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Tomlinson Run State Park in the northern panhandle of West Virginia can fill a camping weekend with hiking, fishing, and disc golfing.
History and Location
Tomlinson Run State Park lies at the northern tip of West Virginia along the Ohio River, just an hour west of Pittsburgh.
The area of the park was home to several grain grinding, or grist, mills in the 1800s. During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps went to work building features for the park, which officially opened in 1940.
With just shy of 2,000 acres, the park offers great wild hiking areas as well as traditional park amenities like pavilions, playgrounds, and a pool.
Tomlinson Run State Park Campground has 50 campsites, 5 camper cabins with electric (one even has water), and 2 yurts.
We stayed in campsite #46, which is pull-through and pet-friendly. It seems to sit near the middle of the campground over all.
Hazel enjoyed the morning views in her poof bed from our campsite, which looked down the hill into a gorgeous forest.
If you walk to the right out of the site, I estimate the bath house is around 5 spots or 100-150 yards away up a small hill.
If you walk to the left, you are heading towards the turnaround loop on the east side of the campground.
The bath house on this side of the campground has three shower stalls each for men and women. The showers thankfully do not have timer buttons (thanks again, West Virginia!).
If you’re using the women’s side, I highly recommend the third stall, because the first two have weird shower heads with zero water pressure.
Tomlinson Run State Park has around 7 miles of trails.
Because we were staying in the campground, we stuck to the trails on that side of the park.
Our routes are in green:
You can create a four-mile loop from the campground by getting onto Poe Trail at the campground entrance gate. Poe Trail is a wide, well-worn path.
Make the first left onto Half King Trail, and the next left onto Bigfoot Trail. Bigfoot Trail winds alongside Tomlinson Run Lake, giving you some nice views along the route.
When Bigfoot Trail ends, you can cross the street onto South Fork and the Judy Hulka Trail.
Here, you’ll find a miniature golf course, a disc golf course, and our favorite, the Almost Heaven Swing. Hazel and I struck a pose:
The dogs took a few dips in the creek behind me, which was a great place to cool off after all that summer hiking!
You can complete the loop by taking the lower part of Poe Trail back to the campground.
Wildlife, Fauna, and Fungi
Finally, we were able to spy some wonderful mushrooms this season! Thank you, wild and wonderful West Virginia for finally coming through on what has seemed to be a pretty sad mushroom season.
Now, a quick word about things we didn’t see…
Have you read the paper lately? Then perhaps you heard about the Second Annual Bigfoot Day at Tomlinson Run State Park!
During the weekend we visited, the park hosted guest speakers who talked about their experiences with Bigfoot and other paranormal activity in the area.
While I did stop by for a few minutes to listen to some interesting stories, we had zero Bigfoot sightings during our trip!
We did get to see this super-sweet community fairy garden, though.
PIT STOP! The World's Largest Teapot
Less than 15 minutes from Tomlinson Run State Park in Chester, WV, you will want to get your photo with the World’s Largest Teapot!
The teapot is right off the highway, and there is plenty of parking at the gas station and restaurant lot across the street.
There’s even a baby teapot more appropriate for Hazel-sized dogs.
And if you’re in the area in August, be sure to stop by for Teapot Day! We’re dying to know if that’s the day the little teapot windows are open.
The Last Word
Tomlinson Run State Park makes for a fun RV weekend, but it would also make a great day trip from the Pittsburgh area – with a stop OF COURSE to see the teapot!