GENERAL INFO: Home of the legendary fairy stones, Fairy Stone is well-known for its 168-acre lake adjoining Philpott Reservoir. The park is just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Attractions include cabins, a campground, group camping, a conference center, hiking trails, lake swimming, rowboats, canoes, paddle boats, kayaks, picnicking and two playgrounds, including one in the water.
The Legend of the Fairy Stone: Many hundreds of years before Chief Powhatan’s 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. Andrew’s 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.
Park Size: 4,639 acres, 168-acre lake adjoining the Philpott Reservoir
Weather: Click here to visit the Weather Channel's site for this zip code.
AT-A-GLANCE: The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Click on those of interest or read below for more detail. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or click here to view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.
From I-81 near Roanoke, take Route 581 to Route 220 South to Route 57 West to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive).
From I-77 near Hillsville, take Route 58 East to Route 8 North to Route 57 East to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive).
From Greensboro, take Route 220 North to Route 220 North bypass at Martinsville, then Route 57 West to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive).
From Richmond, take Route 360 West to Route 58 West to Route 220 North Bypass at Martinsville to Route 57 West to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive)
Its address is 967 Fairystone Lake Drive, Stuart, VA 24171-9588; Latitude, 36.792468. Longitude, -80.116840.
Drive Time : Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., six hours (from Washington, DC); Richmond, four hours; Tidewater/ Norfolk/Virginia Beach, five hours; Roanoke, one hour
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES: Cabins, camping and group camping. For information on availability of overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees.
Click here for details on reservation cancellation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for overnight stays.
Visit a Flickr photoset of typical cabins and lodges at the park. Cabins and lodges vary. Dwellings may not match what's shown in the photos.
Cabins and Lodge (for information on the Fayerdale Hall Conference Facility, see special offerings)
Weekly rentals start Friday, Saturday or Sunday
Fairy Stone Lodge
Total sites of each type: 1-room log efficiency, 3; 1-bedroom log waterview, 1; 2-bedroom log, 3; 2-bedroom log waterview, 2; 2-bedroom cinderbock, cedar-sided, 14; 2-bedroom cinderbock, cedar-sided waterview, 2; Fairy Stone Lodge, 1.
1-room log efficiency - One-room log cabin, sleeps two (allows three), one double bed. A bed may be rented, but space is very limited.
1-bedroom log waterview - One bedroom log waterfront cabin, sleeps two (allows four), one double bed
2-bedroom log - two bedroom log cabin, sleeps four (allows six), one double bed, two singles
2-bedroom log waterview - two bedroom log water view cabin, sleeps four (allows six), one double bed, two singles
2-bedroom cinderbock, cedar-sided - two bedroom cedar-sided (cinderblock), sleeps four (allows six), one double bed, two singles
2-bedroom cinderbock, cedar-sided waterview - two bedroom cedar-sided waterview (cinderblock), sleeps four (allows six), one double bed, two singles
Fairy Stone Lodge - five bedrooms, three baths, sleeps 16, universally accessible, two queen size beds, six sets of bunk beds
Total cabins: 25 cabins, one lodge
Camping: Campsites have a fire ring that can be used for campfires and cooking. Two vehicles plus the camping unit are allowed per campsite, and all vehicles must be kept on the paved area of the campsite. Additional parking is approximately a half mile from the campground area and parking fees are charged. Dogs are welcome but there is an overnight fee. Keep pets on a leash no longer than 6 feet when not in an enclosed area. Dogs must be attended at all times. Dog owners are expected to clean up after their pets and dispose of their waste in appropriate receptacles.
Total sites: Yellow, 42; Green, 8; GrpTent, 6
Yellow sites, up to 30' RVs, pop-ups, tents; have sandy tent pad
Green sites, no tents; up to 30' RVs or pop-ups only; doesn't have a sandy tent pad
Yellow and Green sites: All sites listed above have electric and water hook-ups, no sewer. There are 12' by 14' sandy tent pads on Yellow sites only (tents must fit on pads); no tents are permitted on Green sites. All equipment and vehicles must be on the pavement and sandy tent pad at all times. This includes tents, trailers, vehicles, dining flies and other equipment. All sites are shaded. No sewer hookups, but there is a dump station.
Note: Upon arrival, the customer checks in at the park office and is given a camp post site card printed on paper of the given color. The customer then goes to the campground, and selects and sets up on a site with a site post marker of the same color.
Groups with members wishing to have sites near each other have several options. A member of the group may arrive early and stake other members' campsites, or the guest may call the park, (276) 930-2424, within a week before arrival to make arrangements. We cannot guarantee that group members' sites will be together.
Group Camp: Must rent at least three sites to qualify (GrpTent 01-06 Sites). All standard tent sites; no hookups; tents only. Must fit tent on 16' x 16' pad. Each has a grill, picnic table and lantern holder.
Equestrian Camp: Electric-water sites. Sites can hold a camping unit up to 50 feet long. No tents are allowed. Sites accept 20, 30 and 50-amp current. One vehicle and the camping unit are allowed on each site. All sites are graveled pull-through sites and have no shade. All equipment and the vehicle must be kept on the gravel area at all times. Pit toilets only. There is a common campfire area with three picnic tables and a fire-ring at each end of the campground. All sites and the lower common area are ADA-accessible. Individual sites don't have picnic tables and fire-rings. The equestrian campground is 1.25 miles from the main recreational area and the group campground. Campers may use the group campground for showers between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Equestrian campground has no dump station. Campers may use the dump station in the main campground but should be advised the road to the main campground is hilly with sharp curves. Proof of negative Coggins test is required. Horses must remain in stalls while not being ridden. Non-horse campers may camp here if a site has not been reserved within 30 days before the desired date. Check-in is 4 p.m. and check-out is 3 p.m. Only overnight guests are allowed in the park after 10 p.m. A fee is charged per dog per night, and they must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet when not in an enclosed area.
Camping Lodge (bunkhouse): Check-in is 3 p.m., check-out is 10 a.m. The camping lodge is available for rent April 1 through Oct. 31. Unlike most facilities, we reserve this lodge beginning January 1 rather than 11 months in advance. The transfer deadline and cancellation and pet fees are the same as those for cabins.
SWIMMING: Lake swimming - Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day only. The swimming beach is complete with a bathhouse, concession area and beach toys. Times of operation may vary prior to mid-June and after mid-August depending on the availability of lifeguards, as the park uses mostly students. Guests may wish to call Fairy Stone prior to making reservation if swimming is important. Click here for park fees. In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests in campsites, cabins and the lodge. Swimming cannot be guaranteed, however, should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be closed. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.
TRAILS: Most of the park's Little Mountain Trail System, 10 miles, is multi-use. Multi-use trails are open to hiking, cycling and horseback riding. The remaining trails, parts of the Little Mountain system and all of the Stuart's Knob system, are for pedestrian use only.
Visit the Explore Virginia Outdoors website for enhanced maps and video tours of Fairy Stone's trails.
WILDLIFE: Virginia State Parks are great places to discover and reconnect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don't disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at Fairy Stone.
View all wildlife encounter photos from Fairy Stone.
FISHING, BOATING: The 168-acre Fairystone Lake is great for family fishing. Only electric motors are allowed on the lake. Ample pan fish are just waiting to be caught, so it’s the perfect place to teach the kids fishing skills. For more serious anglers, the lake offers some good largemouth bass. Just up the road is Philpott Reservoir, which offers good largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing. It’s also a good lake for walleye.
Fishing is allowed with a valid Virginia fishing license. Fishing licenses are sold in the park office. A fishing area is accessible to visitors with physical disabilities.
A boat launch ramp is available. The use of gas-powered motors is prohibited on Fairy Stone Lake, but electric trolling motors are allowed. Boats with gasoline engines can be used at the Philpott Reservoir, 20 minutes from the park. Rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks and canoes can be rented during the summer season.
Boats may be rented on weekends, weather permitting, in April, May, September and October.
HUNTING: Hunting is allowed only in designated areas. About half the park's land is open to hunting. Hunting is never allowed near the public facilities - i.e., the beach, cabins and campground. Adjacent to the park is the 5,000-acre Fairystone Farms Wildlife Management Area. Visit the Virginia Deparment of Game and Inland Fisheries website for more information on hunting.
HORSES: Although no horses are rented here, they are allowed on the park's multi-use trails, and the park has an area designated for horse trailers. See the camping section above for information about overnight horse facilities here. State law requires that visitors carry a copy of a negative Coggins report with each horse brought to the park.
EVENTS: Click here to view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP: The visitor center houses exhibits on local history, mountain culture, indigenous plants and animals, and fairy stones. Hours vary according to the time of year and availability of interpretive staff. At the park office, guests will find a gift shop with unique gifts, camping supplies and fairy stones. The shop is open daily May through October from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has longer hours during summer.
NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS: Click here to view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs. Guided nature and history hikes, bluegrass music, guided fairy stone hunts, handicraft and other activities are offered Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hikes, guided fairy stone hunts and kids' activities are also offered on weekends during spring and fall. For special arrangements for adult groups, school groups and outreach programs, call the park at (276) 930-2424.
Field trips for school groups and others: Our parks are great places to learn about nature, the environment and history. That's why we offer hands-on learning opportunities regarding those topics for school groups and other interested groups. Click here to download a short brochure that covers Fairy Stone's list of available programs. The new Piedmont edition of Your Backyard Classrooms, an SOL-based curriculum, and implementation guidelines for the curriculum, are also available. Call (276) 930-2424 for details.
Click here to view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER: None.
NEARBY ATTRACTIONS: Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill, Wood Brothers Racing Museum, Chateau Morrisette Winery, Primland Resort, Virginia Museum of Natural History, Philpott Lake, Reynolds Homestead, J. E. B. Stuart's birthplace, the Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail, Floyd Country Store, Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College, Martinsville Speedway, Bob White Covered Bridge, Jack's Creek Covered Bridge, Virginia Heritage Music Trail
Local Festivals: Floyd Fest, Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Hot Fun Beach Music Festival, Virginia Peach Festival.
Contact the Chamber of Commerce for Patrick County at (276) 694-6012 for details.
PICNIC SHELTERS: Picnic shelters are available for rent by calling the Reservation Center at 1-800-933-PARK. When not reserved, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking and swimming fees are not included in shelter rental. Click here for park fees.
Fairy Stone State Park Picnic Shelters
Four shelters are available for rent. They can be rented from 8 a.m. to dark.
Per car parking fee: Standard car parking fee.
Cancellation policy: There's a cancellation fee, and no refunds are given within 14 days of the reservation date.
Shelter 1: Accommodates 75 people under the shelter. No restrooms; portable toilet only. Overlooks the lake, but there is no flat area for games. Features lights, a large grill and a fireplace at each end of the shelter. No electrical outlets available.
Shelter 2: Accommodates 75 people under the shelter. Restroom is approximately 500 ft from shelter. Large parking area and level area for games. Features electrical outlets, a large grill, lights and a fireplace in each end of shelter.
Shelter 3: Allied Block Shelter. Accommodates 75 people under the shelter. universally accessible. Creek runs in front of shelter. Horseshoe pit nearby, but guests must bring their own horseshoes. Features electrical outlets, lights, a large grill and universally accessible bathrooms.
Shelter 4: Allied Pole Shelter. Accommodates 75 people under the shelter. universally accessible. No bathroom in this shelter, but adjacent shelter (#3) has universally accessible bathrooms. Creek runs in front of shelter; horseshoe pit in area, but guests must bring their own horseshoes. Features electrical outlets, lights and a large grill.
Beach shelters (2): These shelters are available only on a first-come, first-served basis. Each accommodates up to 30 and has no electricity, lighting or grills.
Fayerdale Hall Conference Center - To reserve, call 1-800-933-7275. This is a day-use facility. There are separate discount packages available, one for the weekend (Friday through Sunday) and another for weekdays (Monday through Thursday). Be sure to consider cleanup time when you rent the hall because the hall must be vacated by midnight. If you'd rather clean up and remove equipment at your leisure the next day, you'll want to rent the hall for an extra day.
Reservations must be paid in full within 14 days of the date the reservation is made. Cancellations can be made up until 14 days prior to the start of the reservation for a 10 percent cancellation fee or $100, whichever is less. Within 14 days prior to the first day of the reservation period, a 30 percent cancellation fee is charged.
Weekends (Friday - Sunday)
Weekdays (Monday - Thursday)
CONCESSIONS: Operating from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The snack bar offers short-order foods, drinks, candy and ice cream as well as beach supplies, gifts and souvenirs. Fairy Stone has no food service outside of these dates, but gifts and souvenirs are sold in the gift shop year-round Monday through Friday and every day from May through October. WiFi is available outside the concession building and at the lower beach parking area.
LAUNDRY: East of the park, Stanleytown has laundry facilities as does Stuart, which lies west of Fairy Stone.
RESTAURANT: None. This park has a snack bar in season.
HISTORY: In the late 1920s various groups across the commonwealth began working towards the establishment of state parks in Virginia. It wasn't until 1933, however, with the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that the state was able to begin building such a system. At that time, six areas were acquired, including Fairy Stone. Roanoke newspaper publisher Julius B. Fishburn donated the 4,639-acre site, making it the largest of the six original parks and one of the largest to this day.
The CCC provided the labor and materials for the construction of the park from 1933 until the CCC camp was removed in the spring of 1941. Roads, trails, picnic areas, cabins, a restaurant, bathhouse, dam and sanitation system are all part of the original CCC construction. Their handiwork is still evident in the park's log cabins.
Master plans must be written for parks before they're built.
The plans are updated at least once every five years thereafter.
The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources.
Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan.
Click here (PDF) for this park's master plan.
Contact Info: Fairy Stone State Park, 967 Fairystone Lake Drive, Stuart, VA 24171-9588; Phone: (276) 930-2424; Email: fairystone. Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email resvs. Be sure to specify the park of interest.