A visit to Beartown State Park

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

Henry David Thoreau

It always feels amazing to be home. Back in the woods where I grew up.

For the past two years, my family has taken a weekend in May to retreat from the pre-summer buzz of life, and set up camp in a field in the West Virginia woods.

We seem to find plenty of relaxation there, but also some adventure. This year, my cousin and my parents took us newlyweds on a local tour of the county where I’ve spent most of my life, and it hit me all over again how rare and beautiful a place this is to grow up in.

One of our stops was Beartown State Park, a cool and quiet walk through the woods that led us over deep crevasses and under towering slabs of weather-worn rock. It somehow fills you with the wonderous feeling of knowing that something happened here, but the imagination can hardly grasp the geological scale. The place lives up to its imaginative name–I sure did feel like I was walking through a ghost town where there may have once been a lively community of bears. Although that’s likely fiction, it feels believable enough……

I love places like this, places where signboards can explain the science, but the mind can’t explain the feeling.

And with a rekindled awe, I’ll be searching out other gems like Beartown!

-Linzi Loo