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Where to Make a Splash This Summer

2016-25-4--13-38-40Looking for a place to cool off and unwind this summer?  Whether you’re interested in perfecting your cannonball technique, or the thought of catching a few rays, this article’s for you! We’ve collected a list of the “Best” swimming holes in Webster just for you –

  • Back Fork of the Elk River

Some of Webster’s best kept “secret spots” stem from the fresh waters flowing just a few miles above the town of Webster Springs. Popular places along this stretch have been curiously named by the locals – spots such as “Jimmie Hole”, “Curtin Hole”, “Boy Scout Hole”, and “Cherry Hole” are just a couple you can find along the shores leading towards Webster Springs. Venturing further still, you can find some prime territory near the swinging bridges of the Elk River.

  • Parcoal Crossing (PX)

Venturing further, should you find yourself between Parcoal and Cherry Falls along the Elk River, there are a series of rocky ledges that have grown in popularity among the locals during the dog days of summer! A little farther upriver still, accessible from Parcoal is Parcoal Crossing. If sand between your toes is what you’re looking for, a short distance downriver is Paddlefoot, a cozy swimming hole with a sandy beach to pair!

  • Lower Elk River

Sauntering past the town of Webster Springs, you’ll find a slew of prime swimming holes along the Elk River aptly referred to as “Down Elk”. These spots are all the fun in the sun you could hope for!

  • Camden Rope Swing

One of the local favorites lies just up river from the bridge in Camden (Gauley River). This oasis is home to a spectacular rope swing that flings you out into the air and down into one of the deepest points of that stretch of water – Rumor has it that nobody has ever touched the bottom there!

Stay tuned—more summer adventures will be revealed soon!

Happening This Weekend 5/24-5/28

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Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and, for many, a highly anticipated long weekend. Make the most of it with the below tips on things to do over Memorial Day weekend in Webster!

Wednesday, May 24
The summer festivities kick off with several local events, catered to the community and the families within it. Join in the evening events, showcasing the musical talent of our local schools and even take your dog for a walk down the street in the pet & bicycle parade!

6pm – WCHS Showband & Showgirls

7pm – Pet & Bicycle Parade (Registration @ 6:30pm)

7:30pm – Webster Springs Elementary School Music Concert

2016-27-5--10-46-30Thursday, May 25
Thursday stands as Community Appreciation Night for the Woodchopping Festival. Live music from Gabe Dixon & The Whiskey River Band is sure to be a blast! Throw down a blanket or stomp your feet and enjoy the live entertainment at Baker’s Island!

7:30pm – Gabe Dixon & The Whiskey River Band (Live)

Friday, May 26
The games begin Friday and splinters are going to fly! Qualifiers will be promptly announced in the afternoon and the annual Fireman’s events start in the evening with a parade and a rodeo competition for all the cowboys out there. The night winds down with an appearance of the renowned Davisson Brothers!

2pm – Qualifying Rounds – SE World Championship Woodchopping

6pm – Arts, Crafts Open

7pm – Fireman’s Parade on Main Street

7pm – Jerry Run Summer Theater Presents: Kay & Posey (Live)

8pm – WV State Firemen’s Rodeo Championship

9pm – Davisson Brothers (Live)

2017-24-5--14-13-31Saturday, May 27
Start your morning with a hearty breakfast fit for a true mountain man, and judging by all the events that we’ve jam packed into one day – you’re gonna need it!  Races, live music, horseshoes, arts & crafts, live music, and much, much more await those who seek family fun!

7am – Lumberjack Breakfast

8am – Ginger Fletcher Memorial 5k Race

9am – Woodchopping Events Continue

10am – Court Square Activities Begin – Live Music

10am – Singes & Doubles Horseshoe Pitching Tournament

10am – Arts & Crafts Open

10am – Woodchoppers Coffee Hour

11:45am – Paul Bunyan Grand Feature Parade

1pm – Cherri Brake Book Signing

1pm – Car & Truck Show

7pm – Adam Calvert (Live)

7pm – Jerry Run Summer Theater Presents: Silas Powell & The Powell Family (Live)

8:45pm – Rik K & The All Nighters (Live)

 Sunday, May 28
Steep competition comes to a headway for the Sunday Woodchopping Festival Finale! A last hurrah for the Memorial Day Weekend is packed with back-to-back competitions followed by an awards ceremony to crown the kings and queens of this year’s festival.  Join us for the closing of another memorable family fun weekend for the books!

8am- Big Breakfast

10am – Arts & Crafts Open

11am – WV State Turkey Calling Contest

12pm – World Championship Woodchopping Finals

1pm – Corn Hole Tournament

TBA – Ducky Derby Race (Following Woodchopping Awards)

7:30pm – Gospel Sing Feat. WV Gospel Quartet

9pm – Closing Ceremonies Feat. VFW Post 3738 & WCHS Jr. ROTC

For more info on the Memorial Day Weekend Festivities, click here!  See you at the festival!

Top Reasons to Visit Webster County According to Locals: Angie Cowger 

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Riding the country roads of the Mountain Park are one of the family’s favorite outings.

As a long-standing resident and business owner of Webster County, Angie Cowger, of the Custard Stand, gives the inside scoop on the “hidden treasures” of Webster.  At first glance, visitors may be quick to make assumptions about the quaint nature of Webster, but be warned… this patch of heaven holds some of West Virginia’s best features.

As Angie puts it, “People say there’s not a lot to do in Webster County, but everyone eats 3 meals a day… so from a food perspective – here’s why you should visit Webster County:”

While it may come as no surprise, Angie swears by The Custard Stand, located in the heart of Webster Springs; and nobody could begin to disagree. They have everything from pizza, salads, hot dogs to ice cream, milkshakes, and sundaes galore!

In addition to the Custard Stand, the Holly River State Park Restaurant is a beautiful facility. From the porch, a row of perfectly aligned rocking chairs looks out over the surrounding beauty. Rumor has it that their roast beef sandwich is top notch!

The Hometown Diner is another local treasure of Webster!  Angie says it’s not uncommon for the Cowger’s to snag a whole graham cracker pie to take home and enjoy.  If you’re looking for an eatery that values doing things the “old fashioned” way, the Hometown should be on your short list.

2017-23-5--15-15-43
The Cowger’s spend their summer days on the banks of the Elk River.

From an adventure perspective – one of the Cowger’s favorite things to do is to frequent the Elk River.  It’s a different approach to a family outing, dependent on generator and nature alone. The kids spend the entire day in the river along the camp site – whether you use a tent, camper, or even in the back of a pickup.

Another family favorite is motorcycling – Angie says they’ve got friends and family who’ve made it all the way to the Great Smokey’s and ridden the Tail of the Dragon, and even then… the Smokey’s have nothing on the winding roads of Webster!

When asked what the big takeaway of Webster might be, Angie responded simply with, “Our biggest thing is the people – very welcoming, from kids to middle age to elderly.” Whether you’re venturing the back roads or traveling down Main Street, Webster County has something for everyone.

 

Spring & Summer Webster County Bucket List

Looking for things to do this spring and summer in Webster County? Have fun, check out our bucket list and start crossing the fun off!

  • Catch a bluegrass show in the intimate Jerry Run Summer Theater from late April to early October.
  • 2016-13-6--21-42-14Lace up your hiking boots and hit one of the many serene and remote trails in the Cranberry Wilderness Area. The area covers over 35,000 acres of thick forests and includes over 60 miles of great West Virginia hiking trails.
  • Grab your kayak and hit the Webster Springs to County Route 7 (CR7) Bridge section of the Elk River. This run is nearly 17.3 miles long and includes class II-III whitewater with a river system full of great paddling sections.
  • Enjoy a 3-day long weekend at the Webster County Nature Tour May 12-14 The tour offers a choice of hikes, from an easy walk to a strenuous trek, where you’ll see a variety of native shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, and trees. For those looking to get the most of the weekend tour lineup, all-inclusive lodging and meals will be included.
  • Come see real lumberjacks in action during the annual Woodchopping Festival, May 25-28. Other events during the festival include car and truck shows, West Virginia State Fireman’s Rodeo, parades, art and craft shows, live music and much more.
  • Cast a line into one of Webster County’s many rivers, streams, and lakes that offer up some of the finest angling in North America. Listed among the West Virginia DNR’s “Favorite Fishing Waters” are the Elk, Cranberry and Williams Rivers in Webster County.
  • Lose yourself in the pageantry and events of Camden on Gauley Days! A plethora of vendors and game booths await with food, games, and entertainment every night. Spend the weekend on the Gauley with the family and get ready to have a blast!
  • Hit one of the bike trails along the scenic Williams River and through the Monongahela National Forest with breathtaking views and astounding climbs. Don’t forget your helmet!
  • Experience waterfalls at Holly River State Park. Numerous hiking trails will lead you to three different waterfalls at the park, Tecumesh, Tenskwatawa and Shupe’s Chute.
  • Take a road trip. The spectacular mountains and valleys that surround Webster County make for some of the most beautiful drives anywhere in the country. Pick from one of our four Road Tour Spotlights to help guide your tour with points of interests, lodging and dining options.
  • Spring in Webster County wouldn’t be complete without ramps! Get a ticket to the Erbacon Ramp Dinner on May 6th and find out why ramps are an Appalachian delicacy.
  • Spend the night under the stars in one of Webster County’s many campgrounds. The mountains and rivers make Webster County a great destination for a camping vacation!
  • Spend a day at Big Ditch Lake where the whole family can enjoy nearly 55 acres of fishing and picnicking. Stop in at Riffle Pottery, which overlooks the lake for one of the area’s handmade pottery galleries.
  • Grab your friends and hit the ATV trails between Bergoo and Webster Springs. Be sure to add the Leatherwood Falls to your trip – it’s well worth the ride. As always the folks at Bergoo Creek Bait & Tackle are available for supplies and info!
  • Travel the Mountain Parkway Byway and Backway, and add Mollohan’s Mill to your trip. As one of the country’s remaining turbine driven grist mills, it’s well worth the trip!

 

Be sure to check out our Events Calendar to experience all Webster County has to offer this year!

Spring Break on a Budget in Webster County

The days are growing longer and the birds are chirping: all signs point towards spring!  Two things are certain, rainy days and warm nights which means there’s plenty of time to make an appearance from the cave you’ve been hiding in all winter and getting out and enjoying that “feel good” weather.

DSC_0753Fish. Fish.

When the snow melts off and the rivers and streams begin to surge once again, you can count on a hardy supply of fresh-water game to be teaming in waters of Webster County. With new stock being introduced every month, the time has never been better to throw out a line and spend the day on the river. 

 Whitewater Adventures

Join us as we barrel down the hallowed whitewater rivers of Webster County in April! April 8-9, Webster Whitewater Weekend kicks into full swing.  Get in on the action as we celebrate the comeback return of some of our favorite rapids.  A party will follow Saturday night with live music, food, libations and more at Camp Caesar.  See you There!

Earth Day Preppers

April 8, The Upper Elk River Watershed Association will be hosting a Tree Seedling Giveaway from 10am-12 outside of the WCMH Physical Therapy Building (old Rite Aid) in Webster Springs and Cowen Municipal Building parking lot.  Get out your gardening gloves and give back on Earth Day by planting a sapling in your yard this year.

The Great Egg Hunt

This year it looks like the Easter Bunny will be making two trips to Webster County – perfect egg hunt conditions!  Mr. Rabbit will start by making his rounds at Baker’s Island at 2pm on April 9 and finish up his eggy duties at Holly River State Park on April 16 at 2pm.  Bring your basket, the BIG one – you’re gonna need it!  Open to kids 0-12.

2016-13-6--21-42-14Music For The Season

The stage of the Jerry Run Theater has sat collecting dust for far, far too long.  It’s time we shake the lock off the doors and kick the dust up for the folk music season once and for all! Starting April 14, Jerry Run will be hosting its weekly shows until the end of next season, with its first acting as a benefit concert for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Join us for a night full of music and laughter at Jerry Run!

 

Live Like a Local Part 2

Wave goodbye to the days of booking a shoddy hotel room and getting cookie cutter accommodations while taking a siesta – and say hello to local living! With companies like Airbnb offering furnished apartments, houses, and cottages on rent for cheap, travelers are moving away from the drab of a hotel room and trading in their plastic key cards for the keys to a home away from home – even if it’s just for the weekend.  Whether you’re looking for a place to set up basecamp for your ski trip or are thinking ahead for Spring, these spots are sure to please!

1. Grizz’s Cabin
2017-15-2--08-19-50Located on the banks of the Holly River, Grizz’s Cabin can comfortably accommodate up to five and comes fully loaded with furnishings and a large kitchen. The natural hardwood construction gives off a cozy, rustic feel while the covered deck overlooking the river offers a perfect setting for summer nights sitting out and taking in the evening air. Located in the Hacker Valley, this cabin is the perfect spot for hikers!  304-493-9412

2. Olde Lower Store Nook
Old charm with modern amenities – this cozy hole-in-the-wall has got character! This two-bedroom nook garners a full bodied kitchen and even offers cable TV and WIFI on site to cater to its guests. Located in downtown Webster Springs, visitors will be within walking distance of the town’s best shops, restaurants, and parks! Nightly or weekly stay available.
304-847-2667 

3. Canfield’s River Cottage
This cozy abode sits conveniently across the road from the Gauley River, plus a short walk will get you back to town from Webster Springs and Cowen. This cottage features a fully equipped kitchen, 3-bedrooms, 1 bath, washer & dryer, covered back porch with grill and fire pit, cable TV, WIFI, landline phone and heating/cooling. Don’t be fooled by its size, this pad can sleep up to eight! 304-644-2202 

4. Bend of the River Cottage
This inviting cabin is one mile south of Cleveland, situated along the Little Kanawha River and close to WV Route 20. The cabin is well constructed and has many amenities, including electric heating and A/C, fully equipped kitchen and furnishings. Sleeps 5 and can be rented out on a daily or weekly basis. Stop in and fall in love with this cute and quaint space! 304-493-4912 

5. Bear Necessity Retreat
2017-15-2--08-18-59Gorgeous! Secluded for guest comfort, the Bear Necessity Retreat is the ultimate vacation pad to get the band together for a weekend that is sure to be one for the books! Capable of sleeping up to 13 of your closest friends or family, you’ll find it hard to leave the comforts of these walls.  Adventure out onto the wrap-around deck or keep it cozy inside by the stone fire – the choice is yours!  304-493-6647

ICYMI, check out part one of Live Like A Local in Webster County here

Top 10 Places to Visit In Webster County

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time in Webster, chances are you’ve happened to stumble upon some of the area’s greatest places to see.  Whether you’re looking for a little adventure this weekend or you’re hard at work writing a bucket list for the Spring, you’ll want to make time for these iconic Webster spots!

1. Bakers IslandThe public park mecca of Webster!  Baker’s Island has got it all – sports fields, picnic areas, walking trails, playground, swimming pool, a grandstand and access to the river are just a few things you’ll find here. Although the island was badly damaged in the June 2016 flood, many of the park facilities have been or are in the process of being restored.

2016-25-4--13-41-002. Bergoo – Tucked far in the woods of Webster lies Bergoo: an off-road enthusiasts dream. Load up the quad on your trailer and set your sights towards Bergoo.  The area offers some of the greatest mudding tracks in the state. Get ready…to get dirty!

3. Big Ditch Lake The nearly 400-acre wildlife management area known as Big Ditch Lake offers a plethora of small game, waterfowl, and fishing opportunities.  In addition, scenic picnic areas can be accessed via the maintained walking path that outlines the edge of the water.

4. Holly River State ParkHiking, camping, backpacking; lace up your boots and hit the trails of Holly River State Park.  Nestled within West Virginia’s National Forest System, Holly River offers some of the best opportunities to witness the Webster’s natural spectacles.

5. Camp CaesarNestled beside the Monongahela National Forest, Camp Caesar, also known as Webster County 4-H Camp, has created generations of memories for youth and adults alike. Built during the 1920’s, this historical camp has been a mainstay for generations past and present.

6. Salt Sulphur WellIn the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, salt sulphur springs drew thousands of visitors to Webster Springs each year. The water, highly impregnated with hydrogen sulfide gas, were thought to be beneficial for ills of the liver, stomach, kidneys and bladder and were sought for both health and luxury.  While only one well remains, it has been set in the center of Webster Springs to serve as a Veteran’s Memorial.

7. Point Mountain – Settle in and enjoy the solitude or set out and explore, view wildlife, fish, and let nature take you over. An evening at Point Mountain Wilderness can be spectacular! Enjoy stunning sunsets, moon rises, and bright stars in the evening.

8. Jerry Run Summer TheatreOff the beaten path lies a stage with a storied past. The stage has been graced with some of the folk world’s greatest acts and shows. This venue has even been featured in a documentary about the folk legend, Iron & Wine.

mollohan mill ducks9. Mollohan’s Mill Featured as one of the attractions along the Mountain Parkway Byway and Backway in the northern part of Webster County, Mollohan’s Mill stands the test of time being the only remaining turbine driven grist mills in the United States.

10. Your Favorite River – While the last location on our list is a bit broad, to try to discern one river being better than another is out of the question.  Whether you are a seasoned fisherman, or you enjoy kayaking, boating, or swimming….Webster County’s waterways are a haven for fun and relaxation.  In no particular order, here are the rivers to check out in the Mountain Park:

  • Elk
  • Gauley
  • Birch
  • Williams
  • Cranberry
  • Little Kanawha
  • Back Fork of Elk

 

3 Spots to Find Sweets in Webster County

If the idea of food warms your soul as much as it fills your tummy, chances are, it’s the ONLY way to your heart.  Thankfully, the confectioners of Webster County have pulled out all the stops to make sure you don’t show up to your date empty handed.  Picking up something yummy from any one of these places is guaranteed to get you a whole lot of love back from your sweetheart!

2017-06-2--16-30-38Jacyanna’s
The lovely folks at Jacyanna’s are back at it again – this time, serving up some savory delights for the perfect Valentine’s Day! In the spirit of the holiday, hand-dipped, luscious chocolate covered strawberries will be offered $18/dozen for a select time! Get your hands on these delectable morsels and fast – they’re sure to go quickly!

Sugar Shack
The Sugar Shack is serving up a new treat in their lineup of sweet treats this year featuring handmade, jelly filled doughnuts! While they may not be a traditional V-Day gift, let’s be honest—who would turn them down? Get your hands on these sugary, little pillows of heaven NOW!

Custard Stand
Surprise your date with a bright pink, tutti fruitti soft serve cone from the Custard Stand and you’ll make Valentine’s Day a home run.  But Valentine’s Day flavors don’t end there – bubblegum and dark raspberry will give you some other playfully cute V-Day cones too!  Mix it up and order a chocolate covered cherry or strawberry milkshake, you won’t regret it!

 

Top 10 Events in Webster County for 2017

Webster County is home to some of the most pristine, rural landscape in the state; however, that doesn’t stop locals and visitors alike from making the most of the seasons with some events that are sure to be fun for the whole family!

2016-13-6--21-42-14Jerry Run Theater (April-October)
The hills of Webster are alive with the melodies of some of the greatest acoustic acts of the day!  Both big names and up-and-comers have graced this stage with their presence with the passion for sharing their art with the fanatics of the area.  Join us for an evening of music you’ll never forget!

Webster Wildwater Weekend (April 8-9)
The rivers are inviting as locals and visitors get together to paddle the local rivers and make memories. Pack your wetsuit and meet us at the river’s edge for some fun and camaraderie!

Webster County Nature Tour (May 12 – 14)
Experience the area’s pristine landscape in full grandeur on a two-night stay in rustic cabins of Camp Caesar.   Enjoy a weekend filled with walking and driving tours that encapsulate the very best sights of the area, you won’t regret it!

u-s-athlete-arden-cogar-jr-16-HRWoodchopping Festival (May 25 – 28)
Logging has become more than just a way of life for some of the area’s citizens; it’s become a family legacy. Generations of woodsman have passed down the axe in order to claim the glory of being the best of the best.

Bergoo Bash (September 2)
An ATV riders’ heaven!  Held the Saturday before Labor Day each year; a mud pit, poker run, horseshoe pitching contest, live entertainment, fireworks are just some of the events held at this community event.

Holly River Festival (September 2-3)
The Holly River Festival is held annually on Labor Day Weekend at Holly River State Park. It is a family-oriented festival featuring arts, crafts, cake walks, games, apple butter making, hay rides, music and more.

Webster County Fair (September 6-9)
Pageantry, Cornhole Contests, festival rides, and much more! Join us as we celebrate the first days of fall at the Webster County Fair.

Burgoo Cook-Off (October 7)
Located in the heart of Webster Springs, a test of culinary skills takes place once a year.  In addition, the park is filled with festivities and various events for the whole family to enjoy!

Irish Road BowlingIrish Road Bowling Fall Challenge (October 7)
Join in the spirit of friendly competition in an age old sport known as Irish road bowling.  Never heard of it? No worries.  The seasoned pros will be on site to give you a couple pointers and there’s even a grand feast afterwards!

Hometown White Christmas (December 1-31)
Come and view the beautiful holiday decor, watch the Christmas Parade and visit with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Many merchants offer extended store hours and other special events in house!

 

A Year in Review: Top 5 Stories

2016: what a wild ride, right? For better or worse, we’ve made it to the final days of this chapter in history. As we wave goodbye to this year and look ahead toward a new year filled with new surprises, let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the biggest stories of 2k16.

2016-24-5--12-42-411. FOR THE LOVE OF WOODCHOPPING: A FESTIVAL IS BORN
The sport of woodchopping has become something of a serious test of skill and strength in Webster County. One such family – The Cogar’s – have passed the ax from generation to generation as then continue to swing for glory in annual competitions….
Read More at >>> http://bit.ly/2gGB4df

2. WEBSTER WILDWATER WEEKEND – GENERATIONS OF FUN
Every Spring, water sports enthusiasts flock to the Elk River in Webster County in order to tackle the rapids in friendly competition. Rapids junkies from across the state suit up in order to brave the river in hopes of bringing home some prizes and a couple stories….
Read More at >>> http://bit.ly/2gGED37

2016-25-4--13-41-003. SPRING & SUMMER WEBSTER COUNTY BUCKET LIST
Festivals, concerts, camping, cycling! The list goes on and on as the chill of winter recedes from the mountains and is replaced with a lush green! The possibilities are endless to discover in the hallowed woods of Webster County…
Read More at >>> http://bit.ly/2aAjPbm

4. 10 WAYS TO LOVE WEBSTER IN JUNE
You don’t have to look very hard to find reasons to fall in love with Summer in Webster. The dog days of June are alive with nightly movie in the park, pool openings, camp events, and a whole bunch of live music! The hills are alive with the sights and sounds of summer and Webster locals are taking full advantage of it….
Read More at >>> http://bit.ly/2gQzCbq

5. 6 THINGS TO DO ON A WEBSTER COUNTY SNOW DAY
Snowed in? Kids out of class? Does the possibility of trekking to work make more sense using a dog sled than in your car? Never fear, we’ve got the perfect remedy to your cabin fever….
Read More at >>> http://bit.ly/2gQQleO