Wardensville

Antique stores, art galleries and even a craft brewery dot the streets of this small town. Lodging options in the area range from rustic cabins and campgrounds to romantic bed and breakfasts. Just a short drive away, Lost River State Park and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests offer an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor recreation. Wardensville is more than you’d hope to find in this Potomac Highland town.

Dining

Lost River Brewing Company offers a full restaurant menu to accompany several varieties of craft beer brewed on the property. Wardensville Garden Market is a hub for fresh produce and baked goods, culinary and agriculture classes and live entertainment. The nearby Lost River Grill serves up comfort foods like meatloaf, hand-cut steaks and famous cream pies. Star Mercantile has been many things throughout the years – a dry goods store, a bank, a poolhall – but today, it serves as the community gathering place for good old-fashioned home cooking. This place is famous for their broaster chicken so make sure to dig in. 

Entertainment

For live bluegrass music, check out the Capon Crossing Farm’s Bluegrass in the Barn celebration. Once a month, local musicians delight guests with live music in a restored 100-year-old barn. Cover charge is $15 for four hours of music with food and snacks. The town’s annual Wardensville Fall Festival is a fun event as well. Over 100 vendors pack into the festival grounds and events include a car show, a parade and live music. 

Shopping

Lost River Trading Post bills itself as a “modern mountain general store” where guests can shop for everything from craft beer to kayaks. The front of the store offers an eclectic café with West Virginia made goods, craft beer and wine, while the back half of the shop is an antique and art gallery. You’ll find everything from local foods and organic items to American (and often Appalachian) made glassware, jewelry, pottery, art prints and handsewn items. 

Recreation

Outdoor recreation can be found nearly anywhere in this remote Potomac Highlands area. Warden Lake is a 44-acre impoundment regularly stocked with trout. The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests offer hundreds of miles of hiking trails, camping, hunting and fishing. Lost River State Park in nearby Mathias has an abundance of outdoor recreation. Hike to the breathtaking Cranny Crow Overlook where you can enjoy the park from 3,200 feet. Wardensville Wildlife Management Area consists of 55,327 acres with hunting and fishing opportunities.

History

The town of Wardensville dates to the mid-1700s and the French and Indian War, when hostilities between English settlers and Native Americans led to the construction of several fortified outposts including Fort Warden at Trout Run on the Cacapon River. Years later Trout Run was renamed Wardensville after William Warden who built the fort. Today you can find several pre-Civil War era historic buildings in Wardensville, including the Cline Blacksmith Shop/Town Jail and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

Stay

Capon Springs and Farms in nearby Capon Springs is a full-service family resort with amenities including golf, spa services, a spring-fed swimming pool and game courts. The Lost River State Park also offers comfortable lodging and amenities. Stay in a variety of cabin types or sleep outside with nature at a campsite. Just minutes from the park you’ll find the Guesthouse at Lost River, a peaceful 18-room resort with on-site fine dining. 

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