About This Park

With 8,101 acres of dense forest, Holly River is West Virginia's second largest state park and known for its wide range of flora, including wildflowers and ferns. Located in a narrow valley in the Mountain Lakes region, the park is surrounded by heavily forested mountains, some reaching more than 2,800 feet in height. The dense forests of Holly River provide guests with a natural setting where they can find peaceful solitude. Recreational opportunities in this park include camping, hiking, swimming and tennis. Amenities include picnic shelters, corrals for campers with horses and the Cookhouse at Holly River State Park.


Select an option below to learn more about the accommodations at this park.


Select an activity below to learn more
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Museums & Historical Sites
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Swimming
Attraction is located outside of the park.


The area now known as Holly River State Park was settled around 1870 by a group of immigrants from Switzerland. After years of the land being stripped of useful timber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began purchasing land, and in 1937 began reforesting and restoring the area to the deep woodlands enjoyed by visitors today. In 1938, Holly River was designated a wildlife refuge and opened as an official state park, but it wasn’t until 1954 that the federal government deeded the land to the state of West Virginia. Since then, many trails have been blazed, cabins have been refurbished and campsites have been constructed. Other improvements have included the construction of game courts, a swimming pool and other outdoor recreational facilities enjoyed by hundreds of visitors each year.


Download Park Trail Map

High Rock Trail

Starting from the footbridge below cabin No. 9, the trail begins a steep climb around a mountain, leading to a high tabletop rock on the ridge summit. The ridge is dominated by mountain laurel, flame azaleas and oak trees. The trail follows the ridge and descends to the mouth of Big Run and ends at the campground entrance.

Distance: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Laurel Fork Trail

Located on the island between the Activity Building and the Carpenter Pavilion, the trail is asphalt paved and follows the perimeter of the island as it is encircled by Laurel Fork. The trail meets ADA standards and includes four rest stations, two shelters, three water fountains, and 10 historical markers with Braille signs depicting the history of the park.

Distance:  0.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Nature’s Rock Garden Trail

Beginning at the cabin area parking lot, this self-guided interpretive loop combines easy walking with a great variety of plant life. Interpretive booklets are available at the information kiosk.

Distance:  0.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Oak Ridge Trail

Starting from the lower end of the campground, this trail ascends a mountain, then twists along Oak Ridge and intersects the Tramontane Trail. This trail features an overlook with a view of the park’s main recreational area.

Distance: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Potato Knob Trail

Branching off from Wilderness Trail, this trail follows a ridge to Ridge Road. It joins the road for a half mile and then descends the mountain through a grove of exceptionally large trees. A short side trail on the Ridge Road offers a view of Tenskwatawa Falls. Crossing Fall Run Road, the trail circles around the southern side of Potato Knob to The Chute. From here it is a steep ascent to the summit of Potato Knob.

Distance: 7.5 miles (one way)

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Railroad Grade Trail

The trail begins where Wilderness Trail crosses Crooked Fork. As the name implies, this trail travels an old railroad grade. In one area, this trail winds through some interesting rock formations.

Distance: 10 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Reverie Trail

Originating at the campground entrance, the trail parallels Big Run to Dreamer’s Meadow, scales a mountain and passes under Tecumseh Falls, guiding hikers to a primitive camping site. Turning southeast, the trail descends the mountain to Pickens Road. From here, hikers can turn right on the road and walk back 1 mile to the starting point or cross the road to the stream and turn right on Wilderness Trail to the cabins.

Distance: 3.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Ridge Road Trail

This trail is best for bicycling, day hiking and possibly cross-country skiing and horseback riding. It begins at Laurel Fork near the Jacob Klee Road and follows a jeep service road up the hill for about a mile to the old fire tower. It then follows the ridge to descend just behind the assistant superintendent’s residence at the lower end of the campground. Horseback riding is allowed on this trail.

Distance: 6.1 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Salt Lick Trail

Beginning with a slight climb from Cabin No. 9, this trail winds around the mountain through a young forested area and leads to some of the oldest and largest trees in the park. The trail descends to the island in the picnic area and ends at the campground.

Distance: 0.75 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Tramontane Trail

Beginning at Cabin No. 9, this trail winds through a large forested area and out into the fields of an old homestead. From this point, the trail takes hikers to a high ridge overlooking the upper valley and headwaters to the left fork of Holly River. At approximately 2.3 miles, look for Mystic Falls, the hidden waterfall of Holly River State Park. The trail then descends into a dry run and on to its ending point at the picnic area.

Distance: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Wilderness Trail

Ascending the mountain through high country glens across Crooked Fork into a remote area of the park, the trail guides hikers from Cabin No. 9 to the former site of the fire tower. Backtracking is necessary to reach the original trail. Returning to and heading down Crooked Fork, the trail joins Laurel Fork and continues downstream, ending at Cabin No. 1.

Distance: 4.5 miles (one way)

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Additional Information


Holly River offers seasonal recreation and nature programs and a trout-rearing pond with facilities ideal for picnics and reunions. There are two large pavilions that may be rented by the day. Shelters are reservable up to a year in advance with a picture-perfect trout rearing pond located near the park headquarters. Guests can learn about the many types of trout that are stocked in the park and the importance of protecting them for the generations to come.


The Cookhouse is a one-of-a-kind, full-service restaurant has officially opened for the season under new management. Local restaurateur Cristi Colborn will be operating the state park system’s coziest dining venue. The Cookhouse at Holly River State Park will feature a selection of fresh and locally sourced items sure to please all ages and tastes.

The Cookhouse is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day – Memorial Day – Labor Day.

Breakfast Menu          Lunch Menu