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Fairy Stone State Park, the largest of Virginia's six original state parks, is home to its namesake "fairy stones." These rare mineral crosses and the park's scenic beauty, rich history and ample recreational opportunities make it a local and regional favorite. The 4,639 acres that make up the park were donated by Junius B. Fishburn, former owner of the Roanoke Times, in 1933. The Civilian Conservation Corps originally built the park, its lake and many structures still in use there. The Legend of the Fairy Stone: Many hundreds of years before Chief Powhatans 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. The stones are most commonly shaped like St. Andrews cross, an "X," but "T" shaped Roman crosses and square Maltese crosses are the most sought-after. The rare staurolite stones are found elsewhere but not in such abundance as at Fairy Stone State Park.

hiking
9 days ago

Nice out and back trail with only a couple elevation changes, which works for me as I am a beginner. The trail ends at the dam/spillway into Philpott Lake. Nice views of the lake all along the way, and I'd recommend this trail.

Easy trail to hike with some pretty views. All the mining history was cool to look at.

Thus is good for history buffs.

Beautiful! Clearly marked trail.

This is not “out & back” ; it is a loop. The paper map from the park is kinda vague. Was not clear where to park or begin. My advice: Park at the first “trailhead parking” lot on the left a little ways past the beach parking. You’ll see a little amphitheater. The trails begin across the street from this lot. Hike straight towards the campground past 2 yurts. The bathroom in the campgrounds is exceptionally clean! I did not see any trail markers in the campground. Right beside the first campsite you’ll see a paved road blocked by a park gate. This is where the orange trail starts. I hiked counterclockwise. Great little trail. Pretty rocks & ferns. Nice bench with a view. There are 5 creek crossings on the second half of the trail. No bridges, but easy to hop. When the orange trail markers end, you’ll momentarily follow the blue trail, then it changes to yellow, then white and shortly brings you back past the yurts to the parking lot where you started. Only saw one human the whole day :)

4 months ago

Offers a little bit of everything - modest climb, well maintained trails, water crossings, and a scenic view. Didn't find it to been too challenging, but was pleased to see very little trail traffic.

horseback riding
5 months ago

Great for riding horses. Great short day trail!

horseback riding
5 months ago

Great horse trail. Only takes about 3 hours . Great day ride

hiking
8 months ago

Combine Turkey Ridge Trail and Lake Shore Trail for an extra adventure. Loved It.

Trails need some clearing but it is a wonderful adventure.

1st time there for me. 33 degree day with a fair amount of sunshine. I took Whiskey Run all the way around and got on Iron Mine and then onto Stuart's Knob to check out the summit. All in all a nice hike for me and the pups.Trail was well blazed and the tread pretty good. Lots of leaves on the trail so it was difficult to see where any rocks or stumps were which is important for a guy who has a tendency to shuffle too much LOL. The second two trails were marked as difficult. Not sure if I found them to be so. Worth the trip up there if you've never been.

hiking
11 months ago

It’s important to mention that this is a trail someone mapped out on their own, on All Trails, it is a combination of the Beach Trail and Little Mountain Trail. Once on the trails, they’re nicely marked and distinguished. Because it seems we hike every trail backwards, by accident, it’s also important to mention that hiking this trail clockwise (heading towards the over look and then to The waterfall) is probably easier. Going counter clockwise isn’t super difficult, it’s just a steady incline for a longer period of time.
Beautiful views at the lookout.

hiking
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Easy but nice walk along the water. Dam isn’t much to look at but the trail was calming with predominant lake view

Monday, October 30, 2017

Great trail! The markings were a little off and the maintenance is lacking due to the fact of having to pay $5 to park.

hiking
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Easy trail with a pretty overlook of the lake and finally to a dam area. Very little grade hills.

hiking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

A great trail that has a nice rest stop with a great view and the dam/spillway was a great place for a picnic. Trail was very easy very little up or down.

hiking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

Nice trail

Very nice trail with no people

hiking
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Very easy, couple of nice views (still no leaves up) and did not take much time. I think map try's to start you in a different spot. There are signs marking the lot to park in.

Overall, I enjoyed the trail. However, while on it I was wondering why it was labeled hard, there wasn't too many inclines. As we were approaching the waterfall it was a moderately steep down hill slope. It seems as though if we started going to the left side of the loop from the trail head we would have done more climbing. Wish we would have known that from the beginning! It would be worth going back again and trying the trail counterclockwise!

hiking
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

nice easy hike.

hiking
Monday, February 20, 2017

This is a great little hike if you just have an hour or so!

hiking
Saturday, November 19, 2016

This is part of the Stuart's Knob Trail System in Fairy Stone State Park...not private property as listed here. This trail exceeded my expectations. There are several switchbacks with some elevation change for a short loop. You pass a couple old mine entrances (you need to take a short spur to get to one). The scenery is pretty, especially with some fall color remaining in the trees. There is also a very nice view looking down over the lake and the beach area. You can extend the hike by including the Stuart's Knob or Whiskey Run Trails, and there is plenty of room to park at the trailhead.

hiking
Saturday, November 19, 2016

A very family-friendly state park with several nice trails and a lot to do and explore. We will need to come back in the summer with the kids to take full advantage of it. This was initially a general entry for the park trails. More trails have since been added to the database.

camping
Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Amazing Park! Camped for a weekend. Campground was small and private. Fished, swam in beached area with a "Lilly pad" filled with kid friendly floats anchored to beach. Trails were beautiful with water. Overall great experience and many plans to return.

don't even waste your time Park is a waste of money nobody knows how to maintain a trail nothing is Mark and whoever that heck decided to make a map use to go back to Matt drawings class cuz they're morons

hiking
Saturday, March 26, 2016

Nice day relatively easy loop

hiking
Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I visited in September. The waterfall was barely a trickle, but I can see how it would be a nice sight when the creek is running higher. The trail is about half up, then half down. Demanding in a few sections, but okay otherwise. A few creek crossings may be muddy. There are some sections that are steep, but it's not too bad. Good views at the top. This trail connects with several others in the park.

hiking
Friday, January 23, 2015

Beautiful lake located in Ferrum near the park. Secluded and undeveloped I will go back a bring my kayak. Fairy stone is nice and would be a good place for kids to hike and look for fairy stones.

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