Head for the Mountains This Memorial Day Weekend

The end of May is what marks the unofficial start to the summer season in West Virginia. From chasing charming waterfalls to pumping your heart on an upbeat hike, Almost Heaven offers numerous ways for you to appreciate the scenery.

This Memorial Day weekend, spend your time in remembrance while making memories with these soulful mountain activities.

Hike the Hills

Nothing encapsulates the Mountain State’s beauty quite like a scenic hike. In the heart of Mountaineer Country, Coopers Rock State Forest is home to more than 50 miles of hiking trails. Enjoy 20-plus hiking trails varying in difficulty, and be sure to take a brief stroll to the scenic overlook for a beautiful view of the Cheat River Gorge. Relax and take a picture with the #AlmostHeaven swing on your way!

In the Potomac Highlands, hike up to 75 miles of spruce-lined trails at Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area. Sitting at 4,863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains and West Virginia. Many of these trails lead you to breathtaking overlooks. If you’re spending time at the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, the three-mile out-and-back Long Point Trail is worth a trek as you approach a stunning view of the New River Gorge Bridge at the end.

Wander the Falls

With more than 200 waterfalls, West Virginia always goes with the flow. In Gauley Bridge, get an up-close view of the 60-foot Cathedral Falls. This stunning waterfall’s sandstone and shale cliffs paint the perfect backdrop for a family picture or a photographer’s new home screen. You’ll enjoy dipping your toes in the surrounding water as well.

Near the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Ansted, Turkey Creek Falls descends through the cliffs and boulders – staggering to create an eight-foot drop. Located in Mason-Dixon Historical Park near Morgantown, the 14-foot Tucker Falls is also worth a look. Follow the banks of Dunkard Creek on Green Trail and cross over to Orange Trail for a combined one-mile walk.

Float

If you’re looking for secluded streams, rushing rivers or relaxing lakes surrounded by lush forests, you will find plenty of those in West Virginia. Head to Summersville Lake State Park in Nicholas County, which is situated on 177 acres on the northern shore of Summersville Lake. This lake, nicknamed “The Little Bahamas of the East,” is the state’s largest and is perfect for flatwater paddling, kayaking, canoeing, swimming and more. Paddle down one of the Coal River Water Trail’s three different branches. Have your pick of the Little Coal, Big Coal or where they meet to make the main branch of the Coal River. Kayak and canoe rentals are available.

Located in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, Tygart Lake State Park is the perfect spot to relax in the water. Just four miles south of Grafton, this area is home to a 10-mile long, 1,750-acre lake. Enjoy boating, water skiing, scuba diving, swimming, kayaking and canoeing while soaking in the majestic backdrop.

Go to the Top

The Mountain State is one of the country’s premier climbing destinations along the East Coast. From beginner trips to advanced multi-pitch climbs West Virginia has around 4,000 climbing routes for various skill levels. Reach for new heights at NRocks in the Potomac Highlands. Enjoy small classes where you will learn all about rock climbing and tips for becoming an avid rock climber. Try the unique hiking-meets-climbing blend on one of only a handful of Via Ferratas in the world. 

Seneca Rocks in the Monongahela National Forest is another good choice to hit some serious altitude. This area is perhaps best known for its multi-pitch trad climbing. Summersville Lake State Park, known for its water recreation, is also famous for boasting some of West Virginia’s most unique climbing experiences.

Pitch a Tent

West Virginia’s vast network of public lands provides pure camping opportunities across the state. Babcock State Park provides perfect, serene camping opportunities. This campground has 52 units, 28 sites with electric hookups (four of which are accessible) and 24 non-electric sites. Firewood and ice can be purchased. Audra State Park in Upshur County hosts 65 campsites for guests to set up camp – with 39 equipped with electricity. This campground is also equipped with two bathhouses with modern facilities and a centrally located playground.

For some of the best camping in Tucker County, head to Blackwater Falls State Park. The campground is home to 65 total tent and trailer sites with electric hookups. The park features a centrally-located bathhouse with hot showers, a laundromat and a dumping station. For the ultimate under-the-stars camping experience, head to Summit Lake in Greenbrier County.

Let the Mountain Memories Find You in #AlmostHeaven

There are plenty of outdoor memories waiting for you to claim as your own this Memorial Day weekend. Request our free West Virginia Vacation Guide to learn more about where to plan your next excursion!

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This post was last updated on May 16, 2024