5 best places to hang your hammock
Hammocks are a great way to relax and enjoy nature’s wonder.
Lay back and enjoy the sounds, sights and smells of the Appalachian woods as you drift in and out of a nice midday nap.
Here are some of the best, most scenic and adventurous places to hike to and hang your hammock in the mountains. West Virginia has no shortage!
Remember your hammock etiquette:
- A hammock at an awesome overlook may seem like a great idea, but if you hang it up at a popular area, it might take away from others’ nature experience.
- Never hang your hammock across trails.
- And always use big, flat webbing straps to attach to trees. Narrow cords can cut into the bark and cause damage.
Because it’s close to the happening town of Morgantown, Coopers Rock State Forest has several developed trails through the beauty of its forest and cliffs. The park’s main overlook of the scenic Cheat River canyon has heavy traffic, with paved trails and guardrails— not exactly the most relaxing spot to stretch out in your hammock!
But if you take the 1.5 mile hike to Raven’s Rock, you’ll get equally spectacular views, with plenty of craggy little spots to hang your hammock, gaze up at the tree branches and relax.
2. Beauty Mountain, New River Gorge
We can’t have a list of scenic power spots in West Virginia without including our own iconic version of the Grand Canyon— the New River Gorge. But the Gorge’s most popular viewpoints like Long Point or Diamond Point along the Endless Wall trail are heavily visited, and don’t have a lot of spots that are good for spreading out your hammock.
For a more laid-back, less crowded spot with equally awesome views and spots to relax, check out the aptly-named Beauty Mountain overlook, where you’ll find a series of beautiful overlooks: intimate gardens of pines, rhododendrons and boulders, all clustered along the rim of a 1000-foot gorge. You won’t be disappointed!
3. Meadow-Gauley River Confluence
This is a truly beautiful spot, along one of America’s most iconic whitewater rivers. Once you’ve hiked down the 4×4 road to the point where the smaller Meadow River meets the larger Gauley, you’ll be rewarded with large sandbars, river rocks and the ominous roar of Lost Paddle Rapid just downstream.
Fish, swim, relax— this is a great place for it all. There’s even a cool old railroad tunnel just upstream along the Meadow to explore!
Getting there can be confusing, and it is always best to check in at the local outdoor outfitters or visitor centers to ask about current access conditions.
4. Cranberry Glades
The Cranberry Wilderness is one of the largest roadless areas east of the Mississippi. It’s famed for its bogs and glades with astonishing biodiversity and ecological importance.
While bogs might not sound all too appealing as a place to hang your hammock, never fear– a hike to the Cranberry River will not disappoint you.
Hiking along the Kennison Mountain Trail, about 6 miles to a series of beautiful wooded campsites along the river. It is definitely the most remote of our hammock destinations. You can camp here, or just use it as a relaxing escape for a nap.
5. Greenbrier River Trail
At 78 miles, the Greenbrier River Trail is one of West Virginia’s longest multi-use trails, and it parallels the beautiful Greenbrier River the whole way. There are plenty of picnic and camping spots where you can stop, hang your hammock and listen to the river through a lazy afternoon.
Most folks think the most scenic part of the trail is the northern section from Marlinton to Cass, where there are plenty of nice sandbars and trees down by the river.
Where in the mountains will you hang your hammock?
This post was last updated on July 24, 2020