West Virginians sure do love their state parks and forests. For many, they’re the best places to visit with family and friends. They also offer retreats for nature lovers, thrill seekers and sportsmen and women from all over the world.
It’s no wonder, then, that four state park locations have been named to WV Living’s new Best of West Virginia list. The annual listing, voted by magazine readers, features the top food, culture and travel destinations and towns in the state. This year’s list includes Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley Resort, Cass and Seneca State Forest.
While all state parks and forests are deserving of a spot on best-of lists, these four parks were recognized for being some of the most unique places to visit in West Virginia.
Best State Park/Forest
If you’ve ever seen the majestic Blackwater Falls, it should be no surprise that Blackwater Falls State Park is WV Living’s best state park in 2017. Located a few miles southeast of the town of Davis, the park is home to one of West Virginia’s most breathtaking natural wonders: the 57-foot Blackwater Falls.
Blackwater Falls is known for its amber waters, which are tinted by tannic acid from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. The falls is also one of the most photographed locations in the state. While Blackwater Falls is the main attraction, there are many other things to do at this popular park. There’s a lodge and many outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, camping and seasonal sports.
Check out the park’s website to learn more about all the family fun this park has to offer.
Best Unique Place to Spend the Night
There’s nothing quite like spending the night at Seneca State Forest‘s Thorny Mountain Fire Tower. This 65-foot-tall fire tower has commanding 360-degree views of West Virginia’s oldest and second-largest forest. Surrounded by nature in rugged Pocahontas County, the fire tower offers a completely unique experience and unforgettable perspective of the great outdoors and night sky.
The tower has two cots, but can accommodate up to four people, so it’s perfect for an adventure-seeking group of friends looking for one of West Virginia’s best places to visit.
Learn more about the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower and other activities at Seneca State Forest’s website.
Best Place to Play Golf
The 18-hole, par 72 golf course at Canaan Valley Resort State Park was designed by golf legend Geoffrey Cornish. This challenging course is ranked 12th in the state and features 65 sand bunkers and eight water hazards.
The course at Canaan also offers mountain beauty you’ll remember for years to come. After a few rounds of golf, explore the rest of the park and enjoy many other outdoor activities. At the end of the day, settle in for the night at the lodge and enjoy a delicious meal and relaxing evening.
Learn more about the Canaan Valley golf course at the resort’s website.
Best Town to Experience the Fall
Fall is truly spectacular in the small mountain town of Cass. And the best way to experience autumn beauty in this park is on the Cass Scenic Railroad.
Enjoy a trip back in time as you ride in an open-air car through the charming town of Cass. The ride up to Bald Knob, the third-highest point in West Virginia, offers breathtaking views you won’t get anywhere else. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park also is one of America’s only authentic operating lumber railroading museums.
Learn more about this historical park at Cass Scenic Railroad’s website.
State Parks are the Best Places To Visit
If you’re looking for a fun vacation or adventure-packed escape for your friends or family, look no further than West Virginia State Parks. These four locations are some of the Mountain State’s best, but all parks and forests in West Virginia are world-class destinations.
Use our website to find the perfect park for you. And don’t forget: You can book a lodge room or cabin in advance using our online reservation system. Come see why West Virginia State Parks are the best places to visit!