Go State Park-Hopping in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia
When you find yourself longing for both the beauty and exhilaration of a true adventure, you’ll quickly see that West Virginia is your ideal destination. This summer, you can find a one-of-a-kind adventure by checking off some of Almost Heaven’s state parks and public lands one-by-one. Using this guide, you will discover a region jam-packed with state parks and forests. Here, you’ll trek through the mountains, immerse yourself in lush forests and chase rushing waterfalls. Venture out like a true mountaineer in—you guessed it—Mountaineer Country.
Wide, Sweeping Views
Coopers Rock State Forest
Bruceton Mills, WV
Well-known and well-loved, Coopers Rock State Forest is the perfect place to begin your journey. Trek one of its many hiking trails or scale its sandstone cliffs. You can also navigate its nearby rivers or reel in some great catches at its lake. No matter how you spend your time here, you’ll have impeccable views to accompany your adventure. Miles of lush greenery and a canopy of the deepest blue await you.
Watters Smith Memorial State Park
Lost Creek, WV
After hopping over to Watters Smith Memorial State Park, you’ll soon find that you’ve taken a trip to the past. Here, you can explore what pioneer life was like from 1796 to the early 1900s. After a full day of sightseeing at this 532-acre historical park, unpack your picnic and rest a little while. This spot is a popular birdwatching site, so be on the lookout for wild and wonderful wildlife while you eat.
Tygart Lake State Park
Tygart Lake State Park is a go-to destination for fun in the sun. The park’s 11-mile lake allows for all the best summer activities— swimming, fishing, boating and even scuba diving. While you’re at it, you must also explore the park’s newest addition: Adventure Lake. With twenty-five inflatables and endless summer fun, you’ll definitely have to revisit this state park more than once.
Prickett’s Fort State Park
At Prickett’s Fort State Park, history and beauty meet to create memories for the whole family. Here, you can tour a replica of Prickett’s Fork, a place of refuge dating back to colonial times. You can also attend a historic arts workshop to brush up on your basket weaving and hearth cooking. In addition to West Virginia’s rich history, this park also offers opportunities to explore Almost Heaven’s scenic landscapes. Hike, bike or boat your way around its 188 acres this summer.
Cathedral State Park
This 133-acre park is home to towering trees and an abundance of flora. You can explore this ancient hemlock forest by trekking its six miles of trails. Amidst Cathedral State Park’s unparalleled beauty and mystique, you’ll certainly find many picture-perfect moments. After venturing here a while, head on over to Fairfax Stone State Park for a quick history lesson.
Beyond the Boundary
Fairfax Stone State Park
Fairfax Stone State Park is a must-see for the history buffs in your state park hopping posse. The rocks in this park were placed intentionally in the 1700s to serve as a boundary of the land. Later on, they were also used as the boundary marker between West Virginia and Maryland, making them some of the oldest markers in America.
Valley Falls State Park
If you’re looking to chase waterfalls on these hot summer days, Valley Falls State Park has just the thing for you. This day-use park is home to four picturesque falls created by the dark, rushing waters of the Tygart Valley River. After taking a few shots of these falls, explore by hiking or biking some of the park’s 1,145 acres. Be sure to bring along your fishing pole to catch some muskie and largemouth bass on your way.
With nearly fifty stops to explore, when and where will you begin your state park-hopping adventure in Almost Heaven? Get a free copy of the West Virginia State Parks Interactive Vacation Guide to learn some insider tips before you make your trek.
This post was last updated on April 13, 2022