Ever wonder what it might have been like to bathe with Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"? Well, you've got the image of our local Berkeley Spring State Park, which offers the ambience of a state mental hospital, circa 1958.
I first came to Berkeley Springs as a child in 1962. I can tell you the place ... has ... not ... changed ... since then, except for some minor cosmetic improvements in the main bath house (the pipes were rusting away) and the switching of the men's and women's sides of the bath house (West Virginia is still sex-segregated). It still maintains a distinct "institutional" atmosphere, right down to the bilious yellow and green tiles, cast-off grade school lockers, depressing interior lighting, and general shabby trappings throughout.
Sad, because improvements have been promised for years ... but they never appear. We've been hearing that renovation is "on the way" for at least the past decade. My most recent visit in March 2009 elicited the same response -- "yeah, the State's thinking about doing something." Unforgivable in a state with a budget that's a bit better off than most at the moment ... and a state that prides itself on its state park system. They can find the money here to build golf courses and lodges at other state parks, but fix the plumbing and lighting at Berkeley Springs? You're all wet!