About This Park

Located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, Blackwater Falls State Park is named for the amber waters of Blackwater Falls, a 57-foot cascade tinted by the tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. The falls, the main attraction of Blackwater Falls State Park, are accessible from steps and several viewing platforms that allow visitors to enjoy scenic views year-round. Blackwater Falls, and nearby Elakala Falls, Lindy Point and Pendleton Point Overlook, are some of the most photographed sites in West Virginia. The park offers lodging and many outdoor recreational opportunities.

Activities

Select an activity below to learn more
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • DeerViewing
    Hunting
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Scenic Train Rides
  • Snow Sports
  • Swimming
Attraction is located outside of the park.
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History

The area that is now Blackwater Falls State Park has been a favored destination for adventurers since the 1800s. The land came under the protection of the state parks system in the 1930s when the West Virginia Power and Transmission Company, which owned the Blackwater Canyon, donated 446 acres around a scenic overlook at the head of the canyon, including the falls itself. The park was formerly established in 1937. In 1955, the state began adding cabins, a lodge and fishing facilities.

Dining

The lodge restaurant, “The Smokehouse,” is open daily and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving the best regional fare, where “the dining rivals the view.” A well-rounded menu is available and buffets are offered during peak seasons and holiday weekends. The restaurant caters banquets, receptions and barbecues for special groups like business meetings, family reunions and weddings.

Trails

Allegheny Trail

This trail leaves the park to the north at the park entrance off state Route 32 and to the south of the riding stables. Overnight parking for trail usage is available at the Blackwater Lodge, but guests must register at the front desk.

Distance: 1.2 miles, inside the park

Difficulty: Somewhat difficult to difficult

Balanced Rock Trail

This trail begins at the main park road across from Elakala Trail, crosses Shay Trace and Red Spruce Riding trails, continues to Balanced Rock Trail and ends near Cabin 13.

Distance: 1 mile

Difficulty: Somewhat difficult to difficult

Balsam Fir Trail

This trail begins near the Harold Walters Nature Center, winds through beech and maple groves and passes through a stand of balsam fir. It then loops back to the Recreation Building by way of the campground.

Distance: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Somewhat difficult to difficult

Blackwater Falls Boardwalk Trail

This trail starts at the Trading Post parking area and leads to a stone patio and boardwalk more than 200 steps down to an observation deck beside Blackwater Falls. This is the main viewing area for the falls.
NOTE: For beginner access to the view, take Gentle Trail.

Distance: 0.25 miles

Difficulty: Somewhat difficult to difficult

Cherry Lane Trail

This trail begins at the park road before Cabin Number 1, intersects Shay Trace Trail and continues to the cul-de-sac at Cabin Number 26. For cross country skiers, this trail is considered somewhat difficult to difficult.

Distance:  1 mile

Difficulty:  Easy

Davis Trail

This trail begins at the stables and leads to a network of trails in the Monongahela National Forest.
NOTE: The trail becomes more difficult outside the park and transitions to a somewhat difficult rating.

Distance: 0.25 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Dobbin House Trail

This trail leaves the Harold Walters Nature Center by way of the maintenance road across the
dam of Pendleton Lake and connects to the Monongalia National Forest Trail System.

Distance:  0.75 miles

Difficulty: Easy to somewhat difficult

Elakala Trail

This trail starts at the south end of Blackwater Lodge, bridges the upper section with a great view of Elakala Falls, continues along the canyon rim and ends at the main park road across from Balanced Rock Trail.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Gee Haw Trail

This trail connects the Harold Walters Nature Center with Supper Track Trail and links to the beginner cross country ski loop.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Gentle Trail

This trail is a short, paved path to an observation deck overlooking Blackwater Falls. It begins at the parking area across from the maintenance area and ends at the observation deck.

Distance: 0.25 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Lindy Point Trail

Located one mile past the sled run parking area, this trail sits at 3,000 feet overlooking the Blackwater Canyon. The trail has a small parking area one mile below the sled run area. In the winter, skiers can ski to the overlook (1.37 miles).

Distance: 0.37 miles

Difficulty: Somewhat difficult to difficult

Pase Point Trail

This is an extension of the Dobbin House Trail that runs through hardwoods and rhododendron to Pase Point, overlooking the North Fork of the Blackwater River.

Distance:  0.7 miles

Difficulty: Somewhat difficult to difficult

Pendleton Trace Trail

This trail connects the Harold Walters Nature Center with the North Rim Road.

Distance: 0.25 miles

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Red Spruce Trail

This trail originates at the barn, winds through spruce and hemlocks and ends at the entrance to the cabin area. In the winter, the trail is a primary X-C ski trail to most park locations.

Distance:  1.25 miles

Difficulty: Somewhat difficult to difficult

Rhododendron Trail

This trail starts near Cabin Number 9, travels through hemlock and hardwoods and connects with Balanced Rock Trail near Cabin 13.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

River Road Trail

This trail begins at the maintenance area road, where Yellow Birch Trail ends. This trail is an old railroad grade that directly links to the town of Davis. The trail runs along the Blackwater River, which provides good fishing opportunities for hikers. NOTE: Some vehicle traffic occurs on this trail.

Distance: 1.56 miles

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Shay Trace Trail

This trail starts just past the lodge at Shay Run, crosses the Red Spruce Trail, the cabin area road, Cherry Lane Trail and goes onto the base at the sled run warming hut.

Distance: 0.75 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Spudder Track Trail

Access this trail via Gee Haw Trail from the Recreation Building and the North Rim Road at either end. It is part of the beginner loop for cross country skiers.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Watertank Trail

This trail begins across from Blackwater Lodge and provides skiers with access to Red Spruce Trail. It follows a steep uphill grade and forms a “T” intersection with the Red Spruce Trail.

Distance: 0.25 miles

Difficulty: Difficult

Yellow Birch Trail

This trail begins at the park road near the lodge entrance, crosses the stable entrance road and continues to the maintenance area road. Hikers can then cross the park road to the Gentle Trail.

Distance: 1 mile

Difficulty: Somewhat difficult to difficult

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