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Summer Fun 101: Hawks Nest State Park

Hawks Nest State Park is the perfect getaway for families. You can find it at the end of a scenic drive through the hills and valleys of Fayette County near Ansted. (WCHS/WVAH)

We continue our Summer Fun 101 series at Hawks Nest State Park in Fayette County.

The park is full of breathtaking views and plenty of activities for families to enjoy.

Hawks Nest State Park is the perfect getaway for families. You can find it at the end of a scenic drive through the hills and valleys of Fayette County near Ansted.

"We promote this as a family oriented park, there’s plenty to do here,” assistant superintendent Joe Baughman said.

There's so much to do. You probably couldn't get to all of it in one day. We'll start with the breathtaking views of the New River from the Hawks Nest overlook along U.S. Route 60 and Lover's Leap Overlook at the end of a trail.

You can also enjoy jet boat rides with Captain Rick.

"Captain Rick is quite a character but he is Coast Guard certified, terrific jet boat captain,” Baughman said.

The destination, a look at the New River Gorge Bridge from below, just 300 yards away.

"He gives you a brief history the entire trip and again he is quite the character. It’s a very interesting ride, I’d say we do 1,800 to1,900 annually,” Baughman said.

It’s the perfect place to snap photos.

"The jet boat was a blast, my 4-year-old loved it. Two thumbs up, jet boat ride was awesome, captain rick was amazing, he's hilarious,” vacationer Matthew Everly said.

There's also 31 lodge rooms with a swimming pool and restaurant, a nature center for kids to learn, three gift shops, hiking trails for the adventurous, and a 9-hole miniature golf.

"It’s a lot of fun, it’s very pleasant, the scenery is beautiful, there’s plenty of things to do,” Everly said.

The park is full of history. The lodge built in 1967.

"This entire area is history and that’s what we love most about it. It’ss pretty easy to come to work every day and get to see this view,” Baughman said.

And the name Hawks Nest came from a special bird.

"The history of course comes from the fish hawks that nest in the cliffs here in the New River Gorge,” Baughman said.

Hawks, vultures and sometimes bald eagles can be seen soaring above the canyon. The beautiful 276 acres of land will keep improving. There are plans to develop the state park even more.;

"We're getting ready install a fitness area out on the repurposed basketball courts. We are developing a disc golf course out there, a 9-hole disc golf course, as many as we can so when people come here to stay, we want them to stay here, we don't want them to have to go somewhere else to enjoy recreation. We want them to come to Hawks Nest and bring their entire family and stay within our 4 walls," Baughman said.

So escape from any stress this summer, and sit back and enjoy Hawks Nest State Park.

It's a place you won’t soon forget.

To make reservations to stay at Hawks Nest State Park or to learn more about what the park has to offer, visit them online here.

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