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Fairy Stone State Park, the largest of Virginia's six original state parks, is home to its namesake "fairy stones." These rare mineral crosses and the park's scenic beauty, rich history and ample recreational opportunities make it a local and regional favorite. The 4,537 acres that make up the park were donated by Junius B. Fishburn, former owner of the Roanoke Times, in 1933. The Civilian Conservation Corps originally created the park, its lake and many structures still in use there.The Legend of the Fairy Stone: Many hundreds of years before Chief Powhatans reign, fairies were dancing around a spring of water, playing with naiads and wood nymphs, when an elfin messenger arrived from a city far away. He brought news of the death of Christ. When these creatures of the forest heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept. As their tears fell upon the earth, they crystallized to form beautiful crosses.
Outdoor Recreation Award for: Unique Cabin, Amazing Spot, Canoeing, Park Benches
Activities At This Destination: Biking, Boating and Water Sports, Camping, Educational Activities, Fishing, Gifts and Shopping, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Hunting, Picnicking, Swimming and Canoeing and Kayaking
The Beach Trail is a .74 mile moderate hiking trail that connects the campground to the beach area. The trail can be accessed from the campground, shelter 2, the upper beach parking lot, and the Visitor Center. The Beach Trail is part of the Little Mountain trail system.
Blaze Color: White
The Horse Camp Trail is a 1.75 mile, moderate difficulty trail that connects the Equestrian Camp area to the paved Mountain View Trail.
Blaze Color: N/A
The Iron Mine Trail is a 1.1 mile difficult hiking trail that is accessible from the trailhead parking and provides access to the three other trails in the Stuarts Knob system. This trail offers some stunning views of Fairy Stone Lake and the surrounding mountains.
Blaze Color: Yellow
This 0.81 mile out and back trail runs alongside the lake and is wooded along most of its length. This trail has some steep sections but is mostly broad and flat. In some locations the Lakeshore Trail shares a common right-of-way with the Turkey Ridge Trail. The Lakeshore Trail is part of the Little Mountain trail system.
Blaze Color: Yellow
The Little Mountain Falls Trail is a 3.3 mile difficult, multi-use trail loop. The trail climbs a very steep incline to an overlook and the halfway point. In either direction the climb is roughly the same. On the northern section of the trail there are some level areas as well as the trail's namesake, Little Mountain Falls. The trail is fairly wide with few obstructions however it is very steep overall. Little Mountain Falls Trail is a part of the Little Mountain trail system.
Blaze Color: Orange
The Mountain View Trail is a 2.1 mile difficult multi-use trail. It is a wide paved road but it is very steep and winding as it ascends to Goose Point Road. This trail is gated as no motorized vehicles are permitted on this trail. For much of its length this trail parallels the Little Mountain Falls Trail while connecting to it at several points along the way. The trail features numerous views of the area and its smooth surface is ideal for bicyclists who are up for the challenge. The Mountain View Trail is a part of the Little Mountain trail system.
The Oak Hickory Trail is a 1.1 mile moderate hiking loop that is accessible near picnic shelters 3 and 4. This trail is fairly steep for a short portion of the south side of the loop. The balance of the trail has very little change in elevation. This trail passes through a variety of woodlands and features a self-guided interpretive trail.
The Stuart's Knob Trail is a 0.97 mile difficult hiking trail that is accessible from the Iron Mine Trail. It consists of two connected loops, the Upper Stuart's Knob Trail and the Lower Stuart's Knob Trail. The .75 mile upper loop is more difficult than the shorter lower loop, with a narrower, steeper trail and more switchbacks. The lower loop features an overlook at its midpoint with seating and a nice view to the west. The Stuart's Knob Trail is part of the Stuarts Knob trail system.
Blaze Color: Orange
The Turkey Ridge Trail is a 2.1 mile moderate multi-use trail loop. This trail is not as steep as the Little Mountain Falls Trail but still provides a challenge. In some locations the Turkey Ridge Trail shares a common right-of-way with the Lakeshore Trail. The Turkey Ridge Trail is a part of the Little Mountain trail system.
Blaze Color: Blue
The Whiskey Run Trail is a 1.5 mile difficult hiking trail loop that encircles the other trails in the system with only slight elevation changes. The trail passes through secluded wooded areas where abandoned mines are visible. Hikers may access this trail from the Iron Mine Trail. Whiskey Run is part of the Stuart's Knob trail system.
Blaze Color: Blue
The amphitheater is located near the Little Mountain Falls system trailhead parking. It overlooks the lake and seats 100 people. This open air facility, used mainly for park programming, has lighting and electrical hookups.
There are many different ways to spend the night in this park. There is a main campground with a bathhouse and 51 water/electric sites suitable for tents, RVs, or popups. A Group Campground is also available with 6 primitive sites and bathhouse. The Equestrian Campground allows for campers to bring their horse for an overnight stay. Ten very large pull-through, water/electric campsites are complimented by a 10-stall covered area for your horse. Primitive toilet. There are also 25 cabins and Fairy Stone Lodge which accommodates 16.
The park has 25 cabins. Among these cabins, some built by the CCC, are one and two bedroom lodges plus simpler 1 room cabins. Some of these cabins overlook the lake. Cabins include: refrigerator, stove, coffeemaker, dishes, dishcloth, dish towels, silverware, cooking utensils, pots and pans, microwave oven, toaster, rustic furniture and linens. Cabins are climate controlled (heat and AC).
Week stay runs from Sunday to Sunday. Maximum occupancy: 16. The lodge features five bedrooms, two have queen size beds and the other three feature two sets of bunk beds (four beds per room).Handicapped accessible areas: kitchen, dining area, living room, one bedroom and one bath. The other bedrooms and bathrooms are not handicapped accessible (stairs lead to these rooms). The kitchen is equipped with an electric range/oven, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, drip coffee maker, pots, pans.
There is a central picnic area near the playground at the beach. The park has four large reservable picnic shelters throughout the park plus two smaller shelters at the beach which are available on a first come, first serve basis. Contact park for reservations and details.
Fayerdale Hall Conference Center has been around since the park was first built by the CCC. It originally served as a restaurant and now is a reservable conference center. Located close to the beach area, it can accommodate up to 130 people and is great for weddings, meetings, and family reunions. It has its own kitchen and catering from local restaurants is possible. To reserve, call 1-800-933-7275. This is a day-use facility. Lower Weekday Rates!
Operating from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the snack bar offers short-order foods, drinks, candy and ice cream as well as beach supplies, gifts and souvenirs. Fairy Stone has no food service outside of these dates, but gifts and souvenirs are sold in the office gift shop year round.
Fishing is permitted in the park's 168 acre freshwater lake. Visitors may fish from the shore, from rental boats, or from personal boats launched from the park's boat launch area. Handicapped accessible fishing is available close to this boat ramp on Union Bridge road. Visitors are reminded that they must have a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license and must observe all seasons and special regulations.
Lake swimming - Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day only. The swimming beach is complete with a bathhouse, concession area and beach toys. Times of operation may vary prior to mid-June and after mid-August depending on the availability of lifeguards, as the park uses mostly students. Guests may wish to call Fairy Stone prior to making a reservation if swimming is important. In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests in campsites, cabins and the lodge, however it cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be closed. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.
The park's boathouse allows visitors to rent canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, rowboats, and hydrobikes. The boathouse provides renters with all the necessary equipment, including life jackets and paddles. Gasoline motors are prohibited on this 168 acre lake and all boats must be off the water at dark. Rentals available daily during the summer season as well as the spring and fall, weather permitting.
The Legend of the Fairy Stone: Many hundreds of years before Chief Powhatan's reign, fairies were dancing around a spring of water, playing with naiads and wood nymphs, when an elfin messenger arrived from a city far away. He brought news of the death of Christ. When these creatures of the forest heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept. As their tears fell upon the earth, they crystallized to form beautiful crosses.Fairy stones are staurolite, a combination of silica, iron and aluminum. Staurolite crystallizes at 60 or 90 degree angles, hence the stone's cross-like structure.
The park's Visitor Center features exhibits on local history, mountain culture, indigenous plants and animals, and fairy stones.
A wide selection of souvenirs and unique gifts. Located inside the park office building.
Virginia Service and Conservation Corps Kick-off
AmeriCorps is once again helping Virginia State Parks so we would like to introduce our Virginia Service and Conservation Corps crews to you.
Just one more day!
If you have ever stayed at a Virginia State Park cabin you would probably have uttered those very same words "Just one more day!" Cabin 9 at Smith Mountain Lake is an ideal getaway for that extra day.
It's Celebration Time
If you haven't made your plans yet for New Year's Eve, there's still time! Ring in the New Year with a few of your friends New Year's Eve at Fairy Stone State Park.
Governor Terry McAuliffe Visits Two More State Parks
Amy Atwood and Pat Eastwood
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has made visiting all 36 state parks a goal for his time in office.
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