State Park of the Week: Valley Falls

Enjoy waterfalls, scenic views, history and outdoor adventures with your family.

There’s nowhere else in the world quite like Valley Falls State Park. This scenic day-use park is located near Fairmont and is known for its half-mile long set of cascades and stunning down-stream views of the Tygart Valley River. But did you know Valley Falls is more than a place where you can listen to the soothing sounds of a waterfall and enjoy a relaxing picnic? This park also has thrills galore and is home to some of the best hiking, fishing and whitewater kayaking in West Virginia’s Mountaineer country!

If you love waterfalls, beautiful scenery and outdoor adventure you need to visit Valley Falls. Here’s everything you need to know for a fun family trip or solo excursion.

Valley Falls: Waterfalls you won’t get tired of chasing

No two waterfalls are alike, and Valley Falls State Park has four. While not as tall as some of the other iconic waterfalls in West Virginia, Valley Falls’ namesake waterfall, which tumbles along the dark, rushing waters of the Tygart Valley River, is awe-inspiring in its own ways

“We stopped at Valley Falls on our way from Point Pleasant to Morgantown. Perhaps not as spectacular as some of West Virginia’s other falls, this is still a sight to behold. It had rained hard the previous week, so the Tygart Valley River packed a lot of punch. The sheer width of Valley Falls was impressive, however.”

— Stijn-traveler, TripAdvisor Reviewer from Belgium

When you visit, make sure you explore the park because there are other falls worth seeing. Don’t miss Twin Falls on Glady Creek, which features a rock formation that splits the waterfall into two streams. After you visit Valley Falls, plan a tour of West Virginia State Parks’ waterfalls and see other iconic locations, like Glade Creek Falls at Babcock or the Upper Falls at Holly River. Document each waterfall on social media and use the hashtag #WVStateParks for a chance to get featured on our Instagram page.

Experience the best of West Virginia’s outdoor adventures

Hiking is the most popular outdoor activity at West Virginia’s state parks and the best part about hiking at Valley Falls is that you can walk down to a waterfall and enjoy a picnic or cast a line into the Tygart Valley River. Check out either the Rhododendron and Rocky trails for a challenging but rewarding hike with awesome views of the falls.

If you’d like something a little more adventurous, the park’s main waterfall is a great place for boulder climbing on the river bank. There are plenty of easy holds for beginners and climbing is not only fun but will reward you with even better views of the waterfall.

Valley Falls also offers a chance to enjoy whitewater kayaking. Because the Tygart Valley River runs strong, even after other whitewater rapids around the state dry up, Valley Falls is a popular kayaking destination. Check with the park before your trip to get permission.

There’s plenty of history to be found at Valley Falls

Like many West Virginia state parks, history is waiting to be uncovered at Valley Falls. You just have to look for it.

As you explore the park, keep an eye out for the remains of a sawmill and gristmill along the river. In the 19th century, the area was home to a thriving lumber community and a stop along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Grafton and Wheeling. The town grew over the years and had a hotel, school, church and shops. During the Civil War, Valley Falls was a strategic location as troops were moved along the railroad through the town. In the 1880s, a fire and flood destroyed most of the town, which never fully recovered. In the 19th, the area was home to a thriving lumber community.

Big and small, high and low, West Virginia State Parks are home to your fondest memories and experiences yet to come. Visit Valley Falls and you’ll find a new reason to love Almost Heaven. Want to spend the night? Valley Falls doesn’t have overnight accommodations, but you can stay at nearby Tygart Lake State Park.Plan your trip today!

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