Trails and Hikes
West Virginia’s wilderness is a sight to behold. Rolling mountains and hills. Vibrant colors. Unique plant and wildlife. The Mountain state is home to trails fit for hikers of any experience across all nine travel regions. Consider one of these iconic hikes on your next trip through Almost Heaven.
New River & Greenbrier Valley
Without a doubt, one of the most recognizable locations in the state is the New River Gorge. Within minutes of the iconic New River Gorge Bridge, travelers can access numerous trails such as the Long Point Trail, Kaymoor Miners Trail and the Endless Wall Trail – which was awarded the USA Today Reader’s Choice Award for Best National Park Hike. The trails are easy to moderate in difficulty, and they all offer some of the most beautiful scenic views in the state. The New River Gorge Canyon Rim Visitor Center features a boardwalk for more incredible views of the gorge.
Hatfield McCoy Mountains
While the Hatfield McCoy Mountains are known primarily for their phenomenal ATV trails, the rolling hills of the southern coal fields are home to some great hiking trails as well. Panther State Forest is West Virginia’s southernmost State Forest and is home to 7,810 acres of land. Along with hiking, the park is great for camping, fishing and swimming as well.
Unique history. Breathtaking views. A special story to tell. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park is considered by many to be one of the best walking parks in the United States. Take a walk through history and learn about how John Brown’s Raid helped spark the beginning of the Civil War. Beautiful views of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers along with the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains make Harpers Ferry National Historic Park a destination you do not want to miss.
Located roughly seven miles outside the capital city of Charleston, Kanawha State Forest is home to 9,300 acres of land, diverse plant life and bird populations, and an extensive network of hiking and biking trails. After exploring the park and working up an appetite, make a visit to one of the many local, charming restaurants in South Hills or downtown Charleston.
Amidst the rolling hills of the Mid-Ohio Valley lies North Bend State Park and some of the best hiking in the region. The park is open year-round and offers hiking with incredible views, fishing, diverse wildlife and the famous, 72-mile North Bend Rail trail, which follows an abandoned B&O Railroad corridor.
Coopers Rock State Forest sits just 13 miles outside of Morgantown and is easily accessible within just a few minutes of Interstate 68. The forest features several hiking trails that give visitors access to many overlooks of the Cheat River Canyon. There are also several historical sights, boulders and cliffs along the hikes in the park.
In the far northern reaches of the Northern Panhandle, visitors will find Tomlinson Run State Park. The park is the northernmost park in the state and is located roughly 40 minutes from Pittsburgh International Airport. The park is home to several hiking trails that cut through heavily forested hills and along overhanging cliffs. Fishing, biking, miniature golf, swimming, basketball, volleyball, camping and so much more can also be found at Tomlinson Run State Park.
Audra State Park offers some of the finest hiking and outdoor recreation in the Mountain Lakes of West Virginia. The park is heavily wooded and is bisected by the scenic Middle Fork River. One of the top trails of the park is the Alum Creek and Cave Trail. The park also offers biking, boating, camping, fishing, geocaching and swimming.
The Potomac Highlands stretch across much of eastern West Virginia and span through much of the Monongahela National Forest’s vast mountains and hills. Because of this, the Potomac Highlands is a haven for hikers of all experience. Dolly Sods Wilderness offers some of the most diverse backcountry trails, while Spruce Knob offers hiking along the ridge of the highest point in the entire state. Seneca Rocks features a well-maintained switchback trail to reach its pinnacle, and Blackwater Falls is home to several trails that give visitors phenomenal views of the Blackwater Canyon and iconic falls throughout the park.
No matter where you are in the state, you’re not far from incredible outdoor adventure. Hike – or bike – your way through the Mountain State and discover your version of Almost Heaven.