Each admission-free state park presents a fresh perspective on West Virginia’s abundant good nature and storied past. And if hiking, biking, fishing, boating, snowboarding– whew!– and spa treatments aren’t enough, you can always go jump in a lake.
Distinct personalities of neighboring Canaan Valley Resort and Blackwater Falls State Park double the opportunities to play your way year ’round. Hit the links on a 4-star golf course, stroll the boardwalk to a crashing 60-foot waterfall or try out a new tubing park that complements affordable family skiing. In the state’s Eastern Panhandle, Cacapon Resort State Park also boasts championship golf, along with clay trap shooting, horseback riding and a renovated lodge. At the more rustic lakeside Watoga State Park near Marlinton, naturalist programs acquaint guests with flora and fauna spotted on wooded hiking and biking trails.
Tranquil water views from Stonewall Resort’s lakefront lodge and cottages set the mood for boating, stand-up paddleboarding or relaxing on an excursion cruise. Personalized Arnold Palmer Signature golf and spa packages offer stress-free getaways for couples. At Berkeley Springs State Park, follow a Roman bath in warm mineral waters– considered curative by Native Americans and frequent guest George Washington– with a Swedish massage. Or step back in time at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, where a vintage steam locomotive ride can be paired with an overnight stay in a restored company house.
Frontier times come to life at Fairmont’s Prickett’s Fort State Park, a re-created refuge fort where interpreters in period costume demonstrate colonial crafts and trades, from weaving to blacksmithing. Board the sternwheeler ferry in Parkersburg to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park for a more refined view of the past. Once on the island, tour the elegant reconstructed mansion and take a horse-drawn carriage ride through lush woods. Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, which hosts periodic reenactments of the Civil War conflict that helped West Virginia gain statehood, features a museum, hiking trails and stunning overlooks of the Gauley River near Summersville.
Earn VIPP passport stamps for each WV State Park you visit. Log your miles with the State Park Hiking Program, and you can earn rewards and shields for reaching milestones or completing special seasonal hikes.