West Virginia State Outdoors

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State Parks
Camping and Hiking
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West Virginia State Parks

Audra State Park
People who love the outdoors will not be disappointed. The gorgeous woodlands surrounding Middle Fork River provide the perfect setting for both hiking and picnicking. Alum Cave also boasts beautiful scenery. The most breathtaking view can be seen while walking the boardwalk built along the cave's overhanging ledge. Swimming is allowed in the Middle Fork River. Although it is not an Olympic-sized pool, it is majestic nonetheless since Mother Nature carved it out of the earth. History buffs can entertain themselves with the history of the park. The spillway of a gristmill which was used in the early 1900s can still be seen today. For information call: (304)457-1162


Cedar Creek State Park
Diverse recreational opportunities at Cedar Creek offer something to please every member of the family. A variety of lawn games and game courts including miniature golf, tennis, basketball, volleyball, croquet and a softball field are offered for a modest fee. Always a popular feature, the park swimming pool is open 11 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Anglers will find a series of seasonally stocked fishing ponds that offer trout in late winter and early spring, while bass and catfish may be caught year-round. During the summer, Cedar Creek itself provides good muskie fishing. Paddleboats can be rented for a leisurely trek around the largest of the ponds as well. Traversing the park's oak and poplar forests are 14 miles of trails that offer a range of hiking experiences from leisurely to challenging. Additionally, the trails provide an excellent opportunity to observe the park's abundant wildlife, including deer, turkey, geese, squirrels, rabbits and groundhogs. Conveniently scattered throughout the park are picnic sites, as well as two covered shelters. These may be reserved; otherwise, they are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are invited to participate in the park's nature/recreational programming from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Popular supervised activities include nature hikes, hayrides, campfire circles, volleyball and other sports competitions, craft workshops and movies. A weekly events schedule is available at the campground check-in station. For information call: (304)462-7158


Blackwater Falls State Park
Spring wildflowers, the multi-colored panoramas of fall and the deep snows of winter have made the Blackwater Falls area popular year-round. Artists, hikers, fishermen, photographers, skiers and golfers frequent the area to pursue their favorite outdoor activities. (Golf and downhill skiing are offered at nearby Canaan Valley Resort State Park.) Pendleton Lake is open during the summer for swimming and boating. Tennis courts, a volleyball court and the nature center are also located adjacent to the lake. Guests may participate in the park's year-round nature and recreation program through guided hikes, slide shows, movies, craft workshops and special events. Riding stables offer guided tours and pony rides for children on a seasonal basis. Some of West Virginia's heaviest snowfalls occur in the Blackwater Falls region, and the park takes every opportunity to provide an exciting mix of wintertime activities. The Blackwater Nordic Center offers cross-country ski instruction, equipment, rentals, backcountry guides and a full-service, cross-country ski shop. Over 35 km of trails meander through the park's unspoiled alpine scenery. These trails range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate. The eight-mile Blackwater-Canaan Trail provides the more adventurous skier with a challenging excursion. Anyone using this trail is urged to contact the park office or Nordic Center for details. Guests also may enjoy the toboggan run which features a rope tow and warming hut. For information call: (304)259-5216


Tygart Lake State Park
In addition to the various water-oriented activities, Tygart Lake offers game courts, playgrounds, hiking and nearby golf course. A picnic shelter is available and may be reserved in advance. Park guests may also participate in the seasonal nature/ recreational program which features such activities as nature films and hikes, campfires and athletes events. For information call: (304)265-3383


North Bend State Park
Recreational opportunities abound at North Bend. In sight of the lodge are the tennis courts and the popular miniature golf course. Hiking trails connect the lodge to the swimming pool, encircle picnic areas and playgrounds with game courts and lead to points of natural interest. An excellent paved "hiking" trail for the physically impaired called "The Extra Mile" completes the recreation area. The season for the pool and most recreational facilities is from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day; however, a recreational/nature program provides guests with optional nature films, hikes, campfires and athletic events year-round. The park is situated along the recently developed North Bend Rail Trail. Stretching 72 miles, this scenic trail passes several quaint towns, through 12 tunnels and over 32 bridges on its way, affording exciting new hiking, biking and equestrian opportunities. For information call: (304)643-2931


Camping and Hiking in West Virginia

Coopers Rock State Forest
All hiking trails and roads may be used for cross-country skiing. Blaze orange clothing is strongly recommended for hiking during hunting season (October-February). Select the proper clothing and footwear according to weather conditions. Hiking boots and rain gear are strongly recommended for all seasons of the year. Scott Run Trail - 2 1/2 miles. Yellow Blaze. A moderately steep hiking trail beginning near the forest entrance parking area and ending at the McCollum camping area. Approximate walking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes. Raven Rock Trail - 2 miles. Red Blaze. This trail, which begins at the forest entrance road and ends at the spectacular Raven Rock overlook, is moderately steep and takes approximately one hour to hike. Clay Run Trail - 2 1/2 miles. Blue Blaze. View the historic Henry Clay Iron Furnace at the end of this moderate hiking trail. The trail begins across the road from the McCollum camping area entrance. Plan on spending about 1 hour and 15 minutes hiking this trail. Clay Furnace Trail - 1 mile. Red Blaze. This trail is a fairly level grade, however, it does have a few steep sections. Beginning at the furnace parking area, the trail ends at the Henry Clay Iron Furnace. Approximate walking time: 40 minutes. Rock City Trail - 1 mile. Red Blaze. An easy to moderate trail that runs from picnic shelter #3 to Rock City. Approximate walking time: 40 minutes. Ridge Trail - 2 1/2 miles. Yellow Blaze. The ridge trail starts at the Rock City shelter, follows a moderate grade for 2 1/2 miles and connects with the Mont Chateau Trail. Approximate walking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes. Rhododendron Trail - 1 1/2 miles. Orange Blaze. This trail, which starts at the lower picnic area and ends at the Henry Clay Iron Furnace, is a perfect place to see our state flower, the rhododendron. The trail is moderately steep and requires about 45 minutes to hike. Goodspeed Highway Trail - 2 1/2 miles. This trail begins at the Quarry Run Road and leads to Chestnut Ridge Camp. Approximate walking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes. Johnson Hollow Trail - 5 miles. A moderate to steep hiking trail that connects the Goodspeed Highway Trail with Quarry Run Road. Approximate walking time: 2 1/2 hours. Darnell Hollow Trail - 4 miles. This moderate to steep hiking trail begins near the Calvary Church on Fairchance Road and ends at Chestnut Ridge Camp. Approximate walking time: 2 hours. Glade Run Trail - 1 1/2 miles. Beginning at the left of Sand Springs Road and ending at Messinger Lake, this trail is moderately steep and will take about 45 minutes to hike. Ken's Run Trail - 4 1/2 miles. A moderate hiking trail running from the old Sand Springs homestead and ending at the archery range parking lot. Approximate walking time: 2 hours and 15 minutes. For information call: (304)594-1561


Cathedral State Park
Cathedral State Park consists of 133 acres, located on Route 50, in Preston County in Northeastern, West Virginia. The region is hilly to mountainous, but the park is located on rather gently sloping ground with an elevation varying from 2460 to 2620 feet. Over 170 species of vascular flora have been catalogued; to include 9 species of fern, 3 club moss, over 30 tree species (17 broad leaf) and over 50 species of wildflowers. Well marked Cathedral Trail begins at the lower parking lot and winds through the park, circling back to the same entrance. Interesting side trails branch off and return to Cathedral Trail allowing visitors an opportunity to see much of the 133 acres of the park. Nothing has been done to alter the environment along the trails, except for directional signs and seven rustic bridges crossing Rhine Creek, which winds through the park. For guests who would like to linger, the park has a picnic area, with charcoal grills and a playground. There is also a picnic shelter in case of inclement weather. For information call: (304)735-3771


Watoga State Park
Watoga boasts two separate, complete campgrounds. The Beaver Creek Campground is a 38-unit facility located eight miles south of Huntersville, near the park's east entrance, while the Riverside Campground offers 50 sites located along the picturesque Greenbrier River near the west entrance of the park. Both campgrounds provide sites for tent and trailer camping, picnic tables, charcoal grills and central bathhouses with toilet facilities, hot showers and coin-operated washers and dryers. The Riverside area features electric hookups at 19 sites, while the Beaver Creek campground offers 12 sites with electricity. Beaver Creek Campground opens the Thursday prior to Memorial day and closes on November 1st. Riverside Campground opens on April 1st and closes immediately following deer rifle season in early December. Only one tent or trailer is allowed per site, and check-out time is noon. For information call: (304)799-4087


Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park
Other facilities at the park include 34 campsites fully equipped with electricity, water and sewage hookups. An activity shelter, playground, restrooms and bathhouse are available exclusively for the use of the campground guests. Firewood will also be offered for sale in the campground area. The camping season begins on April 1 and continues through mid-December. For information call: (304)269-0523


Kanawha State Forest
Overnight visitors enjoy the forest's 46-site, fully-equipped camping area. The campground is served by a bathhouse with coin-operated laundry facilities, and all sites have fireplaces and picnic tables. In addition, 25 sites feature electricity and water hookups. Firewood is available. The campground is open from mid-April to early November (weather permitting). Only one tent or trailer is allowed per site, and check-out time is 12 noon. For information call: (304)558-3500


Hunting and Fishing in West Virginia

Bluestone State Park
Being located adjacent to the nearly 2,000-acre Bluestone Lake, water-related activities are accented at the park. The lake provides excellent fishing for bluegill, large and smallmouth bass, hybrid bass, crappie and catfish. Boating and water-skiing round out the lake activities. Canoes and boats may be rented at the marina. For information call: (304)466-2805


Moncove Lake State Park
The hunting area has been slightly changed due to Moncove's new status as a state park. Hunting is still allowed on the 500-acres of land which is used for wildlife management. Please keep in mind that while in the state park all guns, bows and broadheads must be in an approved case. The area is managed for small game, however, deer and wild turkey abound. Ducks can be hunted during the regular migratory hunting season. For information call: (304)772-3450


Cabwaylingo State Forest
Hunting and Fishing -- Permitted on the forest. A West Virginia hunting and/or fishing licenses are required, which may be obtained from the forest office. Campground -- Standard sites for camping are provided. These have tent pads, fireplaces, firewood, drinking water, table, toilet facilities and showers. For information call: (304)385-4255


Greenbrier State Forest
Hunting and Fishing. In season, hunting is permitted on the forest. The nearby Greenbrier River affords fly fishing opportunities. West Virginia state hunting/fishing licenses are required. For information call: (304)536-1944


Seneca State Forest
Hunting- Properly licensed individuals are welcome to hunt in the forest in-season. A 500 foot no hunting zone surrounds all forest facilities. Fishing - Seneca Lake is stocked with trout in the spring and fall. The nearby Greenbrier River offers the angler many species of fish including smallmouth and rock bass (license required). It is also seasonally suitable for canoeing and innertubing. For information call: (304)799-6213


Other West Virginia Outdoor activities

West Virginia also offers the following outdoor activities:
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Caving
  • Climbing
  • Golf
  • Horseback Riding
  • White Water Rafting