Occoneechee State Park

A friend of mine recommended staying at this park. She went with another couple and stated that it was beautiful, peaceful, and a lot of fun. This got me thinking. I would truly love to enjoy our state parks, especially those that are close to home. I made the reservation almost 4 months in advance so that we could stay on the water. If you are looking to enjoy a cabin at a state park, you truly have to reserve ahead of time.

Named for Native Americans who lived in the area for hundreds of years, Occoneechee is on the John H. Kerr Reservoir, better known as Buggs Island Lake, and is popular with anglers and boaters. Facilities include cabins, campsites, an equestrian campground, picnic shelters, an amphitheater, a playground, boat ramps, and a private concession offering boat rentals and snacks. Occoneechee Marina offers a fuel dock and boat slips with water and electric service for annual rentals. Six slips are available for rent to overnight camping and cabin guests. The park also has 20 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The visitor center and museum introduce visitors to Native American history and the indigenous Occoneechee people.

(http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/occoneechee#general_information)

We stayed in cabin number eight. This was a two bedroom cabin with a wraparound porch that looked over the water. One bedroom had a queen bed. The other bedroom had two bunkbeds. There is one bathroom with a shower. We also had a wonderful living room and kitchen that was spacious with all the items you need to cook and enjoy a good meal. We meal planned ahead of time and made sure we had all the items we needed to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I even brought everything I needed to make apple pies. We had been apple picking two weeks prior, and I had not been able to get around to making my pies.

We also enjoyed the fireplace and kept the fire going pretty much all day long.

We enjoyed sitting on the porch in rocking chairs, looking at the water, and gazing at the beautiful trees turning color.

 

 

Although the storms had caused damage on some of the hiking trails, there were other trails that were beautiful, accessible, and adventuresome. I appreciated the museum within the gift store/Office. The hiking trail had good information about the historical aspect of the area. We walked the plantation trail.

Osage Orange
We had to ask a few friends on Facebook to figure out what this was on our walking tour. This is an Osage Orange! Some folks felt it looked like a brain, or and alien space pod!

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He almost walked into a spider web with a spider! We stopped just in time!

We also enjoyed renting a pontoon boat from Clarksville Marine Rentals which was conveniently located in the state park. Tammy was available and exceptionally kind and made the experience fun!!! (http://clarksvilleboats.com/)

We left from our wonderful excursion on a pontoon boat to Clarksville. In the town of Clarkesville is a quaint restaurant and bed and breakfast called Cooper’s Landing. We had Sunday brunch. The food was exquisite, and they allowed us to look at some of the guest rooms. I think we will be back!  (Website: http://cooperslandinginn.net/?page_id=87) Cooper’s Landing has upcoming events that are worthy of checking out! Like how about Breakfast with Santa? They also have cooking classes and other special events to enjoy life and this historical property!

Coop’s Crabcake
Chesapeake Bay style crabcake drizzled with a garlic aioli and served with choice of side salad or chef’s choice of breakfast potatoes.
Autumn Squash Ravioli with a yummy mix of pine nuts, apples, and a savory sauce. The Parmesan on top made the dish!
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I loved their decorations with so many lights to brighten the room.

We are headed home with only an hour and a half drive. Isn’t it wonderful that this is so close, it can bring such joy, and you can feel like you’ve escaped for a few days?

Some things that made our trip more personal are the following:

Although the place was spotless clean, it was nice to bring my essential oils, candles, and self-care items.

What is something you’ve been wanting to work on that brings you great joy? Bring it along. I was able to read, write, and make my apple pie.

Parish loves to cook with his cast iron pan. He brought the pan along, and we cooked many of our meals within this iron pan.

Bring the spices that you truly enjoy. When we cooked we had our favorite spices to make it feel like home.

Although the bed was very comfortable, we took their suggestion and brought our own pillows and a blanket.

You have to buy firewood there. They give you one bundle at check in. You cannot bring wood from your home. They sell it for four dollars a bundle. Make sure you get 2 to 3 packs for the weekend if you want to keep a fire going.

They do not have Internet access there. You will need your personal hotspot. We enjoyed the lack of television and technology, however there were times we needed to check email, watch a movie as well as listen to music. We also brought our own Bluetooth speaker.

Just a little too much fun… Love me some Mick Jagger…

Because we had so much fun, we’ve decided to visit another state park in our local area for New Year’s Eve!

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