WYOMING COUNTY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Twin Falls State Park is currently in the process of installing a splash pad attraction which park officials hope to make available by Summer.
The attraction is targeted at younger park goers, and looks to expand the state park’s already extensive list of amenities, which includes a 47-room lodge, 18-hold championship golf course, full-service restaurant, outdoor pool, and scenic hiking trails.
This development comes on the heels of several other substantial upgrade announcements from state parks throughout the State of West Virginia, including over $8 million in infrastructure and lodging renovations at Pipestem State Park earlier this month, as well as $5.7 million in upgrades at North Bend State Park, which addressed lodging, cabin upgrades, and the construction of picnic shelters.
Wheeling’s Oglebay Park also saw lodging renovations this month, implementing $6.6 million from a grant issued by the Economic Development Administration, or EDA, which was announced by Senator Joe Manchin.
“The EDA continues to be a strong partner for West Virginia through their support for economic development projects across the state,” said Manchin. “Investing in local tourism creates good-paying jobs and spurs economic opportunity.”
Senator Manchin isn’t the only Mountain State representative to see great potential in West Virginia’s parks and attractions. Governor Jim Justice, who has long been a proponent of parks and recreation in West Virginia, recently unveiled a four-part vacation guide in which state parks and scenic trails were a primary feature.
“Everyone in the outside world wants a piece of West Virginia,” Justice said in the announcement.
But Governor Justice’s revitalization attempts go back much further than March of 2022, when the guide was announced.
In August, 2018, Justice announced the approval of an $80 million bond sale for West Virginia State Park improvements, which would include repairs, and maintenance.
“Much of the improvements are geared toward addressing significant levels of deferred maintenance identified over the past few years,” said Division of Natural Resources Director Steve McDaniel upon the announcement. “Tourism is a major component of West Virginia’s economic development plan and bringing our state parks in line with the expectations of today’s tourists and travelers is an important part of that.”
The 2018 bond sale was authorized by Governor Justice’s signing of Senate Bill 438, and the projects proposed were reviewed and approved by the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, or WVEDA.
“Our parks are a major part of the state’s tourism industry, and this will allow us to make them even more attractive to in-state and out-of-state visitors,” said Justice. “This is great news for the parks and all of the communities and local businesses that support them as well.”
The governor’s words would ring true years later, as the West Virginia Department of Tourism reported visitor arrivals to West Virginia to be at an all time high for 2021. This entailed a 26% increase in whitewater rafting, a 46% increase in Hatfield-McCoy Trail permit sales, a 37% increase in skier visits, and a 30% increase in New River Gorge National Park visitation.
To learn more about state parks and tourism in the Mountain State, visit the West Virginia tourism website here.