Wilderness Road State Park
The mountains of Virginia have a significance in the beauty, history and landscape of the area. At Wilderness Road State Park, visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch, rent a bicycle to take on the trails or walk in the footsteps of Daniel Boone.
The original Martin’s Station was built in the late 1700s as a place where weary travelers could stop and have a warm meal, safe place to stay, restock goods or have tools fixed by a blacksmith along the Wilderness Road. This road was the path which Daniel Boone blazed during the time of westward expansion.
“For the first time in their lives, these people really got their first taste of freedom. When they came here they had to put in hard work but they had land and everything they needed but if they lived rough for a while, it could be theirs. There’s something special about that,” said Chief Ranger Billy Heck.
A replica fort was built at the park in the early 2000s using the same technology that was available at the time — oxen, hatchets, axes, manpower and elbow grease. Visitors take a step back in time to this important period of the nations’ history.
A team of trained re-enactors gives tours of the fort and the daily happenings of life in the 18th century including gunsmithing, blacksmithing, cooking over an open hearth fire, musket and cannon firing. Interactive, educational talks also take place and will cover topics such as artillery, militia training and staying safe during a Native American attack.
Be sure to stop in at the Wilderness Road State Park visitors center where staff can help visitors plan their day and give tips about other must-see attractions in the area. For the nature-lover, the park offers several miles of trails that give beautiful views of Virginia’s rolling mountains.
Next to the visitors center is Karlan Mansion, which can be rented for wedding venues or family get-togethers. Mansion construction was finished in 1878 and includes Italian marble fireplaces, a pie safe used by the original homeowners and a museum detailing the buildings past.
For more information visit www.historicmartinsstation.com, dcr.virginia.gov or call 276-445-3065.