Your guide to seeing the best sunrises and sunsets this spring

If you’ve spent any time in the outdoors, you know that the most stunningly beautiful views take on another dimension during a sunrise or sunset. When the sun’s rays are low in the sky, the atmosphere lights up with a golden aura that makes you feel what Almost Heaven feels like.

With temperatures warming up, now is a great time to get outside and watch a sunrise or sunset. Here are a few of our favorite spots.

Sunrise (or Sunset) Over the Water

Anglers who favor early morning casts will tell you the best thing about fishing (aside from the catch, of course) is watching a breathtaking sunrise from their boat. There is just something about seeing a sunrise over the water that wakes you up on a deep level. It’s peaceful. It’s calming.

If you want to see a sunrise across a lake and catch a few fish while you’re at, you’ll want to visit Bluestone State Park. If you don’t fish or don’t have a boat, you can snag a prime viewing spot from the fishing deck below the park office.

For you upstaters, Tygart Lake State Park also has jaw-dropping sunsets over the water you can view from your boat or from the marina parking lot. Visitors to Cass Scenic Railroad State Park will also find a beautiful sunrise over the Greenbrier River from the Greenbrier River Trail, which runs through the park.

Stunning Mountain Views

Look to the east — the Eastern Panhandle, specifically — for some great sunrise and sunset views. At Cacapon Resort State Park, you can catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset at the Cacapon Mountain Overlook. Hikers finishing out the day might want to plan their treks on the Ziler Loop Trail or Laurel Trail, which have scenic overlook spots.

The Allegheny Mountains in eastern West Virginia present some amazing high-altitude sunrise and sunset views. Start with Blackwater Falls State Park, where you can catch sunsets over the Blackwater River Canyon at Lindy Point and Pendleton Point. The view from the overlook at the lodge is worth checking out, too. Just down the road, Canaan Valley Resort State Park offers a prime sunset-watching spot from Bald Knob near the ski area. You can hike the trail to the top or enjoy a relaxing ride on the chair lift.

Incredible overlooks

If you can’t wake up early enough to catch the sunrise from the Tower Overlook at Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, just wait until evening. Pack a picnic lunch and stick around to watch the sinking sun paint pretty colors over the hills at Briery Knob Overlook. After sunset, you’ll want to find some campground or cabins lodging nearby at Watoga State Park, which offers some of the country’s best Dark Sky Views and stargazing opportunities.

Pipestem Resort State Park offers several locations for observing a sunset or sunrise. Beautiful sunsets have been captured at McKeever Lodge overlooking the Bluestone River Gorge and at the Bolar Lookout Tower just down the road. Meanwhile, spectacular sunrises can be viewed from the resort’s 18-hole championship golf course.

Sunrise and Sunset views from the trail

Southern West Virginia has its share of beautiful views, too. Campers and horseback riders at Camp Creek State Park and Forest will find a great overlook for sunset at the junction of the Almost Heaven Trail and the Turkey Loop Trail. The forest also has an incredible view of sunrise from a spot along Neely Knob Trail that has a picnic table perfectly placed for taking a break and viewing.

In the neighborhood of Pipestem and Bluestone, the day-use park of Pinnacle Rock State Park has its very own viewing station. “The park has a bench I installed many years ago for the reason of sitting at for the sunset. It is among the best “wow” experiences,” said Bluestone State Park Superintendent Frank Ratcliffe.

Where is your favorite sunset or sunrise? Tag and share your photos using #WVstateparks. Start planning your spring or summer state park getaway in Almost Heaven.

Book Now

Find a Park

  • Activity
  • Region
  • Lodging