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.

This park does not offer overnight accommodations within the park.

Activities

Select an activity below to learn more
  • Camping
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Museums & Historical Sites
Attraction is located outside of the park.
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History

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.

Additional Information

Picnicking

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.

Trails

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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