6 WV state park bucket list items that will help you get through fall 2020
Autumn has arrived and beautiful foliage means it’s an ideal time to check some activities off your West Virginia state park bucket list. Is there a state park you’ve always wanted to visit? Or do you have a favorite state park you keep coming back to year after year? These six bucket list items will help you enjoy your visit.
As you travel this fall, please remember to observe CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks in close proximity to others.
Hike your favorite trail
Lace up a pair of comfortable shoes and head out to explore your favorite trail. West Virginia’s state park system has hundreds of miles of trails, from the challenging uphill climb to the lookout tower at Watoga State Park to the leisurely Greenbrier River Trail. Don’t forget to bring your reusable water bottle if you’re going to be out long, and dress for any anticipated changes in the weather.
Photograph a scenic overlook
With many state parks surrounded by majestic mountains or rugged river valleys, you don’t have to go far to find a scenic overlook with awe-inspiring views. We encourage tech-free park visits, but you’ll want to bring your camera to remember iconic settings, such as Lindy Point at Blackwater Falls State Park, Cranny Crow at Lost River State Park or the main overlooks at Coopers Rock State Forest and Hawks Nest State Park.
Reel in a trout from a cool, mountain stream
West Virginia’s parks have some of the best trout fishing streams in the state. There’s the Middle Fork River at Audra State Park, and Mill Creek at Kumbrabow State Forest or at Camp Creek State Park and Forest. Before you head out with your rod and reel or fly rod, make sure you have a valid West Virginia fishing license, available at www.wvfish.com.
See a waterfall surrounded by fall colors
The iconic Blackwater Falls is spectacular when its crashing waters are framed in the brilliant reds and yellows of autumn, but there are plenty of other beautiful waterfalls in West Virginia you also should visit. Take a trip to Valley Falls State Park to see its series of four waterfalls on the Tygart Valley River form a picturesque setting for picnics and leaf peeping. Or take a hike to discover a few hidden gems, like the two waterfalls that inspired the name of Twin Falls Resort.
Enjoy a campfire or fireplace during an overnight stay
What’s more fun than cuddling up around a campfire toasting marshmallows and sharing stories? You might think camping and campfires are just a summer activity, but many state parks offer fall camping, including Tomlinson Run, Tygart Lake and Beech Fork.
If the night air is a little too chilly for you, book a stay at a cozy cabin. From Cacapon Resort to Babcock State Park and beyond, accommodations range from modern, wood frame vacation-style cabins to rustic legacy cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Ride an aerial tramway or take a scenic train ride
If you want to see fall foliage from a different perspective, climb aboard the historic steam engine at Cass Scenic Railroad and settle in for a relaxing ride up the mountain to Bald Knob, West Virginia’s third-highest point. Or board an aerial tram at Hawks Nest or Pipestem Resort and immerse yourself in the majestic scenery of the New River or Bluestone River gorge.
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