots. Behind those you will find the old train that sits there, resplendent in its position, having set there since 1961. Built in 1947, retired in 1956, I used to play inside it when I was a child and that's been about fifty years ago. I took my children and they played inside of it also in the 1980's.
Now they don't allow you to play inside, its got a wire fence around it as they found deadly snakes in it and shut it down. I took some photos of it a few years ago, also I took some photos of it yesterday when my husband took me down there, through the fence. The wise person will stay away from inside the train now as snakes, especially cottonmouths. copperheads, and diamond back rattlers (all common snakes native to this area) were found in the freight cart that is on the end of the engine. But people do get to view it, and its a piece of our coal history of a by-gone era. Recently they put an old mine motor close beside it. I guess a park is a good place to put it, as tourists will see the history of our people who mined these hills long ago.

Across From The Train

Across the road from the train is the head of the nature walk. Here, throughout the walk are various equipment that you may work out with. These are easy workouts as usually the ones taking these walks most is the elderly residents of the area.
There are two picnic shelters that you go past until you reach the cabin built to show what the earlier settlers lived in when they first settled this part of the new territory. Across from the cabin is the Liz Spurlock Amphitheater where in the summer time they put on live shows about mostly our history and how we settled the area. Almost every summer they do a play about Pocahontas.

Golf Course and Swimming Pool

Going on past the Cabin you will come to two splits in the road. To the right you will find another picnic shelter and the public swimming pool. I remember going there with my school when I was a child. There are the adults and older children's swimming area and an enclosed area swimming pool for the small children.
Past the swimming pool you will find the miniature golf course. I have never played on it but I heard it was fun to play.

Going Up the Other Road

Going up this road you will find a house where one of the park attendants live. A little farther and you will come to the old horse stables, where there used to be horses that you could rent a supervised ride through the forest hills. My oldest sister and I rented a ride one year and so I got to ride a horse for the first time in my life. Would you believe I talked to the horses the whole time we were on that ride? One of the girls asked me where I learned to ride like that after it came to an end and I said it was the first time i had ever ridden a horse. I don't think she believed me though. It was simple though really as I just decided I wouldn't fear getting up on an animal that I loved and I definitely love horses.

Camping Site

Now the camp ground site has 26 units. 14 sites offer water, sewage and electric. The other 12 just offer water and electric. There is a bath house in the center. I have never camped there but my husband took my sons and camped there when they were boys. He said they had a pretty good time. I wouldn't go as I hate mosquitoes. And snakes and spiders. But for the person who loves camping he said he would recommend it.

Many Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails
Chief Logan State Park offers a variety of trails to walk, stroll or hike. Some are easy and some are a challenge, just as Backbone or Wild Turkey trails.

BACKBONE TRAIL
Distance: 3 miles. Walking time: 2 hours. Rating: Moderate.
The starting point is near the park office.

BUFFALO TRAIL
Distance: 2.2 miles. Walking time: 1 hour. Rating: Moderate.
The starting point is across from shelter 1. The trail has a short but very steep climb.

CLIFFSIDE TRAIL
Distance: 1.1 miles. Walking time: 45 minutes. Rating: Easy.
The starting point is near the park office. The trail begins with a short climb and levels off.

COAL MINE TRAIL
Distance: 1 miles. Walking time: 45 minutes. Rating: Moderate.
This trail starts in the campground behind campsite 2. The trail follows amine tram road passing old mine openings and a tipple site. Because of steep drops children should not take this trail unsupervised.

FITNESS TRAIL
Distance: 1 mile. Walking time: 45 minutes. Rating: Easy.
The starting point for this trail is across from the multipurpose building and
has a series of exercise stations along it.

GUYANDOTTE BEAUTY TRAIL
Distance: 1.1 miles. Walking time: 1 hour. Rating: Difficult.
The starting point is at the head of Mud Lick Hollow. On this trail you may see the endangered wildflower species the Guyandotte beauty blooming in May. Abandoned coal mines also may be seen.

LAKE SHORE TRAIL
Distance: 1.1 miles. Walking time: 45 minutes. Rating: Easy.
The starting point is at the lower end of the lake. Many spring wildflowers
may be seen along the trail.

SHAWNEE TRAIL
Distance: .5 miles. Walking time: 30 minutes. Rating: Easy.
The starting point for this trail is at the amphitheater. It is a great location
for viewing spring wildflowers.

WATERFALL TRAIL
Distance: .75 miles. Walking time: 45 minutes. Rating: Moderate.
This trail begins at the first bridge on the left above the park office and makes a loop. In the rainy season, it is possible to see a small natural waterfall.

WILDERNESS TRAIL
Distance: 6 miles. Walking time: 3 hours. Rating: Moderate.
The Wilderness Trail begins at the campground. It is mostly easy walking, but due to the length of this trail it is considered moderate.

WILD TURKEY TRAIL
Distance: 1.3 miles. Walking time: 40 minutes (one direction). Rating: Moderate.
This trail follows an old timber road and intersects with the Wilderness Trail. The trail begins between campsites 16 and 17 and ends at the water tank near the conference center. Funding to construct this trail was donated by the National Wild Turkey Federation.

WOODPECKER TRAIL
Distance: 2.3 miles. Walking time: 1.5 hours. Rating: Easy.
The starting point is at the first parking area on the right after passing the
park office. This is a trail where many spring wildflowers may be seen.

HIKING NOTES
Hike with a friend, relative or on planned hikes provided by the park. It’s more fun and a lot safer than hiking alone. Always let someone know where you plan to go. Feel free to stop at the offi ce and leave your plans with us.
Please stay on marked trails because numerous unmarked cliff edges exist within the park boundary that may have dangerous sudden and steep drops.
Trail ratings provided are for an average person. They may not fit your exact requirements or abilities. Ratings and descriptions serve as guidelines only.
Please remember, “Leave no trace.”

Tags

Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Cabins, Deer, Fresh Air, Games, Log Cabins, Nature, Nature Trail, Park, Park Shelters, Play Ground Equipment, Snakes, Streams, Trees, Walking

Meet the author

author avatar Grumpybear
Basically a pragmatist who is what you see is what you get kind of person. Interests:Religion, Health, Art, Reading, animals, and the environment as well as Photography. Easy Discouraged as right now.

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Comments

author avatar Rubinstyn
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

This piece deserves 2 stars!
Outstanding Grumpybear.
Keep 'um comin' (smile)
God bless.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

Great article, Chief Logan State Park looks like a fantastic place to visit.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

How very lovely Grumpybear...enjoyed the reading and dreaming of being there-:0) very much... thank you...

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

Lovely indeed and I love your choice of words like resplendent and peppered...what a wonderful walk to take....

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author avatar Grumpybear
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

Ty my friends. You are the Tops. :)

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

yes Grumpybear , this is so lovely and interesting from beginning to end . Thank you for sharing it with us .
god bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar Connie McKinney
24th Jul 2013 (#)

I loved the way you started this piece. It really draws readers in. You have so many lovely details mixed in with charming personal memories. I agree. This one should have gotten two stars, Grumpybear.

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author avatar Grumpybear
24th Jul 2013 (#)

Ty so much my friends :)

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author avatar Trillionaire
28th Jul 2013 (#)

WV is beautiful.

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