Fairy Stone State Park is located in Stuart, Virginia, about an hour away from Roanoke in the Appalachian Mountains. The land was donated to the state by Roanoke newspaper publisher Julius Fishburn in 1933. It’s the largest State Park out of Virginia’s original six and is a regional favorite due to the fairy stones found on the property.
These unique stones were formed thousands of years ago as the earth’s crust heated and folded to create the Appalachian Mountains. As the earth cooled, iron aluminum deposits in the area formed into beautiful six-sided crystals that resemble crosses. These unusual stones began to be called fairy stones hundreds of years ago. Rumor has it that a group of fairies were dancing happily near a spring where the state park is now located. An elfin messenger happened upon them and told them about the crucifixion of Jesus. The fairies wept, and as their tears fell onto the ground they formed beautiful stone crosses.
These fairy stones, also known as staurolites, have been considered lucky talisman ever since. People have believed they not only bring good luck but protect their owners from illness and accidents. On your trip to Fairy Stone State Park you might be lucky enough to find one to take home.
But Fairy stones aren’t the only reason to visit this beautiful state park. Located on 4,537 acres, the property also adjoins a 168 acre lake. With a variety of landscapes to explore and several different choices of accommodations, your whole family will enjoy your vacation here. Pets are also welcome as long as they’re kept on leash and not left unattended in the camping areas.
If you’re planning a trip with a large group such as a Girl or Boy Scout troupe you can reserve the Fairy Stone Lodge. Suitable for up to 16 people and handicap accessible, the Lodge contains five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room and living room. The kitchen contains all appliances, and the dining room has a beautiful fireplace. The Lodge is available year-round and has heating and air conditioning units.
Families will love Fairy Stone State Park’s cabins. These are available in one and two bedroom units, some with screened porches and views of the lake. Each cabin includes a full kitchen with all appliances, plus a living room, dining room and outdoor grill.
If you prefer camping there are several types of sites available. There are sites for single and group tents, as well as RVs up to 30’ in length. All sites include hookups for water and electric but not sewerage. There is a dump station on the property so you can clean out your RV before you leave. Each campsite also has a fire ring that can be used for cooking or campfires.
Swimming is open in the lake between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The beach has showers and toilets as well as a concession stand and beach toys for sale. Swimming is free if you are camping in Fairy Stone State Park, but there is a small fee if you are just coming for the day.
Boat rentals are available on the weekends for your use. If you’re planning to bring your own boat be advised that only electric motors are permitted. The lake offers plenty of pan fish along with walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass. You must have a fishing license valid in Virginia in order to fish. If you don’t have one you can easily purchase one in the park office. There is a handicap accessible fishing area available on the lake.
When you’re ready to hit the trail you have thousands of acres to explore that are teeming with wildlife. There is a well-maintained nine mile trail that is open to pedestrians, cyclists and horseback riders. There are no horses rented in the park but there is a parking area suitable for horse trailers. The remaining trails are open only for hiking.
Not sure what else to do? The Fairy Stone State Park offers a wide range of activities for the entire family, including guided hikes, canoeing, flint knapping, CSI investigations, fundamentals of fishing and boating, and fairy stone hunts. Your whole family will enjoy a vacation at Fairy Stone State Park!
For the latest events and more information visit the park’s official website: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/fai.shtml