Grandview Park is located on State Route 9 east of Beckley. The name of the park refers to the panoramic view of the New River Gorge which can be seen from a huge rock atop a cliff overlooking the river far below.
In 1939, the West Virginia Conservation Commission purchased a 52-acre tract of land from the Admiralty Coal Company for development of a roadside park. Construction of facilities, such as parking areas, picnic shelters, benches, and hiking trails, began in 1940. The Civilian Conservation Corps provided the manpower. Later land purchases expanded the park to 892 acres. Grandview was a state park until 1990, when it became a part of the New River Gorge National River, managed by the National Park Service.
Cliffside Amphitheater was built in the park in 1961. A historical play commemorating the creation of West Virginia, Honey in the Rock, written by Kermit Hunter, opened at the theater June 27, 1961. Another play, Hatfields and McCoys by Billy Edd Wheeler, opened in June 1970. Both plays, in addition to Broadway musicals, concerts, and other presentations are performed there each summer.
Blooming in late May, Catawba rhododendron shrubs provide a spectacular display around the main parking lot at Grandview. A small museum in the park offices displays mining memorabilia, natural history specimens, photographs, and maps. Books on local history are for sale. The park rangers conduct wildflower walks, bird walks, and tours.
This Article was written by Leona Gwinn Brown
Last Revised on August 09, 2012
Wood, Jim. Raleigh County. Beckley: J. Wood, 1994.
Cite This Article
Brown, Leona Gwinn "Grandview Park." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 09 August 2012. Web. 29 January 2015.