One of the reasons West Virginia is called “Almost Heaven” is because of its rugged, natural beauty. Soaring mountains, rushing waterfalls and deep, rich forests form the backdrop for life in the Mountain State, and West Virginia State Parks and Forests are home to some of the most beautiful scenery. This list of Top 10 Picture Perfect Parks is in no way conclusive, but it’s our way to showcase the wide-array of views and vistas found at West Virginia State Parks and Forests. When planning your visit, don’t forget to bring your camera and selfie stick because you’ll definitely want to snap a photo at these picturesque spots.
1. Babcock State Park
Mostly photographed with colorful fall foliage in the background, Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park is a picture-perfect, year-round destination
2. Beartown State Park
A winding boardwalk leads Beartown State Park visitors through unusual rock formations, including massive boulders, overhanging cliffs and deep crevasses.
3. Blackwater Falls State Park
One of the most photographed sites in West Virginia, Blackwater Falls State Park is especially beautiful during the fall foliage and winter seasons. The waterfalls plunge five stories and are known for their unique color caused by tannic acid from nearby fallen hemlock and red spruce needles.
4. Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park
Access to the island is by sternwheeler only. Visitors to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park will see docents dressed in period costumes that lead daily tours through the reconstructed 1800s mansion. The island is also home to rich plant life, huge trees and varied wildlife.
5. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Visitors to Cass Scenic Railroad State Park can experience the sights and sounds of original steam-driven locomotives. We encourage you to also ride the train to the third highest point in West Virginia, Bald Knob.
6. Cathedral State Park
This park is home to ancient hemlock forests of majestic proportions. The park’s trees stand up to 90 feet tall, 21 feet in circumference and are considered some of the last virgin timber in West Virginia. Cathedral State Park is also home to nine species of ferns, 30 different tree species and more than 50 species of wildflowers.
7. Coopers Rock State Forest
The main overlook at Coopers Rock State Forest provides panoramic views of the Cheat River Gorge. Each season is worth the trip.
8. Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park
Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park is home to West Virginia’s last significant Civil War battle and is an official Civil War Discovery Trail site. While taking in the history, guests can also survey the Greenbrier Valley from the iconic lookout tower.
9. Hawks Nest State Park
Scenic overlooks at this park provide spectacular views of the New River Gorge. An on-site aerial tram also takes visitors from Hawks Nest State Park to the bottom of the New River Gorge Canyon. It’s a year-round favorite for photographers.
10. Pinnacle Rock State Park
Here, unusual sandstone formations reach more than 3,000 feet above sea level. Towering above the rugged mountains of southeastern West Virginia, Pinnacle Rock State Park provides a unique setting for nature photography, family photos and selfies.