Updated on Wednesday*:
North Bend State Park,
The first decision one has to make when touring Ritchie County is
what interests you. There is hiking, horseback riding, and cycling along
the 72-mile North Bend Rail Trail. There is camping, fishing, and
boating available on a 305-acre lake. For the antique shopper or
historian, there are local artisans, quaint shops, and an opportunity to
step back in time around each corner.
From the Old Stone House to the Pennsboro B&O Depot, Ritchie County
is more than a one-day trip. Even ghosts are said to haunt some of the
rail trails--if you’re brave enough to look. In fact, the steps you take
into Ritchie County may be ones you remember forever--so take your time
and tread lightly.
For my trip, I again took along my sister Mellody. As I have stated
previously, I am on a quest for the great outdoors; thus, my interests
were that of nature. The first location I visited was North Bend State
Park. Open year round, the park stretches over 2,600 acres of rolling
hills along the Hughes River and the lake. There is much to do. Swimming
is $3 for adults and $2 for children. Tennis, miniature golf, volleyball
courts and basketball courts can all be found. Boating and fishing are
great on the lake and there are rental options available at the Cokeley
There are 49 camping and picnic sites available, as well as a 29
guestroom lodge and cabin rentals for those who want an overnight trip.
We decided to have lunch in the park lodge. The buffet was $11, and it
was very good. I had sweet tea and ribs.
After a fine meal, a hike was due. North Bend offers at least 14
trails varying in length and difficulty. We decided on a short trail
because of threatening skies. It was a beautiful piece of countryside.
Deer, squirrels, and bluebirds danced along the path as if to ask where
we were headed. Any nature enthusiast would love the serene forest and
Next, we decided on another trail, but this time on a covered wagon.
Hardly Able Carriage Co. offers rides in the park on part of the North
Bend Rail Trail. For only $5, I hopped back into the past on an old
Conestoga-type wagon pulled by two horses fond of picking up their feet
and making me hold on as they trotted along swiftly. Again, the scenic
beauty of West Virginia is amazing. It was a peaceful ride and a lovely
ending to a nice day.
Believe me when I say there is much more than just nature in Ritchie
County. It truly is diverse. Other options are hand blown glass and
marbles, Berdine’s Five & Dime, Made in West Virginia gallery, and R.C.
Marshall Hardware. All offer tourists some indoor fun too. As for me, I
enjoyed spending my day outside.
July 3-5, Gassaway Days and Celebration
July 4, Spencer Fireworks celebration, 10 p.m.
July 4-6, Small Town America Celebration, Town of Clay
July 4-6, Ellenboro Glass Festival
July 5, Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Dept. Ice Cream Social
July 5, Once Blue Bluegrass, North Bend State Park, 7 p.m.
July 6, Russell Ahner/Honorable Mention, North Bend, 7 p.m.
July 10, Mountain Lake Am’theater, Flatwoods, Jake Owen, 7 p.m.
July 11, Lou Mauri Appalachian Clogging, North Bend, 7 p.m.
July 12, Yard Dogs w/Ron Drake, Country Ramblers, Clay, 7 p.m.
July 12, Bil Lepp, Storyteller/Liar, North Bend State Park, 7
This Week's Editorial:By Helen Morris:
Calhoun County Map