Exploring History & Nature at Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park

By Jonathan Eggleston, RealWV

As the winter chill begins to release its grip, I find myself venturing back into the heart of West Virginia, ready to resume my weekly exploration for the Real WV!  And what better way to kick off this season’s adventures than by visiting the historic Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park.

Perched on top of Droop Mountain in Pocahontas County, this park holds a special place in the state’s history as its very first designated state park!

Established in 1928, Droop Mountain Battlefield is more than just a picturesque landscape—it’s a living testament to the last major conflict of the American Civil War in West Virginia.

As I trekked through the park, I couldn’t help but be reminded of its historical significance. The Battle of Droop Mountain, fought here in 1863, marked a pivotal moment in the state’s history.

Today,  visitors can walk in the footsteps of soldiers and witness reenactments of this momentous event held every October in even-numbered years.

Caption: Stock photos by Vecteezy.com

But Droop Mountain Battlefield is more than just a historical site; it’s a haven for nature enthusiasts and families both. With its winding hiking trails,  picnic shelters, and play areas, the park offers something for everyone.

My own journey to Droop Mountain was a personal one. The last time I set foot at this place,  I was just a kid filled with wonder and curiosity. Now, returning as an adult equipped with a camera and a newfound appreciation for history, I was eager to capture the essence of this cool park and share it with you. 

As the sun dipped below the horizon and darkness covered the landscape, I found myself drawn to the park’s iconic lookout tower. With the aid of a friends red head lamp and flashlights, I carefully illuminated the tower, casting it in a mesmerizing glow against the cloudy night sky. The resulting photographs are a testament to both the park’s uniqueness and its rich history, a  reminder of the timeless beauty of Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park.

Among the history and natural wonders, there was actually another reason that drove me to this beloved park on this particular day; the promise of a night of star gazing and a hot cup of fresh coffee under one of West Virginia’s darker sky areas.

The West Virginia Astrophotography Association invited star gazers and astrophotography enthusiasts to join them for a stars and coffee party at the lookout tower.  As telescopes pointed skyward and cameras ready to capture the dance of the cosmos, I found myself immersed in the magic of the night with my friends, a fitting end to a journey filled with history, nature, and the striking beauty of the West Virginia landscape!

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