$151 million in upgrades planned across West Virginia State Parks system

MATHIAS, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice last week announced more than $151 million in upgrades across the West Virginia State Parks system during a ceremony at Lost River State Park in Hardy County.

The more than $151 million in projects includes lodge renovations and expansions, cabin renovations, campsite development and infrastructure upgrades that have dramatically improved recreation at parks and forests around the state.

“I always love visiting our incredible state parks and I’m so proud of all the work we’ve done over the last five years” Gov. Justice said. “When I came into office, I said we were going to make our state parks and forests world-class destinations and here we are today. It’s truly incredible to see how far our state parks and forests have come.”

Since 2017, improvements and upgrades have been completed at every state park and forest. Across the state parks system, the following investments have been made:

• Lodge Renovations: $35.23 million
• Cacapon Resort Lodge Expansion: $32.53 million
• Cabin Renovations: $24.58 million
• Campsite Development: $13.48 million
• Activity Infrastructure: $29.13 million
• Infrastructure Upgrades: $16.52 million

Also at the event, Gov Justice thanked the Knepper Family for their recent donation of a large piece of land to Lost River State Park.

“I want to thank Governor Justice for his continued support and commitment to modernize and improve our state parks and forests,” said Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel. “I’d also like to thank folks like the Knepper Family, who donated land to Lost River State Park. Our parks and forests just wouldn’t be the same without the support of generous people like this.”

On average, about 7 million people visit West Virginia’s state parks and forests each year, but that number surpassed 9 million in 2021, the highest number on record.

“The increase in tourism to our state parks and forests is proof that Governor Justice’s vision for West Virginia becoming a world-class destination for outdoor recreation is now a reality. As we enter 2022, West Virginia’s state parks and forests continue to be a source of warm hospitality and natural beauty for millions of visitors,” said West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby.

Located in the wooded mountains of Hardy County in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, Lost River State Park provides cabin lodging and an abundance of outdoor recreation. The park’s quiet 3,934 acres of woods provides a secluded getaway for nature lovers. Lost River is known for its Cranny Crow overlook on top of Big Ridge Mountain, which offers a commanding view of five counties.

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