Blackwater Falls State Park Is The Single Best State Park In West Virginia And It's Just Waiting To Be Explored
With beautiful waterfalls, tranquil woodlands, stunning canyons, intriguing rock formations, and miles of hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, sledding, and boating, it’s little wonder that Blackwater Falls State Park was named West Virginia’s best state park by Travel + Leisure.
High in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, the 2,300-acre Blackwater Falls State Park is one of the most photographed places in the state - and for good reason. The Blackwater River has carved some amazing features out of the rock, starting with the 57-foot Blackwater Falls at the head of the gorge.
Framed by spruce and hemlock forest, this waterfall, one of the state’s highest, offers a unique magnificence every changing season.
The park, river, and falls derive their name from the amber hue of the water, which comes from the tannins of the surrounding hemlock and spruce tree needles.
The boardwalk from the trading post takes you down over 200 steps to several different viewing points for the falls. At the closest and final observation deck, you can feel the cool spray on your face.
Alternatively, you can see a great view of the falls from the opposite side of the river, via the smooth paved Gentle Trail.
Downstream of the falls, the Blackwater River cuts through a beautiful wooded gorge that provides more amazing photo opportunities. Several trails, including Lindy Point, Pace Point, and Pendleton Overlook, offer excellent views down the canyon.
There are many other striking features of the park. Elakala Trail takes you past the Elakala Falls, another scenic waterfall cascading down the south side of the gorge. On the Balanced Rock Trail, the distinctive sandstone rocks are on full display in a uniquely shaped stack of boulders.
Many other trails criss-cross the park, several of them offering mountain bike access. In addition, Lake Pendleton offers boat rentals, swimming, and fishing, along with a picnic and recreational area and a small nature center. A remarkable old stone arch once used for a railway spans one end of the lake.
As if these summer activities were not enough, the park offers a special set of winter attractions. At almost 3,000 feet of elevation, the Blackwater Falls are often frozen over in winter, and the falls and snow-covered forests form a white wonderland. Rent cross-country skis or snowshoes and tackle the snowy trails.
Best of all, skim down the famous quarter-mile sled run - one of the longest and fastest in the country - and then hop aboard the magic carpet conveyor to take you back to the top. The ski center is complete with a fire ring, hot chocolate, and s’mores kits, making it a magical adventure for the whole family.
With such year-round adventure, Blackwater Falls State Park earns its accolades as the top among all West Virginia’s beautiful parks. But, in our opinion at least, Babcock State Park is a close second! Or maybe Beartown. Or perhaps Cass. Or… you get the picture. They’re all amazing!
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Blackwater Falls State Park, 1584 Blackwater Lodge Rd, Davis, WV 26260, USA