Fairy Stone State Park
Stuart, VA

Park Size: 4,537 acres, 168-acre lake adjoining the Philpott Reservoir

HISTORY: In the late 1920s various groups across the commonwealth began working towards the establishment of state parks in Virginia. It wasn't until 1933, however, with the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that the state was able to begin building such a system. At that time, six areas were acquired, including Fairy Stone. Roanoke newspaper publisher Julius B. Fishburn donated the 4,639-acre site, making it the largest of the six original parks and one of the largest to this day.

The CCC provided the labor and materials for the construction of the park from 1933 until the CCC camp was removed in the spring of 1941. Roads, trails, picnic areas, cabins, a restaurant, bathhouse, dam and sanitation system are all part of the original CCC construction. Their handiwork is still evident in the park's log cabins.

Fairy Stone State Park, the largest of Virginia's six original state parks, is home to its namesake "fairy stones." The Legend of the Fairy Stone: Many hundreds of years before Chief Powhatan’s reign, fairies were dancing around a spring of water, playing with naiads and wood nymphs, when an elfin messenger arrived from a city far away. He brought news of the death of Christ. When these creatures of the forest heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept. As their tears fell upon the earth, they crystallized to form beautiful crosses. For many years people held these little crosses in superstitious awe, firm in the belief that they protected the wearer against witchcraft, sickness, accidents and disaster. Fairy stones are staurolite, a combination of silica, iron and aluminum. Staurolite crystallizes at 60 or 90 degree angles, hence the stone's cross-like structure. Found only in rocks once subjected to great heat and pressure, the mineral was formed long, long ago, during the rise of the Appalachian Mountains.

THINGS TO DO:
Cabins, camping and group camping are available. Lake swimming - Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day only. The swimming beach is complete with a bathhouse, concession area and beach toys. Times of operation may vary prior to mid-June and after mid-August depending on the availability of lifeguards, as the park uses mostly students.

Most of the park's Little Mountain Trail System, 9 miles, is multi-use. Multi-use trails are open to hiking, cycling and horseback riding. The remaining trails, parts of the Little Mountain system and all of the Stuart's Knob system, are for pedestrian use only.

The 168-acre Fairystone Lake is great for family fishing. Only electric motors are allowed on the lake. Hunting is allowed only in designated areas. About half the park's land is open to hunting.

The Visitor Center and Gift Shop feature exhibits on local history, mountain culture, indigenous plants and animals, and fairy stones. Visitor center hours vary according to the time of year and availability of interpretive staff.

Guided nature and history hikes, bluegrass music, guided fairy stone hunts, Junior Rangers, handicraft and other activities are offered Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hikes, guided fairy stone hunts and kids' activities are also offered on weekends during spring and fall. For special arrangements for adult groups, school groups and outreach programs, call the park at (276) 930-2424. The new Piedmont edition of Your Backyard Classrooms, an SOL-based curriculum, and implementation guidelines for the curriculum, are also available.


CONTACT INFO: 
Fairy Stone State Park
967 Fairystone Lake Drive
Stuart, VA 24171-9588
Phone: (276) 930-2424
fairystone@dcr.virginia.gov

 

LOCATION:
From I-81 near Roanoke, take Route 581 to Route 220 South to Route 57 West to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive).

From I-77 near Hillsville, take Route 58 East to Route 8 North to Route 57 East to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive).

From Greensboro, take Route 220 North to Route 220 North bypass at Martinsville, then Route 57 West to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive).

From Richmond, take Route 360 West to Route 58 West to Route 220 North Bypass at Martinsville to Route 57 West to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive)

Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email resvs@dcr.virginia.gov.

Visit at: www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/fai.shtml