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In 1951, the West Virginia legislature allotted $125,000 to buy land for North Bend State Park, located near Cairo in Ritchie County. Bonds Creek and the north branch of the Hughes River pass through the 2,005-acre park, which has tennis courts, miniature golf, picnic areas, a playground, and an outdoor theater. North Bend has many trails, including an interpretive trail with annual events especially for the handicapped.

North Bend is located in West Virginia’s historic oil and gas fields, and about 50 wells dating from the 19th century were once active in the present park area. Visitors may still see a few of these old wells. The park area also included more than two miles of the Harrisville Southern Railroad. The North Bend superintendent’s residence, built in 1866 by Christopher Douglas, is a white, Federal-style house situated down the hill from the park lodge. Andrew S. Core, a Union general in the Civil War, had a home at the site of the lodge.

North Bend State Park has several campgrounds, cabins, and a hilltop lodge for overnight guests. The lodge offers a gift shop, meeting room, and a restaurant with glass windows on three sides so diners can watch sunrises, sunsets, and deer. In 2001, the park added a 305-acre lake with 62 deluxe campsites. Since 1968, North Bend has been the site of the annual Nature Wonder Weekend, which involved nature foods promoter Euell Gibbons in its early years. Wild-food enthusiasts from across the nation gather for this weekend each September.

This Article was written by Maureen F. Crockett

Last Revised on October 21, 2010

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Cite This Article

Crockett, Maureen F. "North Bend State Park." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 21 October 2010. Web. 15 December 2018.

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