Spend Three Days In Three Canyons On This Weekend Road Trip In West Virginia
Canyons are defined by rivers that wind their way down from mountains. And since West Virginia is filled with both mountains and rivers, it follows that it should be filled with canyons as well. Beautiful, rugged, wild canyons that will take your breath away each and every time you see them. We’ve chosen three among many to feature here, and each is well worth an entire day spent exploring the scenic views and diverse attractions they have to offer. Three canyons in three days – now that’s a West Virginia weekend road trip we can’t wait to add to the calendar!
The first stop on this West Virginia canyon tour is the best known: the New River Gorge. Made famous by its National Park status as well as such iconic offerings as the New River Gorge Bridge, the New River Gorge features adventure resorts, waterfalls, a bridge walk, some of the best hiking in America, scenic overlooks, abandoned ghost towns, train rides, and more.
New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia, USA
It's likely you've been here before, but even if so, there's room to visit again and again.
First time visitors should start at the Canyon Rim Visitors Center on U.S. Route 19 right by the New River Gorge Bridge. Inside, relax on a rocker near the canyon-view picture windows. Then climb down to the scenic overlook and, once done admiring the bridge view, turn the other direction and admire the gorge itself. If you're feeling adventurous, try the bridge walk.
Looking for more ways to experience this canyon that's one of the prettiest in America? Try the Endless Wall Trail, named one of the best hikes in America. Visit Grandview for another huge view of the gorge. Take a scenic riverfront drive to Sandstone Falls. Ride the Amtrak to the nearly abandoned town of Thurmond.
For overnight options, try something as fancy as ACE Adventure Resort or Adventures on the Gorge Resort, or as simple as a free National Park primitive campground.
It'll be hard to tear yourself away from the New River Gorge area (try a stop at Hawks Nest State Park for a final beautiful view)...
... but you'll want to when you realize that the next stop is Cooper's Rock State Forest and the Cheat River Canyon.
Coopers Rock, West Virginia 26542, USA
Start at the main overlook, a giant boulder offering an easily accessible view of the Cheat Canyon. Then tackle the two-mile hike to Raven Rock for another scenic vista of the same. The forest is also home to the Henry Clay Iron Furnace as well as multiple other trails good for hiking in summer and cross country skiing in winter.
If you have some spare time, head over to the nearby Cheat Lake for dinner on the water.
Finish off the three day journey with a third beautiful West Virginia Canyon: the one that cradles the Blackwater River.
Blackwater Canyon Trail, Thomas, WV, USA
Stay at the Blackwater State Park Lodge and make sure to see both Blackwater and Elakala Falls while you're there, as well as the view of the Blackwater Canyon from the Pendleton Overlook or Lindy Point Overlook.
If time permits, continue to enjoy the Blackwater Canyon with a hike past Albert Falls to Douglas Falls in nearby Thomas, West Virginia.
There you have it! Three West Virginia canyons in three days. What a great way to spend a long weekend in Almost Heaven, West Virginia!
Have you visited the
New River Gorge, Blackwater Canyon, or Cheat Canyon before? Catch all three in one fell swoop; here’s the route.
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