Nestled in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, the 4,868-acre Fairy Stone State Park is famous for its lucky fairy stones. It offers recreational activities such as hiking, swimming and canoeing. BBOnline has compiled a list of the park's most worthwhile attractions.
Fairy Stone State Park
967 Fairystone Lake Drive
Stuart, Virginia 24171
Fairy Stone Hunting
The story goes that when the fairies heard about the death of Christ, they wept and their tears falling to earth turned into fairy stones. The stones made of Staurolite crystal are shaped like crosses and are believed to guard the owner against disasters, accidents, witchcraft and disease. Thomas A. Edison, President Theodore Roosevelt, President Wilson and Colonel Charles Lindbergh, are said to have possessed these talismans.
You can look for these stones yourself (a good time is just after the rains). If you're lucky, you could find the coveted "T" shaped Roman cross or a Maltese cross. Digging with a stick will do the trick. Using a shovel in the Fairy Stone State Park is not allowed. Or you could buy a fairy stone from the gift shop in the visitor's center.
There are other places where these stones may be found in their natural habitat, but this park is said to have the largest known horde. A fairy stone is certainly a must-have when you visit this park from your cozy Floyd Bed and Breakfast.
Swimming in Fairy Stone State Park
The 168-acre lake is a huge attraction with the locals. It is beautiful and tranquil with a wide beach where you can play volleyball. There are restrooms, a bathhouse and a concession stand. The swimming area has a water playground for the kids complete with beach toys and interesting playground equipment like a frog slide and a water-spraying turtle.
There's also a diving board and swimming dock manned by friendly lifeguards. If you prefer some amount of solitude, visit on a weekday as weekends can be crowded.
Canoeing and Boating
The park has a boat launch for non gasoline-powered boats and you can rent a rowboat, a canoe, kayak, paddle boat or a hydrobike in the summer. Guided canoeing trips are available.
Hiking, Horseback Riding and Mountain Biking
You can go horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking on nine miles of trails while the other five miles are reserved just for hiking. All the trails offer memorable scenic views and you're sure to see wildlife which is abundant here. The Visitor's Center conducts guided nature hikes.
Free Children's Programs
Kids will enjoy the free educational programs in the summer months. They'll learn about bats, make pine cone bird feeders, discover how to identify various kinds of fish, look for fairy stones and play exciting games.
If you plan to stay in the Fairy Stone State Park for a couple of days, you can rent a cabin equipped with modern comforts such as linens, tableware, utensils and a coffeemaker. There are campgrounds too. Swimming is free if you're staying overnight. This wondrous park is worth visiting from your comfortable Floyd Inn.