About This Park

Cathedral State Park is the state’s largest old-growth forest and contains the only stand of virgin hemlock in West Virginia. Designated a National Natural Landmark, this 133-acre park offers sanctuary for these ancient trees, as well as 170 species of trees, ferns and wildflowers. During spring and summer Cathedral State Park offers excellent hiking on its three miles of trails and unique photography opportunities.

Things to Do

  • 859
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • 859
    Museums & Historical Sites
859 attraction is located outside of the park.
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Phone: 304-735-3771
Email: cathedralsp@wv.gov
Address: 12 Cathedral Park Drive, Aurora, WV, 26705


This ancient forest was once the site of the Brookside Resort, which was built in 1882. Summer visitors from Washington and Baltimore flocked from the cities to the West Virginia mountains for the cool, clean air and natural beauty. In 1922, Brookside caretaker Branson Haas purchased the land, and later sold it to the state of West Virginia with the stipulation that the forest remain uncut. In 1966, the park was entered in the National Registry of Natural Landmarks.


Cathedral State Park does not provide any overnight accommodations, but visitors may camp, rent a cabin or stay in the lodge at nearby Blackwater Falls State Park.

Additional Information


Grab your picnic blanket and basket! Picnickers can enjoy outdoor dining in the park’s picnic area, which has two shelters, a playground area and restrooms. Shelters are available for advance reservation.


Cathedral Trail

Footbridges available where the trail crosses the Rhine Creek.
Distance 1.1 miles
Difficulty Moderate

Giant Hemlock Trail

Several of the largest hemlocks in the park are found along this trail.
Distance 0.2 miles
Difficulty Easy

Partridge Berry Trail

A good trail to observe wildlife such as deer, birds and squirrels.
Distance 0.6 miles
Difficulty Moderate

Trillium Trail

This short path connects to Cardinal Trail.
Distance 0.1 miles
Difficulty Easy

Cardinal Trail

A good trail to observe wildlife such as deer, birds and squirrels.
Distance 0.2 miles
Difficulty Moderate

Wood Thrush Trail

Trail is leisurely, except where it is divided by Route 50.
Distance 0.6 miles
Difficulty Easy
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Nearby Attractions

Blackwater Falls State Park

Named for the famous amber-colored waters of Blackwater Falls, this park is one of West Virginia’s most popular tourist attractions. The park offers lodging, cabin rentals, camping and year-round recreation, including hiking, cross-country skiing, sledding, boating and fishing.

Tygart Lake State Park

Located an hour west of Cathedral State Park, this park is a cozy, quiet getaway for couples and families. Tygart Lake State Park visitors enjoy hiking and golfing, and fishing and boating on the 10-mile long, 1,750-acre Tygart Lake. The park also offers lodging, cabin rentals, and camping.

Valley Falls State Park

Once the site of a lumber and grist mill community, the scenic treasure of Valley Falls State Park is located only a short drive from Fairmont and Grafton. This 1,145-acre day-use park hosts a variety of outdoor recreation including fishing, picnicking, kayaking, and 18 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.

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