Mountwood Park is a county park located 12 miles east of Parkersburg, West Virginia on US Route 50. The park contains over 50 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, campgrounds, a 50 acre lake, and wooded picnic areas. The park opened in the early 1980’s and has served the surrounding communities and counties with outdoor recreational activities and events for over thirty years.
The land that Mountwood Park is located on has a rich and significant history to West Virginians and to the oil and gas industry. In the late 1800’s, the third oil field in the United States was discovered in Volcano, West Virginia, an oil boomtown that once stood where Mountwood Park stands today. When the news spread that there was fortune to be found in Volcano, people fled to the area to buy land.
Soon after the discovery of oil, plumes of smoke rose from the trees and the hills were spotted with wooden oil rigs. The population of Volcano grew to approximately 5,000 people; saloons, bowling alleys, and opera houses became popular attractions. Not only was Volcano a central point of interest for entertainment but it was also the birthplace of a new oil pump system called the endless cable system-a series of wheels, belts, and cables going up and down hills to pump oil.
Volcano, West Virginia came to an abrupt end in 1879 when a fire burnt the town to the ground. Mountwood Park proudly celebrates the history of Volcano at the annual festival in the last week of September called Volcano Days.
Jeremy Cross- Wood County Parks Director
John Hyde- Maintenance Supervisor, Chris Hines- Maintenance Worker
Lorrie Arthur- Park Attendant
Cecelia ( Ruthie) Davis- Campground Host