Foodie travel guide to West Virginia state parks

Experience local cuisine while staying and playing in Almost Heaven 

There’s plenty to do at West Virginia state parks and forests, from hiking, biking and fishing to swimming, horseback riding and more. But what to do after you’ve worked up a big appetite? Satisfy your rumbling tummy with a delicious meal from a local eatery. If you’re staying at a lodge park, you can always enjoy a hearty meal served at the park restaurant. Here are a few other options you’ll want to check out.

Babcock and Hawks Nest

Rent a historic CCC cabin at Babcock State Park and rest assured your dining options will be plentiful. Take a short drive to Hawks Nest State Park where you can dine with a view of the New River Gorge at Hawks Nest Lodge. When you’re on the way to view the iconic bridge, plan a stop in the town of Fayetteville, which offers a mix of eclectic eateries including Cathedral Café and Firecreek BBQ & Steaks.

Beech Fork

Campers at Beech Fork State Park will want to make the short drive into Huntington for burgers and shakes at the historic Midway Drive In. For something a little different, sample hearty German fare at Bahnhof WVrsthaus + Biergartenor enjoy a dish served with southwestern flare at Calamity J’s, a favorite among Marshall University students. Be sure to treat yourself to ice cream at Beech Fork’s camper store, which has hand dipped, summer goodness.

Kanwaha State Forest

After a hard day of mountain biking at Kanawha State Forest, you’ll have worked up an appetite. Luckily, you’re just a short drive from a wide variety of restaurants in the Kanawha Valley. Customers rave about the bánh mì (Vietnamese hoagies) at Yen’s Sandwiches in South Charleston. In Charleston, options range from the Neapolitan-style pies at Lola’s Pizza to gourmet grilled cheese and craft beer at the newly opened Fife Street Brewing.

Berkeley Springs and Cacapon Resort

Widely known as the country’s first spa, Berkeley Springs State Park entices with its famous Roman baths. You can find lodging nearby at the newly renovated Cacapon Resort State Park. Dining options range from traditional American cuisine at the Cacapon lodge restaurant to a mix of eateries in this artsy town, including plant-based entrees at the Beehive Café and seasonal upscale comfort cuisine at Lot 12 Public House. Thirsty for a cold one? Try a craft beer brewed with local mineral water at Berkeley Springs Brewing Company.

Blennerhassett Island and North Bend

When visiting Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, plan a stay at the newly renovated North Bend State Park that is about a 40 minute drive, which includes a restaurant among its many amenities. Between North Bend and Blennerhassett you’ll also find dining options in Parkersburg, like the North End Tavern & Brewery – reputed to be the oldest restaurant in West Virginia – and the award-winning Cham’s Lebanese Cuisine.

Coopers Rock

Visitors to Coopers Rock State Forest have a wide variety of dining options available in nearby Morgantown. No trip to this college town is complete without a visit to Mario’s Fish Bowl with its selection of hearty pub food and famous fishbowl-sized goblets. Build your own burrito or order one of the signature menu items at Black Bear Burritos, another favorite among the locals.

Holly River

When you’re camping or staying in a cabin at Holly River State Park, the best place to eat is at the Holly River Restaurant. You can also plan a visit to the Custard Stand in Webster Springs for ice cream and a hot dog topped with their world-famous chili. In the mood for a drive? Take the winding road over to the Swiss mountain town of Helvetia and enjoy a home cooked meal at The Hütte.

Watoga and Cass

Watoga State Park might be secluded in the mountains of Pocahontas County, but you can find a great meal nearby in the small town of Marlinton, from classic American cuisine and coffee at Dirtbean to hearty Italian dishes at Alfredo’s. Grab a bite to eat before paddling the Greenbrier River or biking on the Greenbrier River Trail. Set aside a day for a drive up to Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, where you can ride the train and grab a boxed lunch to go or a sit down meal at The Last Run Restaurant located at the Company Store

For more local dining options, check with your park office or visit wvtourism.com. Start planning your Almost Heaven getaway today!

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