Snow or Shine — West Virginia’s state parks have the most perfect views
West Virginia’s state parks have perfect views year round.
West Virginia’s iconic forest and mountain landscape makes for some pretty remarkable views. Whether the hills are dusted with snow or glowing amber in the sun, the sights from a hiking trail and the panorama from a high mountain perch is sure to inspire any onlooker.
Stunning mountains at Coopers Rock and Lost River
There’s something about standing at the top of a mountain and seeing a beautiful, sprawling landscape before your eyes. It brings so much peace and perspective to our crazy, busy world. Enjoy awe-inspiring sights atop a high mountain crag at Coopers Rock State Forest. The overlook provides visitors with 360 degree views of the Cheat River Valley and surrounding hills. This forest’s convenient location just thirteen miles outside the bustling city of Morgantown makes it an incredibly popular location all year round.
Lost River State Park, located in the state’s eastern panhandle is known for the Cranny Crow overlook on top of Big Ridge Mountain. From this high mountain spot, you can see across five different counties in West Virginia and Virginia. And you’ll want to spend the night in a cabin because the night sky at Lost River is incredible. See stars light up the sky like you’ve never seen them before. And depending on the time of year, you can even see traces of the Milky Way’s cloudy galactic center!
Towering canopies at Kanawha State Forest and Watoga
In West Virginia, you don’t have to be at the top of a mountain to enjoy beautiful views. In fact, some of our favorite sights can be found along a hiking trail! Conveniently located near the capital city of Charleston, Kanawha State Forest is a great place to hike among towering trees and lose one’s self in nature. This haven for outdoors enthusiasts is known for its extensive network of trails, many of which can also be enjoyed by mountain bike. While on the trail, you’ll like see diverse wildflower, tree and bird populations. In the winter, enjoy peace and quiet. Kanawha State Forest is one of the most popular picnic areas in the state, so don’t forget to bring a basket of your favorite trail foods to enjoy after your hike!
If you enjoy spending time under a canopy of trees, head to the Potomac Highlands for a hike or two at Watoga State Park, which has 40 miles of forested trails. Here, you can explore West Virginia’s largest state park in one of the most forested areas of the state. For more forest adventures, hike on over to the nearby Greenbrier River Trail, a 78-mile rail trail that follows the gorgeous Greenbrier River.
Lakeside views at Tygart Lake and Bluestone
If you are not prone to heights but still want to enjoy a wide open space, take in the tantalizing lakeside views at Tygart Lake State Park. In colder temperatures, you can relish in the sights of crystal icy waters. As temperatures warm, enjoy some time out on the water in your boat or reel in a big fish from the shore.
And at Bluestone State Park, the mystic waters of Bluestone Lake are sure to capture your attention for hours. Bluestone Lake is the state’s third-largest body of water and has many lake and outdoor activities to enjoy. Cast a line, relax on your boat and enjoy a hike on one of the trails circling the lake. A few cabins even have million-dollar views of the lake from their front porch, so you’ll want to spend a weekend or longer at this park!
Need some awe-inspiring views to refresh your mind, body and spirit? Plan a trip to a West Virginia state park today!