6 WV State Parks to Visit This Fall if You Want to Catch a Trout

As cooler temperatures and autumn color descends on West Virginia’s beautiful hills, fall is a great time to cast a line into its peaceful lakes and streams. And with trout stockings returning Oct. 16-23, 2023, now is the perfect time to plan that fishing trip. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will be stocking trout in lakes and streams around the state, but here are six state parks and forests anglers should check out this fall.

Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park may be known for its iconic waterfalls and stunning vistas, but this state park also has some incredible year-round trout fishing waters. Pendleton Lake and Blackwater River are both stocked in October.

Make a long weekend of it and book a lodge room or cabin at Blackwater Falls or at nearby Canaan Valley Resort State Park.

Cacapon Resort State Park

With an expanded lodge and dozens of other upgrades, Cacapon Resort State Park is a perfect place for an extended fishing trip or getaway with your family. You can enjoy all kinds of outdoor adventures at Cacapon, but when it comes to fishing you’ll want to cast your line in Cacapon Lake, which is stocked in October. Planning an overnight trip? Book a stay at the lodge and be one of the first people to enjoy these beautiful new rooms or rent a secluded cabin.

Coopers Rock State Forest 

Known for breathtaking overlooks, Coopers Rock State Forest is one of the most popular destinations in West Virginia. While everyone is out taking in the views at Ravens Rock, sneak away and cast your line in Coopers Rock Lake, which gets stocked in October.

Pipestem Resort State Park

A new addition to fall trout stockings, Pipestem Resort State Park offers fishing opportunities at Long Branch Lake as well as in the Bluestone and New rivers. Reserve a cabin, lodge room, or campsite so you’ll have additional time to enjoy additional park activities like the Pipestem Peaks zipline canopy tour.

Tygart Lake State Park

Tygart Lake State Park is another place where you can get away for a weekend and cast your cares away. Whether you plan a trip to this park on its own or stop by after enjoying fishing adventures at Coopers Rock, make sure you find your way to the Tygart Lake tailwaters, which gets stocked in October. Need a place to stay? Spend the night at Tygart Lake’s lodge or vacation cabins

Watoga State Park

Watoga State Park is enjoying newfound fame as an internationally recognized Dark Sky Park, but this park’s starry waters are also a great place to fish. The park is popular with river and boat anglers in the summer, but you’ll want to cast your line in Watoga Lake, which is stocked in October. Need a place to stay? Watoga has several cabins and campsites available in the fall. Cabins and campsites at West Virginia’s state parks are reservable online.

Plan your West Virginia State Parks fishing trip today

If you aren’t able to visit one of these parks during fall trout stocking in October, don’t let that discourage you from booking a fishing trip later in the year. Trout are resilient and plenty of fish remain in the weeks and months following a stocking. In fact, many anglers have caught trout holdovers into the following January and February. So, go ahead and plan a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday family fishing trip!

Buy your fishing license and trout stamp

While fishing for trout, all anglers 15 and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license, trout stamp and valid form of identification. To learn more about West Virginia’s fishing regulations, visit WVdnr.gov/fishing-regulations. To purchase a fishing license and trout stamps, visit WVfish.com.