One of the best things about living in Beaver County is that it’s within driving distance of great summer hangouts like Tomlinson Run State Park. Located at the top of West Virginia’s northern panhandle, the park is about 25 miles from the heart of Beaver County.
The Mister and I might be biased since we had our wedding here but we love day-tripping to Tomlinson with the furries, which is how I affectionately refer to our dogs. We enjoy walking up the windy road that goes to the top of Picnic Hill.
There are two gorgeous stone pavilions that are absolutely worth the walk. They were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and can be rented for gatherings. (Just follow signs for Shelter 3 and you’ll end up in the right spot.)
Waterslides and Mini Golf
The towering 182-foot water slide makes Tomlinson the ultimate place to cool off this summer. Plus, there’s a swimming pool, miniature golf, disc golf, basketball and volleyball courts, paddle boats and multiple playgrounds.
It’s practically a family fun center. If a day at this park doesn’t wear your kids out, there is no hope.
I recommend getting a day pass which includes admission to the pool and mini golf as well as a paddle boat rental. That’s $12 well spent! Separate pricing is available if you can’t handle that much excitement in one day.
The pool, mini golf and boat docks are open Memorial Day through Labor Day. The mini golf course and the marina are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so plan your adventure accordingly.
Tomlinson has lots of heavily forested areas that are worth exploring to find stunning waterfalls and sandstone cliffs. There are extensive hiking trails that wind through the park’s 1,398 acres and a few offer a glimpse into the past.
Along the White Oak Trail, you’ll see old stone support walls that are remnants of the New Manchester Turnpike from the early 1900s. This trail meanders through quieter, undeveloped side of the park.
The trail that runs next to the lake offers a great view of the spillway and there’s also a wheelchair accessible trail near the miniature golf course.
The 30-acre lake is great for a leisurely day of kayaking or canoeing. There’s a convenient concrete boat ramp but remember that only electric motors are permitted.
The stocked lake is a popular spot to fish for trout, bluegill, bass and catfish. Rowboats and paddleboats are available for rent at the marina.
The park has a multitude of breezy spots to enjoy a picnic lunch so don’t forget to pack your cooler. My favorite spots are the stone pavilions (if they aren’t in use) atop Picnic Hill, the picnic tables near the boat docks or the picnic tables between the miniature golf course and shelter #2.
This last spot is perfect if you have kids in tow. They can wade in the nearby creek while you relax in the shade! There are snack bars located at the pool and marina if you need munchies long before lunch time.
If you’re tempted to turn your day-trip into a weekend excursion, Wyandot Campground has plenty of options. Bring your tent or camper and choose from 54 campsites, 39 of which have electric hookups. You can bring the furries, too.
Novice campers might want to try out a yurt, a circular structure, which comes equipped with a cooler, propane stove, lantern and cookware.
Be sure to stop by the campground shelter on Saturday or Sunday morning. They cook breakfast all summer long and most items, which range from eggs to pancakes to biscuits and gravy, are around five dollars.