These 5 state park overlooks show off West Virginia’s spring foliage
Spring is almost here and West Virginia’s hills will soon be bursting with green. Cure your winter-induced cabin fever with a visit to a scenic overlook, where you can experience a bird’s eye view of nature’s reawakening in Almost Heaven.
Just a short jaunt from Morgantown, Coopers Rock State Forest presents awe-inspiring views of the Cheat River Canyon. Head to the main overlook off the parking lot to snap some gorgeous photos of the canyon’s hills as they begin to green out. If you’re up for a hike, you can also take the 1.5-mile Ravens Rock Trail to another amazing lookout at Ravens Rock. The park is known for biking, fishing, hiking and rock climbing. A seasonal campground opens in spring.
Most people associate Blackwater Falls State Park with the stunning 57-foot waterfall that forms its namesake. But you can also find some beautiful overlooks at this park on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest. Lindy Point Trail is a short hike with a big payoff. The graveled path winds through a tunnel of rhododendron to an observation deck high above Blackwater River Canyon. Plan an overnight stay and enjoy some spring nature hikes. The park has a full-service lodge, cabins, and a seasonal campground.
Spring is a great time to experience the iconic view from Hawks Nest State Park. Motorists passing through the New River Gorge on U.S. Route 60 can’t resist the roadside stop that leads to the stone overlook high above a U-shaped curve on the river. If you stay long enough, you might see a train chugging along the riverbank far below. Visit the park lodge and you’ll find another beautiful overlook at Lover’s Leap. In season, an aerial tram runs to the bottom of the gorge where you can stroll along a placid section of the river.
On the border of southern West Virginia, Pinnacle Rock State Park is the ideal spot for a picnic. Highlights include a large stone picnic shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a 15-acre fishing lake, and 7 miles of hiking trails. But the centerpiece of this roadside park is an awe-inspiring 3,100-foot-tall stack of sandstone rock. Climb the stone steps to the top to enjoy a commanding view of several counties. Pinnacle Rock is a day-use park, but you can find lodging nearby at Pipestem State Park, which also has some pretty amazing views.
Due to its remote location in a rural part of the Eastern Panhandle, Lost River State Park might be one of the lesser-known parks, but that’s all the more reason to visit. See for yourself the stunning Cranny Crow overlook perched on top of Big Ridge Mountain, 3,200 feet above sea level. View the lush green hills on a 3.5-mile hike on Miller’s Rock Trail, which ends at a scenic panorama of five counties. Book your spring stay in one of the park’s secluded cabins. A campground is open seasonally.
Spring is a great time to plan a trip to a West Virginia State Park
Many state parks and forests offer wildflower hikes and other nature activities in spring. Start planning your Almost Heaven getaway today!