Meadowood Park and Soccer Complex
In or around the year 1977 the Nature Conservancy purchased a large tract of land in Tornado, WV including the eight acre Pettigrew Lake. Eventually the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission purchased the land and turned a large swath of it into Meadowood Park and Soccer Complex.
Backstory and Context
According to the book Tornado Remembers: Upper Falls of Coal River 1788-1988, the Nature Conservancy Organization purchased a large tract of land including the Pettigrew Lake on the east side of the Coal River in Tornado in or around 1977. The land stretched along Smith Creek Road to Thomas Hollow Road and all the way to Pleasant Hill Church, encompassing 742 acres.
The Kanawha County Parks and Recreation purchased the property and eventually turned the land into Meadowood Park and Soccer Complex. The park is across the river and associated with Big Bend Golf Course which the county also owns.
According to the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Website, Meadowood Park is 90 acres. The park includes two public boat launch sites on the Coal River Water Trail, five walking and handicapped trails, Pettigrew Lake (an eight-acre fishing lake), soccer fields, a portage trail around the falls for boaters, and canoe and kayak rentals through Coal River Kayak. The Mountaineer Remote Control flying club has a field at Meadowood.
Also, the park is home of the Coal River Group (CRG). The CRG is a non-profit group that is dedicated to cleaning up of and the historic preservation of the Coal River watershed. Meadowood Park is home to the Coal River Group Science & Education Center.
Pettigrew Lake is an integral part of the park. According to the CRG’s website, the lake was constructed in the 1950s when the land was still a farm owned by the Pettigrew family. However, at one time, the dam holding the water into the lake had failed and the lake had gone dry. With moneys and time donated by the CRG and other groups, the lake was restored and improved in 2011. It now has a handicapped fishing pier and hiking trails.