Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park

The rustic structure built within the park in Clifftop, West Virginia, is one of the most photographed locations in the state. 

Autumn scene at Babaock State Park (photo by Regis Mahoy)

Nestled alongside Glade Creek in West Virginia’s 4,127-acre Babcock State Park, Glade Creek Grist Mill is one of the most photographed locations in all of West Virginia. The colorful autumn leaves and flowing creek provide the perfect backdrop alongside the seemingly aged structure, with its weather-beaten wood and stone foundation. 

While the gristmill looks as if it has stood guard over the creek for perhaps a century or more, it was added to the park in 1976. Built from parts of three other mills, the Glade Creek Grist Mill is more than just a scenic place to take a photograph or enjoy a picnic lunch; it is a fully operational gristmill. Park visitors can take self-guided tours of the mill during operating hours, and even purchase some fresh ground cornmeal to take home. 

Babcock State Park’s gristmill is keeping alive a traditional practice that was once a common sight along rivers and creeks throughout the region. Dedicated as a West Virginia State Park in 1934, Babcock State Park in Fayette County remains a popular destination for outdoors enthusiasts of all ages. 

Travelers looking to explore more of the park can choose from a variety of options, including hiking, camping and fishing. Hikers have 15 trails to choose from, ranging from the easy half-mile, out-and-back Island in the Sky Trail, to the moderate-to-difficult Ridge Top Trail, which provides some of the highest elevations in the park. For water activities, the 19-acre Boley Lake welcomes boats without motors and offers greats fishing in the area. 

Those seeking overnight accommodations can choose from 28 rental cabins, many of which were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. For a more rustic experience, Babcock State Park also has a 52-site campground with both primitive and electric camping. 486 Babcock Rd., Clifftop, West Virginia 25831, 304/438-3004,