One of my favorite attractions at Twin Falls Resort State Park is the Pioneer Farm. This living history farm includes a the restored old 1830s Bower's Ridge homeplace. You can only see the house from the outside because the caretakers of the farm live there. The beauty of the place is that it is very much still a working farm, with fields, gardens, and livestock, all being tended as it would have appeared in the early 1800s.
The farm may be viewed year round. Expect to be greeted by a host of friendly farmyard animals. There is a nearby museum which is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Black Fork Falls is a longer hike from the trailhead, but still on the same trail as Marsh Fork Falls. Both falls can be reached by taking a 1 1/4 mile loop hike. A few portions of the moderate trail are rocky, and the short side trail down to Black Fork Falls is very steep.
Like it's twin, Black Fork Falls is about 20 feet high, but it has an entirely different character to it, making a free fall as opposed to the cascade at Marsh Fork. Also, Black Fork Falls faces west, so is better photographed when the sun is on it in the afternoon.
I have been to Black Fork Falls in the dead of winter when it was a frozen column of ice. Both of the twin falls are in the extreme upper reaches of the Mississippi River watershed, so the flow may be only a trickle in dry seasons.
Marsh Fork Falls is the easiest of the two waterfalls in the park to reach. It is accessed by a fairly level paved pathway from a parking area off the main road through the park. However, the views from the path are not as good as those you will get by making a hard steep scramble down to the base of the falls.
Both waterfalls in the park are about 20 feet high, although they are on different streams and facing opposite directions. The Marsh Fork Falls faces east, so is best photographed early in the day when it is in the sun. There is a pool at the base of the falls, and the entire area is heavily decorated with rhododendron and mountain laurel, which bloom from June through early July. It is very pretty any time of year, but water flow is much less during late summer and fall.
Whenever Karen and I travel we usually carry with us the fixings for a picnic lunch. No only is a picnic less expensive than restaurant eating, for us it is more relaxing and more fun - especially when the weather is perfect as it was during our visit to Twin Falls.
Pictured is the reservable picnic shelter where we enjoyed lunch. No, we did not have a reservation, but the shelter was empty and we took advantage of it. There are several such picnic areas at Twin Falls. They are all scenically located and all have tables, grills, playground equipment and nearby restroom facilities.
When I was a pastor in the nearby town of Pineville, our church reserved one of these shelters for a picnic on a Sunday following the morning worship service. It was the perfect location for an enjoyable afternoon.
Favorite Dish: On shorter trips Karen and I carry a cooler with drinks and a picnic lunch. For longer road trips we often carry non-refrigerated sandwich items. One of our favorites is hearty nine-grain bread with crunchy peanut butter and honey. Fruit, chips and snack cakes can round out the menu. Also, canned luncheon spreads make good sandwiches when we are on road trips.
Located in the Twin Falls Lodge, the Twin Falls Restaurant is the only place to eat within about 10 miles. It turns out to be a very good choice. The restaurant has large plate glass windows overlooking the golf course and the mountains. The service is friendly, and unless you are there during the summer, you may see very few other people present, simply because this park is well off the beaten path.
The restaurant has a complete menu with regional favorites, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Prices are very reasonable, and a children's menu is also available.
Favorite Dish: The biscuits and gravy are great for breakfast. For dinner I had the chopped sirloin steak smothered with grilled mushrooms and onions. Karen enjoyed the rainbow trout. Both were very good.
Golf courses are relatively scarce in southern West Virginia, so this splended course at Twin Falls draws golfers from a wide area. Originally designed by Geoffrey Cornish, the 18-hole course is par 71. Water is on 15 of the 18 holes, and the entire course is enveloped in beautiful mountain scenery. There is also a practice green and driving area. Bogeys Cafe, located at the golf course pro shop, is open seasonly.
The Twin Falls Golf Course is open year round, weather permitting Golf packages are available through the state park.
If there is a better place to hike in southern West Virginia, I don't know of it. When I lived in nearby Pineville hiked here often and especially enjoyed several winter hikes when snow was on the ground and I seemed to have the entire park all to myself.
There are 25 miles of trails throughout the park offering varying lengths and degrees of difficulty. No doubt the most popular trail is the short loop that takes hikers by the two waterfalls which give the park its name. A favorite hike of mine is the 3 mile Cliffside Trail, which rewards the hiker with splendid mountain views from Canada Cliff and Buzzard Cliff. Other trails follow ridges, streams, and old railroad grades to more remote parts of the park. Trail maps are available at the park office. The trails are well marked with color-coded blazes.
Your chances of seeing deer, birds and other wildlife are good. There are an abundance of wildflowers in season -especially rhododendron and mountain laurel, which usually bloom from early June through early July.