Tasty Tuesday - Cool Springs Park

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ROWLESBURG, W.Va. (WDTV) -- You won't find too many pitstops on a road trip that will keep you there for hours.

Cool Springs Park in Preston County has been entertaining and feeding families for 70 years. (WDTV Photo)

But Cool Springs Park in Rowlesburg is more than a pitstop. It's a destination.

After winding through the mountains on Route 50 in Preston Couty, you'll come across the family-owned-and-operated restaurant, general store, and park that's been here for 70 years.

Edward Harlan Castle opened Cool Springs Park in 1949.

His mission here was simple.

"He wanted everybody to come here and be able to enjoy everything," said his grandaughter Saleena Sharp. "So, he made sure we have a little bit of everything. You don't have to go anywhere else. You and your family can come here. What drove my nanny and grandpap still inspires all of us kids."

Their motto, after all, is "We have it, can get it, or it isn't made."

Castle passed away in October 2018 at age 92, but his family keeps his tradition alive.

All four generations of the family - from his wife Mary, 88, to the newest generation of the family, who is just a year and a half old.

Sharp first came to Cool Springs Park when she was five days old. She's among the dozens of family members who have stuck with the family business.

"We try to stay very involved with our customers," Sharp said. "Not just for business, but because we literally do care."

As for the outside, you'll find dozens of antique tractors and trains, all collected by Castle over the last several decades. Kids are free to explore the trains and pretend to drive the tractors.

You'll also spot a variety of animals including the family dog, donkeys and an alpaca named Sparky.

Don't forget the albino peacock or turkey, who roam amongst other animals you'll come across.

"They're like our family pets, but people claim them as their own," Sharp said.

Plus, the park is completely free.

You can head back inside for the famous foot-long hot dogs, or enjoy homemade options from soup, sausage gravy and chili sauce. Even the mashed potatoes are made from scratch. The staff personally peels and cuts them daily.

The beef for the burgers comes from the family's cattle farm. The staff also prepares them fresh in-house.

But during this fall season, a drink sets them apart.

The family picks out apples and works together at the cider press on-site to make their own apple cider. It's sold here by the gallon or glass

This description of Cool Springs Park barely scratches the surface of what it has to offer.

"You can make a day of it here," Sharp said.