Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway,
Fairy Stone State Park has many features that make it special.
Two of Fairy Stone State Park's historic log cabins.
In my travels as a visitor services specialist for Virginia State Parks, one question folks often ask me is “Do you have a favorite park?” Of course, I always answer “No, they are all special in their own way.” But, if I had to name a favorite, Fairy Stone just might be it.
Fairy stones are mineral crystals found here in the park.
First, the park is known for the “fairy stones” that are found here, and in only a few other places in the world. These legendary rock crystals are thought by many to bring good luck to those who carry them. The stones are made of staurolite, a mixture of aluminum and silica that forms into double crystals shaped like crosses. You can learn more about the stones during ranger led fairy stone hunts offered regularly, or visit the hunt site on your own. The park office gift shop also sells fairy stones already polished. You can read about the legend here.
It's not hard to imagine that fairies live here.
Observant hikers might spy a fairy home within the park.
As you walk along the moss-lined trails, across a little foot bridge through the woods, it’s not hard to imagine that fairies still inhabit this place. The observant walker might even spot a fairy house, or more frequently, some of the plentiful wildlife. This is the largest of Virginia’s six original state parks opened in 1936, with more than 4,600 acres and a 168-acre lake. Fairy Stone has two trail systems, the Little Mountain, mostly multi-use, and Stuart’s Knob, for pedestrians only. Equestrians can camp over night with their horses in the recently opened equestrian facilities.
Fairy Stone State Park is listed as a Virginia Historic Landmark and in the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. The park retains many original structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930’s, with hand-hewn local stone and logs.
Before construction of the park, the town of Fayerdale was located here. The present-day Fayerdale Hall Conference Center is named in the town’s honor, and families of the former residents still gather in the park each year for a reunion. The history of this place also includes moonshining and iron mining, which we will explore more in future posts.
Fall and winter are good times to explore the park's trails.
The conference center, picnic shelters, and the autumn, and the quiet peace of winter. These are the things that bring families back here year after year, generation after generation to enjoy special times together.
click here, or call 1-800-933-7275.