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 cooler, the trails are less crowded, and the changing leaves make for incredible scenery. Create your own West Virginia State Parks itinerary based on your likes and interests and come see what fall in #AlmostHeaven is all about!

Are you a history buff or an adventure lover?

If you’re a student of history, you’ll find an abundance of learning opportunities in these West Virginia hills. Lost River State Park is home to the restored Lee Cabin, the summer retreat of Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee, a Revolutionary War general and father of Civil War General Robert E. Lee. At Watters Smith Memorial State Park, the 19th century Smith cabin has been refurbished and serves as a museum containing many period-accurate furnishings.

You’ll also find entire parks devoted to memorable events and eras in West Virginia’s past. Carnifex Ferry Battlefield and Droop Mountain Battlefield state parks depict significant battles during the Civil War. Tu-Endie-Wei State Park commemorates the 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant. 

Learn something new and gain a greater appreciation of the Mountain State’s history at sites like Berkeley Springs, Prickett’s Fort, Fairfax Stone and Cass Scenic Railroad state parks and Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park.

If you’re more of an adventurer, West Virginia State Parks offers plenty of activities to satisfy your cravings. Hikers will find hundreds of miles of trails for every skill level showcasing the Mountain State’s beautiful terrain. In addition to that, here are some recommendations that are sure to give you an adrenaline rush.

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.

Off-Roading: West Virginia’s mountainous terrain makes it an ideal destination for off-roading and you can do just that at Cabwaylingo State Forest. Part of the extensive Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, the Cabwaylingo Trail features nearly 100 miles of trails suitable for ATV, UTV, 4×4 and dirt bike riders.

Mountain Biking: If ripping through the trees on two wheels is your idea of fun, you’re in luck. You’ll find trails at any state park to pair with your level of skill, comfort and experience in mountain biking, including a new and improved trail system at Cacapon Resort State Park.

If you prefer a long leisurely ride, try the North Bend Rail Trail or the Elk River Trail, one of West Virginia’s newest state parks.

Explore more exciting adventures at West Virginia State Parks here.

Are you a camper or a glamper?

Camping is all about the memories and escape to nature. Surround yourself with forest views while tent camping at Audra or Watoga state parks or Coopers Rock State Forest. Hook up the RV at and relax at Beech Fork State Park. Or, book a stay in a yurt or camper cabin at Tomlinson Run State Park. These facilities come equipped with all you’ll need for a convenient and cozy camping trip.

Would you rather zipline or ride an aerial tram?

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 State Park, 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 mountains, board the aerial tram at Pipestem, 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 and the water is running strong. Some of the most beautiful waterfalls can be found at Twin Falls, Camp Creek, Blackwater Falls, Holly River and Valley Falls state parks. (Pro Tip: Download your West Virginia Waterfall Trail mobile passport, check in to the falls you visit, and earn prizes as you go.)If scenic vistas are more your thing, we have you covered. West Virginia’s mountains are especially beautiful when enveloped in the warm colors of autumn. It’s a great time of year to hike to overlooks at Lost River and Hawks Nest state parks or Coopers Rock State Forest.

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 at Cass Scenic Railroad.

Experience nature from the back of a trusty steed at Cacapon Resort, Lost River and Pipestem Resort, which have stables on site and offer guided trail rides. For visitors traveling with horses, Camp Creek and Holly River state parks offer horseback riding trails and equestrian camping.

Do you prefer a cozy cabin or lodge living?

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. Cabin styles range from rustic to modern and many are tucked away in the woods or set along rippling streams.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?

If you’re 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 is Dark Sky certified!

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. And Blackwater Falls may be best known for its magnificent waterfalls and winter sports, but one of its standout attributes is only visible at night⁠—its stars.

Reserve lodging now and get ready for the Almost Heaven fall adventure of a lifetime!

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