West Virginia November 29, 2017
7 Hidden Attractions Locals Keep To Themselves In West Virginia
West Virginia is a beautiful state with more than enough views to enjoy and trails to follow. Perhaps that’s why they are certain places that some people prefer not to mention. These are just a few places that you won’t necessarily find unless you know they exist in the first place. But once you discover them, try not to tell everyone you see – part of their charm is their relative obscurity.
1. Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory
Although very popular with birdwatchers, this observatory dishes up beautiful views of Monroe County. Situated on the summit of Peters Mountain, this spot puts you right along the the southern migratory path of raptors (birds of prey) such as falcons and eagles, so the optimal time to view their passage is in autumn.
2. Kaymoor Trail
This trail is a part of a network of trails adjacent to Fayetteville and the New River Gorge Bridge. It leads through lush woods to the old Kaymoor Mine, which was abandoned in 1963. Several exhibits lie along the path, as do the sites of the coal processing plant and the coke ovens. The descent from the primary mine site is a winding wooden path comprised of 821 intermittent steps. The trail is rated as difficult but should present no significant challenge to seasoned hikers.
3. Tygart Valley Falls
A lot of people may not yet be aware that whitewater rafting and paddling is available at Tygart Valley Falls, but both are now offered for intermediate and seasoned rafters. The falls are located at Tygart Lake State Park near Grafton.
4. Cheat River Water Trail
This trail is intended for non-electrical boats, such as rafts, paddles and canoes - basically anything human powered. The water trail has nine access points that follow a path through Monongahela National Forest. Aside from several restaurants and businesses along the way, the trail also offers several attractions, hiking trails and historic sites. Additionally, the river has a companion road on land, adjacent to the river itself, if you prefer air conditioning and listening to the radio while you enjoy nature.
5. Hawks Nest Rail Trail
When locals decide to go for a hike in Hawks Nest State Park, most of them choose this trail. The two mile rail trail runs adjacent to Mill Creek and winds its way from the nature center near the banks of the New River to the town of Ansted. At two separate points, the path becomes a wooden trestle walkway, offering an elevated view of the surrounding woods. Several portions of the path run along the creek and pass its scenic waterfall.
6. Lake Sherwood
Lake Sherwood, located in Monongahela National Park, is a nice getaway for the entire family. However, it is more than just a lake. It offers a campground, four hiking trails, boating, fishing and swimming.
7. Elk Springs Resort
This resort is truly a hidden gem. The beautiful refuge sits on the banks of the Elk River and offers fly fishing for seasoned fishermen or lessons for novices. The resort offers the largest fly shop in West Virginia, a 6,000 square foot lodge with six rooms, fourteen charming cabins in several sizes, studio units and a restaurant.
Of course, this is only a sample of hidden places you can find in West Virginia. Not all of them have a facebook page or even a name, but they are out there, waiting to be discovered by someone who can appreciate their majesty.
Have you been to any of the places on this list? Do you know of some that are not on this list? Either way, feel free to leave a comment below.
To learn more about West Virginia, take a look at
this hidden botanical garden in Morgantown.