Whether you are looking for a rugged camping trip sleeping under the stars or a more laid-back adventure renting a cabin or lodge, West Virginia parks have something for every type of nature-lover to enjoy the great outdoors.
Miles of mountain trails provide ample opportunity for biking, hiking, and geocaching. Lakeside parks have boat rentals for kayaking and canoeing.
1. Audra State Park
Those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life can get away from it all by spending some time at Audra State Park, West Virginia.
Situated in southwestern Barbour County and covering parts of Upshur County, West Virginia, Audra State Park surrounds visitors with woodlands and natural beauty. Crisp, clean water flows down the Middle Fork River, a tributary of the Tygart Valley River.
Hikers can explore the rock cliff of the Alum Cave.
A day at Audra means ample opportunity for outdoors activities like hiking and family picnics. The park also allows campers to stay overnight and sleep underneath the stars.
8397 Audra Park Road, Buckhannon, WV, Phone: 304-457-1162
2. Babcock State Park
Nestled in Clifftop, West Virginia, Babcock State Park spans 4,127 acres. The attraction has no shortage of outdoor activities, especially for the adventurous. Thrill-seekers can spend the day whitewater rafting and zip lining. Babcock State Park has 13 cabins along Glade Creek available for rent which come fully-equipped with a kitchen, shower, and bathroom. Guests can also set up tents, RVs, or campers at the 52-unit campground. Outdoorsmen can enjoy a day of fishing or hunting. Trails give hikers a chance to explore the park, view wildlife, and take in the fresh air. The park also has two geocache sites for scavenger hunting adventures.
486 Babcock Road, Clifftop, WV, Phone: 304-438-3004
3. Beartown State Park
Beartown State Park sits below the eastern summit of Droop Mountain in West Virginia’s Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties. Guests come to explore the unique rock formations, caves, and boulders. Jutting cliffs give picturesque views of the surrounding landscape. The half-mile long boardwalk provides an easy stroll while enjoying the park’s natural beauty. Beartown also offers geocaching activities for families and nature-lovers to spend time scavenger hunting outdoors. Although the park remains open for day-use only, visitors can camp out or rent cabins at the Seneca State Forest or Watoga State Park. The Civil War’s last major battle site, Droop Mountain, is also nearby.
Beartown Road, Renick, WV, Phone: 304-799-4087
4. Berkeley Springs State Park
Since the colonial period, residents of the area visited Berkeley Springs to benefit from its natural, hot mineral springs. Warm spring water stays at an average temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Today, Berkeley Springs State Park hosts a range of spa activities. Guests can enjoy the natural surroundings in between getting a message, visiting the saunas, or relaxing in a Roman bathhouse. The bathhouse has a free museum on the second floor featuring displays of historical artifacts. Berkeley Springs also has a swimming pool filled entirely with natural spring water. Nearby, golfers can tee off at the Cacapon Resort State Park’s championship course.
2 South Washington Street, Berkeley Springs, WV, Phone: 304-258-9147
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5. Blackwater Falls State Park
Blackwater Falls State Park sits alongside the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, West Virginia. Tannic acids from hemlock and red spruce needles create deep amber hues in the Blackwater Falls. The waterfall descends 57 feet, and visitors can admire Blackwater from numerous viewing platforms. The park hosts plenty of outdoor sporting such as fishing, hiking, and swimming. The park stays open all year long, and during the winter months, guests can go sledding and cross-country skiing while marveling at the fresh mountain snowfall. In the warming hut, visitors can rent snowshoes and toboggans or thaw out with a full menu of hot drinks.
1584 Blackwater Lodge Road, Davis, WV, Phone: 304-259-5216
6. Bluestone State Park
Located in Hinton, West Virginia, Bluestone State Park provides a lakeside getaway with breathtaking views of the wilderness. As the state’s largest park, Bluestone offers it all for nature lovers. Recreational activities in the lake include boating, fishing, and swimming. Adrenaline junkies can opt for more adventurous options like rock climbing, white water rafting, aerial tours, and mountain biking. Bluestone welcomes guests to stay overnight at one of four campgrounds. 32 of the sites accommodate RVs and tents with electric and water hookups available and a central bathhouse. Golfers can tee off at one of two courses at the nearby Pipestem Resort State Park.
78 HC, Hinton, WV, Phone: 304-466-2805
7. Cacapon Resort State Park
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Cacapon Resort State Park covers 6,000 acres of woodlands offering nature lovers a chance to escape to the great outdoors. The highest peak in eastern West Virginia overlooks the park. The adjacent lake provides ample water activities, from daytime trout fishing to overnight fishing trips. Sportsmen come to hunt for deer, turkey, squirrel, and grouse. Geocaching give guests a chance to explore the park in search of buried treasure. The resort organizes horseback and pony riding out on the trails. Mountain bikers of all levels can get their thrills on varied terrains with expansive wilderness views.
818 Cacapon Lodge Drive, Berkeley Springs, WV, Phone: 304-258-1022
8. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park transports visitors back to a time when people relied on steam-driven locomotives to get around. Railroad enthusiasts and history buffs will love the remaining 11-mile railroad track and preserved lumbering town of Cass. It’s all aboard, and visitors can enjoy a scenic train road overlooking the third highest peak in West Virginia. The free museum includes guided tours and displays explaining the engineering and maintenance of historic locomotives. One of the last major Civil War battles took place at the nearby Droop Mountain Battlefield. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park also has places for hiking, fishing, boating, golfing, and hunting.
242 Main Street, Cass, WV, Phone: 304-456-4300
9. Cedar Creek State Park
Located in central West Virginia not far from Glenville, Cedar Creek State Park offers a picturesque place to enjoy the great outdoors. History buffs can explore a few gems like Job’s Temple, one of the state’s oldest churches dating back to 1861. The Bulltown Historic Area offers history reenactments complete with staff dressed in period clothing. Visitors can also explore the history center, Civil War trenches, and graves. Outdoor adventures abound at Cedar Creek, and nature lovers can spend the day boating hiking, swimming, and golfing. The campground has 65 sites with running water and electric hookups. Campers can purchase firewood and ice at the site center.
2947 Cedar Creek Road, Glenville, WV, Phone: 304-462-7158
10. Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
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The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal takes guests back in time revealing the history of the region and the country’s early methods of transportation. Built in 1831, The C&O Canal, nicknamed “The Grand Old Ditch”, operated here for over 100 years transporting coal, lumber, and produce from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal has become a National Historical Park. Guests can come to learn about transportation history as well as enjoy the surrounding natural beauty of the region. The Billy Goat Trail gives impressive views of the Potomac River. Meanwhile, guests can also view Great Falls or enjoy a boat ride.
205 West Potomac Street, Williamsport, MD, Phone: 301-582-0813
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11. Chief Logan State Park
Located in Logan, West Virginia, Chief Logan State Park spans 4,000 acres of the state’s southern coalfields. Although the park has plenty to do outdoors during the warmer months, it has become especially famous for its yearly “Christmas in the Park” event in which guests can drive-thru to view holiday light arrangements. Chief Logan State Park has 600 miles of property allowing ATV-riders to take the quads out for a day of exploring. During hunting season, sportsmen can come to hunt for deer, grouse, turkeys, and waterfowl. The campground accommodates 40 units in total, but only 26 have full water, electric, and sewage hookups.
376 Little Buffalo Creek Road, Logan, WV, Phone: 304-792-7125
12. Coopers Rock State Forest
Just 13 miles from Morgantown, West Virginia sits Coopers Rock State Forest. This state park has exceptional views of the surrounding landscape during all times of the year. 50 miles of trails give hikers a chance to explore the primarily untouched woodlands. The Henry Clay Iron Furnace Trail features a large stone iron production facility dating back to the 1800s. The Cheat River gives a chance for enjoying rafting trips along the water. The nearby Big Sandy and Coopers Rock Lakes have ample opportunities for trout fishing. Coopers Rock campground contains 25 sites with electrical hookups. Campers enjoy amenities like a shared bathhouse and running water.
61 County Line Drive, Bruceton, WV, Phone: 304-594-1561
13. Gauley River
Thrill-seekers can’t pass up a visit to Gauley River, one of the state’s best locations for white water rafting. Gauley River runs 25 miles in addition to the 6-mile long Meadow River. A boat trip provides breathtaking views of the terrain with picturesque gorges and valleys. Along the way, visitors can spot local wildlife like white-tailed deer, view rare plant species, and admire the woodlands of oak, beech, hemlock, and dogwood. Vigorous Class V+ rapids make this an excellent choice for the adventurous. Confederate and Union forces clashed at the nearby Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park in 1861.
Gauley River National Recreation Area, Glen Jean, WV, Phone: 304-465-0246
14. Harpers Ferry
Situated at the intersection of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, Harpers Ferry offers a mixture of history and nature in a quaint mountain village. This charming, small town in the lower Shenandoah Valley takes its name from the Robert Harper, a man who used to run a ferry there in the 18th century. During the Civil War, it became the northernmost post controlled by the Confederate army. The lower portion of Harpers Ferry forms part of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Visitors can come to enjoy hiking and biking trails. The historical Harpers Ferry contains museums, shops, and eateries beside the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
171 Shoreline Drive, Harpers Ferry, WV, Phone: 304-535-6029
15. Hawks Nest State Park
Spanning 270 acres across Fayette County, Hawks Nest State Park provides an adventure-seekers dream filled with rafting, jet boat rides, and hiking. The New River Gorge National River’s vigorous rapids make this the most difficult place for white water rafting in the country. An aerial tramway and platforms give outstanding views of the surrounding woodlands and river. Nature lovers looking for a quiet respite can also enjoy the nature museum to learn about local wildlife. The Hawks Nest Lodge contains 31 hotel rooms and accommodates events and conferences. The nearby Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park in Summersville contains a Civil War battlefield with reenactments.
49 Hawks Nest Road, Ansted, WV, Phone: 304-658-5212
16. Holly River State Park
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Trickling brooks and bubbling rapids flow down the Holly River at this West Virginia State Park situated in Hacker Valley. The park covers over 8,000 acres of dense woodlands giving visitors a chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Wildflowers and ferns flourish adding color and floral scents to the mountain air. Holly River State Park sponsors geocaching activities for guests to try their luck navigating the woods in search of buried treasure. The campground includes 88 sites equipped with electrical hookups, a picnic table, and grill. Campers can also wash up at the bathhouses or use the clothes washing machines.
680 State Park Road, Hacker Valley, WV, Phone: 304-493-6353
17. Kanawha State Forest
Whether visiting in the fall to view autumnal reds and yellows or looking for a summer camping trip, Kanawha State Forest has outdoor adventures for all ages throughout the year. Located in Charleston, West Virginia, Kanawha State Forest has lots of activities including a shooting range, children’s playgrounds, and over 25 miles of designated biking trails. Sportsmen can come to shoot various game in hunting zones during in season. The two-acre Ellison Pond gives fisherman a chance to catch trout, bass, and bluegill. The West Virginia State Capitol Complex displays artwork. At the Capitol Market, local farmers and artisans sell fresh produce, homemade treats, and handmade crafts.
7500 Kanawha State Forest Drive, Charleston, WV, Phone: 304-558-3500
18. Lost River State Park
Lost River State Park contains an abundance of woodlands in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. The peaceful park spans 3,712 acres giving nature-lovers a place for quiet and solitude. The Cranny Crow ledge juts out from the Blue Ridge Mountains for outstanding views of five West Virginia counties. The park has 13 miles of hiking trails that lead to the Cranny Crow overlook. Forest trails also provide a place for horseback riding with picturesque mountain views. Campsites offer basic accommodations with no potable water available. However, sites do come with campfire rings, picnic tables, and latrines. A second campsite does have public bathrooms and showers.
321 Park Drive, Mathias, WV, Phone: 304-897-5372
19. National Coal Heritage Area
© National Coal Heritage Area
History-buffs should add the National Coal Heritage Area to their list of vacation destinations. The 5,300 square mile park sits in southern West Virginia in Oak Hill. The ancient mountains had an abundance of coal deposits which later drove the coal mining industry to the region. Coal mining thrived starting in the 1840s throughout the New River, Winding Gulf and Flat Top-Pocahontas fields. Today, the government promotes historical tourism to the area. Mining towns remain preserved, and guests can come to learn about local culture heavily influenced by the immigrant coal miners who worked in the region.
100 Kelly Avenue, Oak Hill, WV, Phone: 304-465-3720
20. Pipestem Resort State Park
The 4,050-acre Pipestem Resort State Park represents one of the state’s most popular, family-friendly camping destinations. Known as a great area for trout fishing, Pipestem Resort State Park regularly stocks the local Longbranch Lake and Bluestone River with fish. On aerial adventures, guests zipline above the treeline for unique views of the woodlands below. White water rafting provides an exhilarating experience out on Bluestone River. The lake provides a chance for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Kids can play and cool off at the splash park. During the winter months, Pipestem Resort makes a perfect location for cross-country skiing and sledding.
3405 Pipestem Drive, Pipestem, WV, Phone: 304-466-1800
21. Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park
Nature lovers can escape to the hills of West Virginia at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park. The lake provides a fisherman’s paradise for catching muskellunge, crappie, and bass. 13 miles of hiking trails give picturesque views of the lake and surrounding woodlands. Sportsmen have the opportunity to hunt for deer, waterfowl, and turkey at Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA. The resort’s marina lets guests rent boats, slips, kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards. Not far away, golfers can tee-off at the Arnold Palmer Signature Course. For the less experienced, the park also has an indoor miniature golf course.
149 State Park Trail, Roanoke, WV, Phone: 304-269-0523
22. Tomlinson Run State Park
Situated along the Ohio River, Tomlinson Run State Park represents one of West Virginia’s most popular parks. Tomlinson boasts a range of recreational activities, whether looking to relax in the mountains or enjoy an active vacation. Park facilities include courts for playing basketball and volleyball. Mini-golf courses provide an afternoon of fun for the whole family. History-lovers can check out West Virginia’s Independence Hall with exhibits, a restored courtroom, and displays of battle flags and other artifacts. Nearby, the Oglebay Resort in Wheeling offers horseback and pony riding lessons. Tomlinson Run State Park has 55 campsides as well as yurts and cabins available for rent.
28728 Wolf Picnic Area Dr, Bay Village, OH 44140, Phone: 216-635-3200
23. Twin Falls Resort State Park
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Throughout the year, Twin Falls Resort State Park has nature activities for all ages. During the winter months, the Winterplace Ski Area hosts skiing and sledding with equipment for rent. Guests can warm their bones in the cafe sipping hot chocolate after hitting the slopes. When the weather warms up, Twin Falls has 12 different trails for hiking and biking. The park also has an 18-hole golf course with packages for every season. Hatfield-McCoy Trails invites visitors to bring their ATVs and head out on the trails for different experience levels. The Beckley Exhibit Coal Mine runs guided tours underground in a former coal mine.
WV-97, Mullens, WV, Phone: 304-294-4000
24. Valley Falls State Park
Valley Falls State Park combines nature adventures with a bit of history. The park covers 1,145 acres that once served as a lumber and grist mill community. Pricketts’s Fort State Park invites history-buffs, hosting costumed actors, workshops, and tours recreating the former 18th century society. Those who love to fish can enjoy a peaceful day out on the Tygart Valley River. Valley Falls hosts geocaching for those who want to seek buried treasure in a technological scavenger hunt. An expansive 18 miles of trails wind throughout the park giving scenic views of waterfalls and woodlands. As a day-use park only, Valley Falls does not have campsites available.
720 Valley Falls Road, Fairmont, WV, Phone: 304-367-2719
25. Wheeling National Heritage Area
© Wheeling National Heritage Area
A visit to Wheeling National Heritage Area gives tourists an opportunity to explore historical Victorian buildings, walk along the waterfront of the Ohio River, indulge in a delicious meal, or spend the afternoon doing a bit of shopping. The city is home to the West Virginia Independeance Hall, the location of the state’s birthplace during the Civil War. Located at the base of the Appalachian Mountains, Wheeling started out as a British settlement before becoming the state’s first capital. Although, much of the industry and population dwindled after World War II, it remains a popular place for tourists.
1400 Main Street, Wheeling, WV, Phone: 304-232-3087
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