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Audra State Park


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The 355-acre Audra State Park is located south of Philippi between U.S. 119 and U.S. 250 in Barbour County. Its forests and rhododendron thickets border the Middle Fork River, which flows through the park. In spring, melting snow and rains feed the river’s boulder-filled channel.

Land within the park has been used in various ways. As the town of Audra, it was home to five families, a gristmill, and sawmill in 1900. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad owned the surrounding property. The B&O had purchased the land to block plans by another railroad to extend its operations from Tygart Junction, a few miles north. In the early 20th century, loggers timbered in the area. From 1919 to 1923, Barbour County 4-H clubs used the area as a camp.

By 1944, the state of West Virginia had purchased 311 acres for the park. It bought an additional 44 acres in 1961. After a caretaker was hired in 1950, the state began to construct parking lots bordered with stonework, a swimming area, and bathhouse. The park was a day-use facility until the early 1960s, when land was cleared for campsites. Today, the park includes hiking trails, 67 camping sites, a river beach, and swimming area.

Sources

  1. Where People and Nature Meet: A History of West Virginia State Parks. Charleston: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1988.

  2. Wild and Wonderful: West Virginia State Parks & Forests. Charleston: Chapman Printing, 2000.