Blossoming rhododendrons. Cheerful buttercups. Fragrant bluebells. Wildflowers are part of what makes West Virginia so heavenly. Get lost on a trail and roam the natural wilderness of Almost Heaven this summer. 

Canaan Valley Resort State Park – The high plateau of Canaan Valley Resort State Park makes for a wide variety of mountain wildflowers. Blackwater River Trail, a 1-mile loop, is a wide and open wetland, great for viewing wildflowers like blue vervain and swamp milkweed. Nearby towns of Thomas and Davis offer unique eateries and breweries to quench your thirst after your hike.

Grandview  Grandview, known for a spectacular overlook of the New River’s horseshoe bend, is also home to blooming rhododendrons. Take a 2-mile hike on the Little Laurel Trail to view a great diversity of wildflowers.

Dolly Sods Wilderness – In the Dolly Sods Wilderness, late spring is an ideal time to find a variety of wildflowers like the wild bleeding heart that grows along Big Oaks Trail. You’ll also find thimbleweed, fireweed and turk’s cap lily (commonly known as tiger lily). 

Kanawha State Forest – Located just outside of the capitol’s bustling streets is Kanawha State Forest. Here, explore 25 miles of trails with diverse wildlife, like Wild Sweet William and Jack in the Pulpit. You might even see flowering Pawpaw trees.

Audra State Park – Audra State Park is best known for the Alum Creek and Cave Trail. The 2.7-mile trail offers amazing scenery, from the unique Alum Cave to ripping waters of the Middle Fork River. But hikers love this trail best in the summer, when they walk through a shady tunnel of blooming rhododendron.

WVU Core Arboretum – To really become one with nature, check out WVU’s Core Arboretum. It’s an outdoor facility dedicated to the study and enjoyment of plants, animals and natural processes. With over 80 species of native West Virginia trees and more than 250 native West Virginia herbaceous plants, you’re bound to find beautiful wildflowers that call Almost Heaven home. 

Are you ready to find a trail? Remember to leave no trace as you explore the mountain wilderness. 

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