4 things you need to experience at a West Virginia state park this winter

Here’s the ultimate winter checklist for family fun and adventure at any West Virginia state park!

So, you know you want to take a trip to a West Virginia state park, but aren’t sure which one to visit or what to do when you get there. Don’t worry. The good thing about a state park is that there’s always something to do, no matter what time of year you take a trip. When you visit a state park, it’s important to take time to enjoy yourself, appreciate nature and connect with loved ones. So, here’s four things you can enjoy at almost any park this winter.

1. Hike out to an overlook and catch a glimpse of Almost Heaven

Breathe in that crisp mountain air. Listen to the sound of powdery snow crunch beneath your hiking boots. You know your feet are on the ground, but you can’t help but feel like you’re walking in Heaven. At West Virginia state parks, a hike is more than a stroll through the woods. It’s an experience that leaves you wanting more — to go one more mile after mile.

All those steps on the trail come with the reward of seeing some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of West Virginia. You’ll have unspoiled views of the Blackwater River Canyon from Lindy Point at Blackwater Falls State Park. Or get a jaw-dropping view of the Cheat River Canyon from Raven Rock at Coopers Rock State Forest. And don’t forget the panorama of five counties (including some in Virginia) you’ll see from the Cranny Crow overlook at Lost River State Park. There’s many more scenic overlooks to discover, so get out and see all of them for yourself!

2. Spend the night in a cabin

Walk up to the warm and inviting glow of your cabin’s porch light after a day of snowy adventures and it won’t be long until you’re feeling right at home. Stoke up a fire, curl up with a good book, enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and just … relax. The only thing better than a day of skiing or hiking in the woods is coming back to a cozy cabin where you have all the comforts of home.

With hundreds cabins to choose from, our parks and forests offer endless opportunities for you and your family to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get in touch with nature. Whether you want a romantic getaway for two at Cacapon Resort and Berkeley Springs, or a family ski vacation at Canaan Valley, we have just the cabin for you. And plan to come a night early. Who couldn’t use a little more time on their vacation?

3. Visit a state park waterfall

At many state parks, you can hear the roar of rushing water tumbling over rocks in the distance. What’s that? It’s the unmistakable sound of a waterfall. These wonders of nature have been objects of inspiration for thousands of years. So majestic. Awesome, yet peaceful. You can’t help but stand in silence and let the stress get washed away.

West Virginia’s state parks are home to some of the Mountain State’s most iconic waterfalls. There’s the amber-colored Blackwater Falls and its sister falls at Elakala, which features a series of drops on Shay Run before the tributary meets the Blackwater River. There’s also Campbell and Mash Fork falls at Camp Creek State Park. Or, you can walk the rhododendron lined Falls Trail loop to see Marsh Fork and Black Fork falls at Twin Falls Resort State Park. You can drive right up to many waterfalls, but make sure you hike out a little further for an even more impressive view! Many waterfalls are seasonal and tend to dry up in the summer, so it’s best to view them in the winter and spring when there is plenty of snowmelt and rainfall.

4. Get out and play in the snow

Feel a rush of adrenaline as you race down the east coast’s longest sled run at Blackwater Falls. Wisp through the forest like a family of deer as you cross-country ski at Pipestem Resort State Park. Or relive your childhood memories by building a snowman, making snow angels and throwing snowballs with your kids outside your cabin at Watoga State Park.

Covered in layers of glistening white snow, West Virginia’s state parks are a winter wonderland ready to transport you back to simpler times when a simple snow day meant a world of magic and wonder was at your fingertips. There’s no limit to what you can do when you let your imagination run wild. So, get out and enjoy the serene beauty of West Virginia state parks’ snow-covered hills.

The good thing about this list is that it leaves plenty of room for you to make your trip exactly what you want it to be. Don’t feel like you need to follow an itinerary to make the most out of your trip. Sometimes, just simply enjoying some time off surrounded by beautiful scenery is all you need. See for yourself by planning a trip today!

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