About This Park

Located in the mountains of Pocahontas County, just 14 miles south of Marlinton, Watoga State Park is West Virginia’s largest state park. With 10,100 acres of land, Watoga is filled with many recreational activities. There’s hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and vacation cabins, open year-round. Watoga Lake is known for excellent fishing opportunities and is part of the Division of Natural Resources' stocking program. A multipurpose building, museum and observation tower are a few of the unique attractions at Watoga State Park.

Accommodations

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Activities

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  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • DeerViewing
    Hunting
  • Museums & Historical Sites
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Swimming
Attraction is located outside of the park.
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History

Watoga State Park’s name comes from the Cherokee word for “starry waters.” The park opened to the public in July 1937. Before then, it was a state forest designated as a wildlife and timber preserve. Work on developing the forest into a park began in 1934, but improvements stopped during World War II. After the war, work on the park resumed, and the first camping area opened in 1953, and eight deluxe cabins opened in 1956. Recreational use of the park increased during the 60s and 70s, requiring the addition of another camping area. Improvements and additions to the park continue to this day, with growing interest in outdoor activities and cabin lodging.

Trails

Allegheny Trail

Designated as part of a backpack trail system, this trail extends from its northern terminus near Blackwater Falls State Park in Tucker County south to its intersection with the famed Appalachian Trail near the West Virginia-Virginia border in Monroe County.

Distance: Approximately 5.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Ann Bailey Trail

Trail follows the old roadbed across the top of Pyles Mountain and Workman Ridge to the Ann Bailey Lookout Tower. Mountain bikes welcome.

Distance:  3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Arrowhead Trail

Not a loop, Return by same trail. Trailhead is at Riverside Campground across from the check-in station. The steep trail leading up to the Ann Bailey Lookout Tower offers spectacular views of the Greenbrier River Valley and Little Levels section of Pocahontas County.

Distance:  1 mile

Difficulty: Difficult

Bearpen Trail

A loop roughly 4.75 miles long can be made of this trail by incorporating the Buck and Doe Trail and the North Boundary Trail into your walk.

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Brooks Memorial Arboretum Trails

A separate map for the Arboretum is available at the park office, campground check-in stations and other visitor contact points throughout the park.

Distance: 4.5 miles (loop)

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Buck and Doe Trail

Trailheads are on Bearpen Trail and North Boundary Trail. This trail enables hikes to make a loop of the Bearpen Trail.

Distance: 0.75 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Burnside Ridge Trail

This trail branches from the Ann Bailey Trail about halfway between the Ann Bailey Trailhead and the Ann Bailey Lookout Tower. Trail ends on end of the ridge. Not a loop; must return by same trail. Mountain bikes welcome.

Distance:  3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Honeymoon Trail

Trailheads are located by cabin 34 and on the T. M. Cheek Road 0.5 mile south of the T. M. Cheek Overlook.

Distance:  2 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Jesse's Cove Trail

The trailhead is in Riverside Campground across from campsite 6. Trail follows the Greenbrier River downstream to the mouth of Rock Run, then follows Rock Run to the top of Workman Ridge, a climb of more than 1,000 feet. Near the top of the ridge is the old Jarvis/Workman Cabin, an original pioneer cabin. The trail ends at the Ann Bailey Trail.

Distance:  2.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Kennison Run Trail

Trailheads are at Laurel Run Primitive Campground and along the T. M. Cheek Road across from the Honeymoon Trailhead. Not a loop trail. Many creek crossings are encountered so wear sturdy shoes.

Distance:  3.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Lake Trail

This is a mostly level trail that encircles Watoga Lake. Trailheads are at the boat docks, dam and the pool parking lot.

Distance: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Monongaseneka Trail

The trailhead is 0.5 mile above cabin 2 on the Island Lick Road. The trail climbs the sidehill to a reasonably level grade with views through the trees of the Greenbrier River then turns into beautiful Jeff Hollow, before climbing the ridge to the top. The trail ends at the North Boundary Trail.

Distance: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

North Boundary Trail

This is a connector trail between Buck and Doe Trail, Bearpen Trail and the Monongaseneka Trail. NOTE: Do not follow farm road east beyond the Buck and Doe Trail as the road crosses private property.

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Pine Run Trail

The trailhead is located between cabins 27 and 28 in the Pine Run Cabin Area. It winds gently up the hollow to intersect with the Honeymoon Trail about 200 yards from the T. M. Cheek Road.

Distance:  0.75 miles

Difficulty: Easy

T. M. Cheek Trail

The trailheads are at cabin 21 and on the T.M. Cheek Road 200 yards north of the overlook.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Ten Acre Trail

The short Ten Acre Trail affords an easy connection between the Honeymoon Trail and the T. M. Cheek Road.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

South Burnside Trail

This trail branches off from the Burnside Ridge Trail and follows an old farm road out to the end of the ridge. Not a loop; return by the same trail. Mountain bikes welcome.

Distance:  1 mile

Difficulty: Moderate

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