A Relaxing Finale

The last day of my scouting mission and I was done drove out. A bit too much time behind the wheel for my liking, but we had achieved mission success and created some plans for the future. This trip was back in June, here it is now the middle of August and I was doing my best to remember everything I felt and saw. Not an easy thing to do. I am going to be adjusting a few things for the next trip and at least make notes and rough drafts of a day so I do not struggle to recall the activities. The moral of this admission is I had no clue what my first stop of the last day was, I had to look it up. Sights near Watoga…. As soon as I saw it though, it all came back.

Beartown State Park is one of the smaller parks in the area, but aside from a boardwalk taking you through the rock formations, it is also one of the least developed. I have been to Rock City in Tennessee and while it is similar, Beartown has no commercial appeal at all. Pure Nature.

The limestone formations are numerous and I wondered how much refuge was taken here during the civil war. I was loving the erosion and the dens scattered throughout. Whether they be for bears or foxes. One of my favorites however was the gnome homes…

Or fairy hideouts. Whichever imagination you choose. I was amazed by the slabs and angles that have developed and for a few of them, as in the first image, I wondered how the formation remained upright.

Beartown State Park was only a thirty minute drive from Watoga, just past my next and finale destination of the trip. I know I missed quite a few sights in the immediate area and I will eventually take them all in, they have been noted.

Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park was the location of the final Civil War battle in West Virginia. It was also the states first official state park, christened in 1928. Apparently it is also haunted. Maybe that is why I felt watched the night I was there. The lookout tower is open and accessible, providing a panoramic look down at the valley below.

I did a little hike around the park, seeing preserved trenches, tree breaks, following the literature along the way. Along the way I saw this jutting out of the ground, perhaps trying to escape from the ghosts under ground. No other tree was like it. Not something you see everyday.

Another overlook half way through the trail.

After I was done playing in the woods it was time for slow stroll through the onsite museum. More education and tons of artifacts depicting the era. I walked out of there cringing at the brutality of the period. That is probably the age coming through.

Finally, exploration complete. Three distinct areas, all beautiful, full of wonder and greatly recommended. I am spending a couple days on the Blue Ridge before heading over in October, hoping for skies clear and dark…

Thank for stopping by!


Published by Phil Shepherd

Capturing my interpretation of this world and its inhabitants... I am a Headshot and Portrait Photographer and supporter of Live, Local Music. This offering is dedicated mainly to Mom Nature and the travels I indulge in with her.

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