Cliff view looking out onto the valley

Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is one of nature’s crowning achievements and West Virginia's most visited park. While its 2,358 acres of rugged natural beauty and towering hardwoods certainly don’t lack standout, jaw-dropping, Instagram-worthy features, the iconic Falls themselves are indisputably the park’s crown jewel.

There’s just something thrilling about seeing, hearing and feeling the tannin-stained Blackwater River crash six stories over the falls into the natural pool 62 feet below. The falls provide an entirely different perspective each season—autumn frames the cascade with fiery color, while the cold of winter often leaves it eerily suspended in time. A boardwalk makes it easy to get quite close, though other trails provide different viewpoints with varying difficulty

While the famous falls are certainly aesthetically pleasing and a must-see experience, Blackwater Falls State Park has much to offer outside of Blackwater Falls. A true four-season destination, Blackwater Falls State Park has something to offer for everyone, all year round.

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Outdoor Recreation

Hiking

Blackwater Falls Park offers over 20 miles of hiking trails. Trails range from easy to difficult, so there’s a trail out there for everyone to enjoy! Parking is located a half mile off of Cortland Rd in Canaan Valley. Thanks to the willingness of a private land owner in the first public/private relationship of its kind in Canaan Valley, there is now an access bridge across the headwaters of the Blackwater River, linking the A-Frame road trail system to the Blackwater View Trail. In addition to the new bridge construction, the Blackwater View Trail is also open to bikes, adding substantial miles of access for all in Northern Canaan Valley. Take on the moderate Yellow Birch Trail to experience the unique fern, moss and peat-bottom landscape while you wander through dense hemlock and forest canopy. This 2 mile trail is located across from the Blackwater Falls Lodge and branches out into more trails for more exploratory opportunities. Take a detour onto the Red Spruce trail, which intersects Yellow Birch for an easier journey. You can also access the Canaan Mountain Trail System via Davis Trail.

Biking

Check out the 20 miles of trails throughout Blackwater Falls to find some that are suitable for biking. Spend the day exploring the breathtaking views the area has to offer. Blackwater Falls is a very convenient park to visit and see most all of the sights. In some ways it is a shame folks drive from one overlook to another, and spend little time actually being a part of the park experience. Park in the Town of Davis, Blackwater Falls State Park has a service road that extends all the way into Davis, just on the side of the Blackwater River. If you do not have your own bike, rent one from Blackwater Bikes in Davis, and grab a quality map of Blackwater Falls State Park from the Tucker County information center. Ask Blackwater Bikes about their brand new shuttling service to nearby trailheads to make the experience as convenient as possible. Bring a lunch, water, and camera for a full day of exploring West Virginia’s most popular park by bike.

Canaan Loop

Test the 22.3 mile bike loop trail that takes you all over Canaan Mountain. You can access this trail from Blackwater Falls State Park and if you are feeling adventurous to complete the long loop, you will end up back where you started. Follow paved and graded gravel roads at an elevation of 3,000 feet to experience the Blackwater Canyon and Lindy Point Overlook in the beginning of the ride. Cross over two streams filled with native trout along your way to eventually reach an overview that displays the wondrous forests and bogs of Canaan Valley. Finish your ride speedily as you travel downhill back to the start. Feeling even more adventurous? Canaan Loop is home to 50 miles of the Canaan Mountain Trail System, so after riding the Canaan Loop, experience the rest of the exploratory trail system!

Mountain Trails

From super technical riding on the Yellow Birch Trail, to double-track simplicity on the Red Spruce route, Blackwater Falls State Park has it all.

Fishing

Head down to the Blackwater River or Pendleton Lake to reel in a great catch! The river is stocked with trout throughout the spring and summer. The section of the Blackwater River that runs through the park is a catch and release area. Fishing the Blackwater Canyon is extremely difficult. Proper planning, strong physical abilities, and more than one to a party are highly recommended.

Up river of Blackwater Falls and Pendleton Lake are far more accessible fishing locations within the park. A nice choice between flat water for the first timer, and swift water to hone in those skills. For fishing regulations and stocking dates check with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

On the Water

Paddle Boats, Kayaking, and Stand Up Paddle Boards

Head down to Pendleton Lake to enjoy boating and swimming in the heat of the day! Bring family and friends to the lake to enjoy the weather and get active on the volleyball, tennis and basketball courts available in the summer months!

Camping

Blackwater Falls State Park has a 65-unit tent and trailer campground with individual sites and a centrally located bathhouse with hot showers, Laundromat and a dumping station. A total of 30 sites have electric hookups. Campsite pedestals are 30 amp service. The campground is open from the last weekend in April through October 31 annually with a maximum camping period of two weeks. Reservations are accepted for twenty of Blackwater Falls' campsites from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

For the Kids

Petting Zoo

Bring the kids out to the petting zoo which also offers pony rides and horseback riding which is a joy for the entire family! Take the horses out on the trails so experience the scenic view more vividly as you ride atop of a horse.

It’s an undeniable truth—kids love critters! A couple of perfect places to enjoy some up-close and personal encounters with animals are the Farm Discovery Center at Blackwater Falls State Park and the Barnyard Babies Petting Zoo at Mountain Trail Rides in Davis. Fluffy bunnies, lovable llamas, and other adorable animals are so much fun, kids may not even realize they’re actually learning something too!

Other Recreation

Disc Golf

New 18 hole Disc Golf course at Blackwater Falls State Park.

Nature Center

Curious about the park’s natural and cultural history? Head to the nature center to meet a park naturalist who can offer a variety of programs and group tours to educate you on anything and everything regarding Blackwater Falls.

See and Do

Sightseeing

Waterfalls

Waterfall Bonanza: Blackwater Falls State Park is as much a vertical landscape as it is horizontal. Start with the crowd pleasers Elekala Falls and Blackwater Falls. Want to make this experience an adventurous one, seek out Pendleton Falls and if the water is low enough rock scramble all of Pendleton Run. Next head to Thomas and nearby Douglas Falls, located along the Allegheny Rail Trail in the old coal mining town of Douglas. Continue down river on the rail grade for additional cascading waterfalls on Big Run and its impressive hand-cut stone arch bridge.

Overlooks

Enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding area by visiting the tumbling Blackwater Falls and watching the plunging waters from the viewing platform. Take a short walk from the lodge to Elakala Falls to watch the water cascade down the canyon’s wall or head to Pendleton Falls to view more waterfalls. Check out the most famous views at Lindy Point which showcases 45 acres of pristine mountain views. Want a spectacular view of Blackwater Lodge and Blackwater Canyon? Head to Pendleton Point overlook to enjoy these views of the canyon’s deepest and widest points.

Where to Stay

Lodging

Experience the sweeping views of the forested gorge from one of the 54 guest rooms available at the lodge. Relax at the lodge around the cozy fireplace, or take to the high-energy game room. Blackwater Falls also offers 39 fully furnished cabins for guests, which are situated about one mile from the lodge. Upgrade to one of the 13 deluxe cabins or choose one of the 10 cabins that allow pets! For the more outdoorsy, head to the 65-unit tent and trailer campground with individual sites that offer a centrally located bathhouse, Laundromat, and dumping station. Of those sites, a total of 30 have electric hookups. There are plenty of options and enough space to stay in Blackwater Falls!

Blackwater Falls State Park offers 54 rooms in the lodge, 39 cabins, and a restaurant open year round for guests. The park includes activities such as XC skiing, sledding, hiking, biking, interpretive walks, fishing, boating and more.

For more information, contact 304-259-5216.

Blackwater Falls State Park: 1584 Blackwater Lodge Road (304) 259-5216 http://www.blackwaterfalls.com. Situated in a lovely wooded area about one mile from the lodge are 26 year-round vacation cabins. They are all made with handsome wood-paneled walls, stone fireplaces and forced air furnaces for year-round comfort. Each cabin has a bath with shower and is completely furnished. An additional 13 deluxe cabins are situated on the north side of the park. These cabins are all four bedroom units. There are 39 total cabins at Blackwater Falls State Park. For cabin bedding arrangements click here

Blackwater Falls State Park offers ten (10) pet friendly cabins available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call for details.

Pet Friendly: Yes

Camping

Blackwater Falls State Park: 1584 Blackwater Lodge Road (304) 259-5216 http://www.blackwaterfalls.com Blackwater Falls State Park has a 65-unit tent and trailer campground with individual sites and a centrally located bathhouse with hot showers, Laundromat and a dumping station. A total of 30 sites have electric hookups. Campsite pedestals are 30 amp service.

The campground is open from the last weekend in April through October 31 annually with a maximum camping period of two weeks. Reservations are accepted for twenty of Blackwater Falls' campsites from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Ski and Snowsports

Cross Country Skiing

Tackle the many groomed and maintained cross country skiing and snowshoe courses that Blackwater Falls offers. Adventure through 10 miles of park trails that accommodate beginner and experienced skiers. Not sure how to ski, but wanting to learn? A full service ski center offers ski lessons and equipment rental. Head down to the snow blanketed slopes for the day and then head over to the Warming Hut that offers a full menu of hot drinks, homemade soups and hearty stews to warm you up.

The always-beautiful Blackwater Falls State Park is transformed during the winter season. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding are winter favorites. Ride the conveyor up the slope then sled back down to the bottom. Equipment rentals and a warming area make this a hub of winter fun.

Sledding

The SunKid Wonder Carpet conveyor is believed to be the longest in North America reaching 1400 feet in length! Bundle up and head over to sled down the hill that’s equipped with snowmaking and lighting that ultimately expands the outdoor experience. Skip out on the long trek up the hill by using the conveyor so you can race to the bottom of the hill how ever many times you want! Rent toboggans, ski’s, and snowshoes from the Warming Hut.

Sleigh Rides

Bring your sleds along or rent them at Blackwater Falls State Park as you experience zooming down the one-quarter mile, snow blanketed hill. The SunKid Wonder Carpet conveyor – recently installed, is believed to be the longest in North America reaching 1400 feet in length! Bundle up and head over to sled down the hill that’s equipped with snowmaking and lighting that ultimately expands the outdoor experience. Skip out on the long trek up the hill by using the conveyor so you can race to the bottom however many times you please! Rent toboggans, ski’s, and snowshoes from the Warming Hut as you indulge over a warming beverage or a hearty cup of soup or stew.