This or That: Choose your fall adventures

Fall in West Virginia State Parks is a great time to explore the great outdoors. The weather is much cooler, the trails are less crowded, and the changing leaves make for incredible scenery. There truly is something for everyone in #AlmostHeaven. Basically, you can create your West Virginia State Parks fall itinerary based exactly on what you know you enjoy.

Are you more historical or adventurous?

History buff? You’ll find an abundance of history in these West Virginia hills. Many historic parks have onsite museums with exhibits about local history, mine wars, Appalachian culture or Civil War artifacts. Learn something new and gain a greater appreciation of the Mountain State’s history at sites like Berkeley Springs, Blennerhassett Island, Carnifex Ferry, Cass Scenic Railroad, Droop Mountain Battlefield and Fairfax Stone.

If you’re more of an adventurer, you will find a thrill in West Virginia State Parks as well. Hiking is the most common way to adventure and with hundreds of miles of trails, there’s no shortage of explorations. But let’s say you want to take it one step further this fall. Here are some recommendations: 

Ziplining: If you’ve ever dreamed of soaring through the trees like a bird, then you should experience the Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour before it closes for the winter, or plan a trip for next spring! Zipline tours are one of the most exciting and enjoyable ways to experience the outdoors because of the unique views they provide.

ATV Riding: West Virginia’s mountainous terrain makes it an ideal destination for ATV riding and off-roading and West Virginia’s state parks and forests are in perfect locations to get out on the trails. At Cabwaylingo State Forest, set out with your ATV on the Cabwaylingo Trail, part of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System that features 80 miles of trail. 

Mountain Biking: Bring your bike to journey through the trails. You’ll find trails at any state park to pair with your level of skill, comfort and experience in mountain biking. If you’re looking for a long leisurely ride, try the North Bend Rail Trail or the Greenbrier River Trail.

Explore more exciting adventures at West Virginia State Parks here.

Will we find you hiking or biking?

If you love hiking, you’re in luck. No matter what kind of hiker you are, you’ll find a trail to love at any West Virginia state park. From easy loops to challenging climbs, you’ll enjoy a nature-filled hike through the trees and mountains and maybe even stumble upon a newfound mountain vista!

If you’re looking for something a bit more fast paced, bring your mountain bike along. You’ll find trails at any state park to pair with your level of skill, comfort and experience in mountain biking. If you’re looking for a long leisurely ride, try the North Bend Rail Trail or the Greenbrier River Trail.

Do you prefer camping or glamping?

West Virginia State Parks offers accommodations for every type of traveler. Camping is all about the memories and escape to nature. Surround yourself with forest views while tent camping at Twin Falls, Cabwaylingo, Pipestem or Blackwater Falls, or hook up the RV at and relax at Beech Fork.

Ready to try glamping instead? Located near awe-inspiring views and mountain adventures, Tentrr sites at Blackwater Falls, Cacapon Resort, Hawks Nest and Lost River provide cozy and comfortable stays for adventure enthusiasts seeking an experience that is unique from traditional camping. Keep in mind that these sites are only available in the warmer months, and will be closed October 30-April 1. 

Looking for something other than a glamping tent? Book a stay in one of Tomlinson Run State Park’s famous yurts. These yurts come equipped with all you’ll need for a convenient and cozy camping trip.

How about a zipline or aerial tram ride?

If you’re an adventure seeker, you won’t want to miss your chance to ride the Pipestem Peaks Zipline Tour, one of the most extensive zip line systems in the East. Strap in and soar through the treetops at Pipestem Resort, southern West Virginia’s premier family adventure resort.

If you prefer a slower ride where you can relax and enjoy a unique view of West Virginia’s iconic mountain hollers, take a trip on the aerial tram at Pipestem Resort, which whisks you down thousands of feet into the Bluestone River gorge.

Are you chasing waterfalls or scenic vistas?

Fall is a great time to chase waterfalls because it tends to be a wetter season than summer. Those waterfalls that had nearly dried up in July might be running strong and clear in November. Many parks have waterfalls, but we recommend checking out the falls at Twin Falls and Camp Creek this season! Others include the one-and-only Blackwater Falls, Holly River and Valley Falls.

If scenic vistas are more your thing, we have you covered. Fall is the best time for leaf peeping and you can enjoy many breathtaking views at West Virginia’s state parks and forests. It’s a great time of year to hike to overlooks at Lost River and Coopers Rock.

Would you rather take a train ride or go horseback riding?

All aboard! Cruise through the mountains in style by way of a scenic train ride. You can hear the engines chug along the landscape and admire the surrounding views of wildlife like you’ve never seen before. Visit Cass Scenic Railroad State Park for the train ride of a lifetime!

What better way to see West Virginia’s nature and wildlife than from a trusty steed? Cacapon, Lost River and Pipestem Resort State Park have stables on site and offer guided trail rides. Camp Creek State Park and Forest and Holly River State Park offer horseback riding trails and equestrian camping for visitors traveling with horses.

Can we find you beside a fireplace or a campfire?

From campsites to lodges to cabins, there will most likely be a fire to sit around! If you’re into campfires, Audra and Coopers Rock are great choices. For lodges or cabins, many of our parks have both options!

Keep in mind that West Virginia holds strict standards for forest fire laws in order to protect one of the state’s most valuable resources – our forests. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines before visiting. 

Would you rather stay in a cabin or lodge?

With more than 350 cabins to choose from, West Virginia’s state parks and forests offer numerous opportunities for you and your family to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with what matters most. Varying in size and accommodation, there really is a cabin for everyone.

From a place to rest your head to a meal to keep you going, our lodge parks offer a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities and amenities that are perfect for groups or individuals to enjoy. Book a stay at lodge parks like Tygart Lake, Twin Falls Resort,  Cacapon Resort and Pipestem Resort.

Will you be watching a sunrise or stargazing at night?

If you’re more of an early riser, there are great parks for you! At Bluestone State Park, the sunrise across the lake is gorgeous. If you don’t have a boat, you can snag a prime viewing spot from the fishing deck below the office. Visitors of the Greenbrier River Trail will also find a beautiful sunrise over the Greenbrier River.

But what better place to wish upon a star than at a West Virginia state park or forest? These parks offer boundless natural beauty, even long after the sun sets and the moon rises high over the Appalachian hills. Deep in the remote mountains of Pocahontas County, Watoga has obtained a Dark Sky certification!

Although it is not a Dark Sky certified park, Cass Scenic Railroad, located near the National Radio Quiet Zone and Green Bank Observatory, is perfect for taking in stars from every angle. Blackwater Falls State Park may be best known for its magnificent waterfalls and winter sports, but one of its standout attributes is only visible at night⁠—its stars.

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