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.

Watoga State Park

Things to Do


859 attraction is located outside of the park.
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • 859
    Hunting
  • 859
    Museums & Historical Sites
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Swimming
Groups, Meetings and Weddings Rules & Regulations Download Park Pack & Map

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.

Accommodations

Cabins

Watoga State Park has 34 cabins, 10 of which are modern and 24 will take you back with rustic log and stone construction. Cabins are equipped with modern kitchen appliances and bathrooms with showers, as well as common housekeeping wares, such as cooking utensils, bed linens and towels. Watoga’s modern cabins are open year-round and can accommodate four to eight guests. The 24 standard cabins are open from April through October and can accommodate two to six persons.

Camping

Watoga State Park has two campgrounds: the 38-unit Beaver Creek Campground and the 50-site Riverside Campground. Beaver Creek has 12 sites with electric hookups, and Riverside offers 38 sites with electric hookups. Each site includes picnic tables, grills, and a central bathhouse with coin operated laundry and dishwashing stations. West Virginia State Park campground reservations are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. Campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-serve basis after Labor Day.

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
Download Park Pack & Map

Nearby Attractions

Beartown State Park

This state park contains one large rock formation split into sections and clefts large enough for walkways. The Park is noted for its massive boulders, overhanging cliffs and unusual rock formations which will be sure to make great photos. A boardwalk allows easy access and interpretive signs provide insight into the area’s ecology.

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Located in the historic town of Cass, the Cass Scenic Railroad transports passengers to a time when logging was a way of life in Pocahontas County. Restored company buildings have been refurbished and are available for overnight stays to give you a blast from the past.

Cranberry Glades Botanical Area

The Cranberry Glades is the largest area of bogs, or acidic wetlands in West Virginia. An outing to the botanical area will allow you to see a unique and exotic ecosystem on 750 acres of lush land.

Greenbrier River Trail

A favorite for hikers, bikers, cross-country skiers, anglers and horseback riders, this 78-mile rail trail follows the gorgeous Greenbrier River.

Monongahela National Forest

Outdoor adventures at Monongahela include back country camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and wildlife viewing. Camping and picnic areas are located throughout the forest and will provide great fun for your family or friends.

Seneca State Forest

Seneca is the oldest state forest in West Virginia! It borders the beautiful Greenbrier River where visitors can enjoy tent camping or staying in a rustic cabin.

Photos

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