West Virginia State Parks and Forests have some of the best disc golf courses
National Disc Golf Day is Saturday, Aug. 4! This holiday, which falls on the first Saturday of every August, promotes the fun and affordable sport of disc golf. And what better place to play disc golf than at West Virginia State Parks and Forests?
Not sure what disc golf is? It’s an internationally recognized sport played on a course of nine to 18 holes. Much like golf, players complete a hole (usually a wire basket) by sailing a disc, frisbee-style, toward the target. From each consecutive landing place, the player throws the disc again until the target is reached. The player with the lowest number of total throws is the winner. Trust us. It’s fun!
Give Disc Golf a Shot: No Experience Necessary!
Disc golf may share some similarities with golf, but it has one advantage. You don’t have to invest in a set of clubs or fancy shoes to play the game. And discs are fairly inexpensive. If you have your own discs, bring them. If not, you often can rent discs or purchase some on-site.
“You can take disc golf as serious as you want or as casual as you want,” said Matt Baker, superintendent at Blackwater Falls State Park.
Hardcore players will carry a whole selection of discs, like putters, drivers and mid-rangers (similar to an 8 or 9 iron in golf). On the other hand, casual players might just use a frisbee, like the kind you toss around on the beach.
Baker has been playing the sport since the late 1990s when he was a student at Davis & Elkins College.
“Back then, no one had heard of disc golf. I’d bring my discs to campus and set up trash cans or buckets as targets. But now the college has its own 9-hole course.”
The 18-hole course at Blackwater Falls is still young, he said. “We’re still working on clearing some fairways and working on tee pads. Eventually we would like to get some tournaments going.”
The park sells a selection of souvenir discs, imprinted with the Blackwater Falls logo, at its two gift shops and at the nature center, where the course starts. Discs also are available to rent at the park.
Baker believes the sport will keep growing. “It’s a great thing for state parks. It’s family-friendly and fun for all ages.”
State Park Disc Golf Courses
The parks and forests listed below have disc golf courses, as well as several other fun activities for you to enjoy. Check them out for a day full of fun!
Set on the rim of the awe-inspiring Bluestone River Gorge, Pipestem Resort State Park is home to another quirky sport, FootGolf, which is a combination of soccer and golf. Resort amenities include boating, fishing, golf and horseback riding.
Tomlinson Run State Park offers a unique spin on camping in the form of yurts. These spacious, round tents are furnished with bunkbeds, allowing you to experience the back-to-nature feel of camping without the hassle of putting up your own tent.
The 57-foot cascade that forms the namesake of Blackwater Falls State Park is just one of several waterfalls you’ll find here, along with spectacular views of the Blackwater River Canyon.
Greenbrier State Forest, which offers lodging options of cabins and camping, sits adjacent to the 78-mile-long Greenbrier River Trail, a former railroad now used for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
Home to the state park system’s newest disc golf course, Kanawha State Forest boasts more than 25 miles of trails for hiking and biking, as well as an archery range.