Fairy Stone State Park is located near Hillsville on route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive) in Patrick County, Virginia.
The park derives it’s name from the fabled “fairystones” that are found not far from the parks entrance. The stones are actually bits of “staurolite” that naturally take the form of a cross. The name “staurolite”is derived from the Greek, “stauros” for cross and “lithos” for stone.
In addition, these crosses (sometimes called “Gnome Stones”) are known as good luck charms. It is said that Presidents Roosevelt and Wilson, Charles Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, and many crowned heads of Europe wore or carried fairy stones. Appalachian Mountain people wear fairy stones to protect them from accidents and illness.
May the charms of the Fairy Stone make you blessed
Through the days of labor and nights of rest
Where ever you stay, where ever you go.
May the beautiful Flowers of the good Fairies grow.
Visitors to the park are allowed to hunt for staurolite crystals behind Haynes 57 Service Station on park property. The fairystones are best found after a hard rain. The rain washes away the soil and reveals the fairystones right on top of the ground. To find them, look in the soil to find little pebbles with flat barrel-shaped sides that look hexagonal.
THE LEGEND OF THE FAIRYSTONES
Because the fairy stones are shaped like crosses, stories relating to Christianity have been linked to them. One tale tells that two thousand years ago as the fairies, naiads and wood nymphs were dancing and playing near the water, an elfin messenger arrived with the news of the death of Christ. When the members of this ancient race of mountain fairies heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept. As their tears fell upon the earth, they crystallized to form beautiful crosses which remain today as mementos of the event.
Another more recent story about the origins of the fairystones relate to the struggles of the Native American Indians. In this tale, the “staurolite” or “fairy crosses” are the crystalized tears of the Cherokee, who wept over the loss of their homeland during the exodus on the “Trail of Tears”.
MORE ABOUT THE PARK
Besides hunting for Fairy Stones, the Fairy Stone State Park is well known for its 168-acre lake in the center of the park adjoining Philpott Reservoir just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Other attractions include cabins, a campground, group camping, a conference center, a newly renovated lodge, 16 miles of groomed hiking trails, beach swimming, rowboats, canoes, paddle boats, hydro-bikes, picnicking and two playgrounds, including one in the water. The park is open all year.
Fairy Stone State Park, its lakes and many structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression of the 1930s. It opened to the public on June 15, 1936. The park’s 4,868 acres of land were donated in 1933 by Junius B. Fishburn, the former owner of The Roanoke Times. Fairy Stone State Park is the largest of the original six state parks.
Directions: From I-77 near Hillsville, take Route 58 East to Route 8 North to Route 57 East to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive).
Fairy Stone State Park
967 Fairystone Lake Drive
Stuart, VA 24171
Fairy Stone State Park (Website)