HikingIf you’re looking to disconnect and reconnect with nature, West Virginia is the place for you. Filled with rolling mountains and low river valleys, West Virginia’s landscape is carved with family-friendly hikes, backcountry trails and everything in between. What do all trails in West Virginia have in common? Scenic vista views that will leave you breathless. Find the path to where you belong, right here in Almost Heaven.
Begin your hiking adventure by checking in at Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area. The 2.6-mile out-and-back trail leads to the top of Seneca Rocks and is actually easier than you’d think. While it may be a bit of a climb, this well-maintained trail has switchbacks to reduce its steepness, and there are benches along the way where hikers can rest. The 900-foot rock formation (a popular climbing destination) oversees the North Fork River and surrounding valley. And while you’re in the area, take the time to drive to the top of Spruce Knob, the highest point in the state. An observation tower just beyond the parking area offers breathtaking views atop the 4,863-foot Spruce Mountain.
Rise early and head to Blackwater Falls State Park for an 8-mile hike that connects you to neighboring Canaan Valley Resort State Park. Along the hike, you’ll wind your way through groves of red spruce, eastern hemlock and dense rhododendron thickets. Wear sturdy shoes because the trail is rocky and wet in some places. The trail takes an average of four hours to walk, but the time spent in West Virginia backcountry is well worth the trek.
Start your final day by exploring Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, home to a unique ecosystem and the largest area of bogs, or acidic wetlands, in West Virginia. These sphagnum bogs are similar to what you’d see in the Arctic tundra. An accessible boardwalk guides visitor through a landscape of red spruce, yellow birch, hemlocks and more than 60 unique plant species, including wild orchids and carnivorous plants. You might spot signs of wild animals, including black bear, northern flying squirrel, American bald eagle, red fox and white-tailed deer. Take a break from your day of hiking to learn more about this unique ecosystem at Cranberry Mountain Nature Center.
6 mountain hikes… that aren’t really hikes
Take a break from your go-to trail classics and hop on one of these hikes that are— well, not actually a hike. Trek on these ...Read More
10 iconic overlooks in West Virginia that will WOW you
What makes a view scenic? Is it the layers of purple mountains blending into the horizon? Acres of rolling green farmland? A river winding t...Read More
11 glorious wildflower trails in West Virginia
The return of spring and summer brings out the color in West Virginia wildflowers and flowering trees. Pair a wildflower hike with a picnic ...Read More