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Governor Justice inspects new stargazing cabins at Coopers Rock State Forest

BRUCETON MILLS — Governor Jim Justice recently visited Coopers Rock State Forest to inspect the progress of new stargazing cabins. Scheduled to open this fall, reservations for these unique accommodations will begin soon.

The stargazing cabins are part of over $200 million in upgrades to the West Virginia state parks system under Justice’s administration.

“This is another exciting day for West Virginia with the addition of these incredible cabins,” Justice said. “Coopers Rock State Forest is a gem within our state park system, and as we continue to draw visitors from around the world, it’s important that we maintain and enhance its amazing condition and reputation. This stunning park is among our most frequently visited, and the projects we’re working on here will further put this forest on the map.”

Located along the main ridge between Raven Rock and the main overlook, the initial five A-frame cabins will be joined by seven more in spring 2025. Each cabin is equipped with telescopes to take advantage of the Darkest Skies on the East Coast, providing a unique stargazing experience.

“It’s amazing to see these improvements coming to fruition at Coopers Rock State Forest,” Division of Natural Resources Director Brett McMillion said. “Gov. Justice has brought the West Virginia State Parks system to much higher levels with his vision and guidance. I’m looking forward to all of the new and returning visitors who will come to stay in the newly constructed cabins and at the campground once they’re ready.”

The improvements at Coopers Rock include more than $15 million invested in various projects, such as a modern 25-site RV campground, a new laundry and firewood facility, and major water and wastewater treatment upgrades.

Investments across the state’s 36 parks, nine forests, and three rail trails have resulted in significant enhancements. These include the creation of two new state parks, a new lodge at Cacapon Resort State Park, renovations at every lodge and cabin, hundreds of new or upgraded campsites, new recreational facilities, and essential infrastructure improvements. Increased visitation and revenue generated by these enhancements have been reinvested into West Virginia’s public lands.

“We continue to see folks interested in unique lodging, and I’m thrilled to see our state’s first stargazing cabins nearing completion,” said West Virginia Secretary of Tourism Chelsea Ruby. “The more than $200 million in improvements at our state parks system are paying dividends. A visit to any of our parks will show the incredible quality of our facilities and the popularity of our public lands. Our state parks system is a true gem, and we are forever grateful to the Governor for his continued commitment to ensuring our facilities the very best.”

All contracts for the recent investments have been awarded to West Virginia firms. Wolfes Excavating in Clarksburg is responsible for constructing the first five cabins and the new campground. Zetti Contracting LLC in Morgantown is handling the additional seven cabins. Engineering services were provided by CEC, with architectural work performed by ZMM.

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