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SHAWNEE TRAIL PRIMITIVE CAMPSITES

CLICK HERE to make reservation without fees 

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Shawnee Trail Campsites

Welcome to our primitive sites

by the Bluestone River

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About our Campsites...
Near I-77, this primitive campsite is located on acres of land in a beautiful valley along the Bluestone River at Spanishburg, WV. We offer a teepee experience under the stars, no hookups. You can also bring your own tent, no hookups. Reservations required. Campsites are in the same place where the Shawnee Indians once roamed and lived some 500 years ago. With rich soil, a crystal clear river and a cliff overlook (known as “Indian Lookout” (located on the Farley farm property) this land was perfect to raise a family and survive. This 10.5 mile section of the beautiful Bluestone River has been designated as part of the Bluestone National Scenic River, cutting through an impressive and biologically diverse gorge. Guests are encouraged to bring kayaks for an amazing and beautiful float trip.

Shawnee Indian Massacre

In 1775, Mitchell Clay became the first documented English settler to arrive and settle in the area occupied by the Shawnee. He was awarded 800 acres of land including the land where the Shawnee made their home and the site of the now Shawnee Indian Trail Campsites. The Indians did not like giving up their land. Clay and his growing family of 14 children, built a home just 3 miles from the location of this primitive campsite. Trouble soon ensued. 

Shawnee attacked, murdered children of Mitchell Clay in 1783

Indian attacks had begun after Drewry Farley and Clay had arrived and settled on land inhabited by the Shawnee.  One day while hunting, the Shawnee crept toward the homestead and attacked Mitchell Clay's home, killing, stabbing, scalping and kidnapping a number of his children. For the full story of the massacre click here: One of the young boys was taken and burned at the stake, another stabbed, two were scalped in a savage attack. Clay tracked them down and killed many of them but the horror of the massacre and loss of his children left the family scarred and devastated. The homestead was never the same. A historical marker and park was created to commemorate the tragic events of the massacre and the significance of Mitchell Clay's life and his family. It is located near the site of Clay's homestead.

Today the site stands silent, its lush green grass and sparkling river still intact, with nothing but a distant memory for those who follow history.  In the 1980s, West Virginia University conducted an archaeological dig into the Indian burial site. It has never been the same. Some say that disturbing this sacred land where the Shawnee lived and buried their dead was a curse. Many believe the grounds are haunted with Indian spirits causing unexplained events. The site has been featured on Ghost Hunters and many people visit the site throughout the year.

Click here to Meet the Mitchell Clay family from 1775

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY AND MARSHALL UNIVERSITY ARCHAELOGICAL PROJECT
wvu and marshall university indian burial ground dig at shawnee lake - Bing images 

HISTORY OF THE BLUESTONE RIVER

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Native American Indians called the Bluestone River "Momongosenka" (Big Stone River) supposedly inspired by their travels along ancient pathways through the boulder strewn lower gorge. Many native prehistoric sites, from nomadic Paleo-Indian hunting camps dating back to the times of Ice Age mammoth and mastodon, through hundreds of generations of village and burial sites of the Archaic and Woodland cultures, to the Delaware, Cherokee and Shawnee tribes of the 1600 and 1700s, have been documented throughout the Bluestone River watershed.

At the confluence of the Bluestone and Little Bluestone Rivers in the National Scenic River near Bluestone State Park, the lost community of Lilly once flourished before its condemnation and removal prior to the construction of Bluestone Dam. The Bluestone Turnpike, a riverbank road that evolved from the original Indian trail through the gorge, was used by those who farmed and timbered the area until the 1940s, and still serves today as the main trail access for park visitors. 

THE CAMPGROUND

We can supply a teepee for overnight accommodations. There is no water, electricity or sewer hookup. There is a portable toilet. River access is at your own risk. There is room to park your vehicle and the campsites are located right beside the Bluestone National Scenic River. Easy river access available to float, kayak or fish. The primitive campsites are located by the Bluestone River where the Shawnee once traversed in canoes up and down the Bluestone River to hunt and fish on the abundant land to survive some 500 years ago.  

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West Virginia Farm Retreat

Welcome to the Farm!

Princeton, West Virginia

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