WV state parks to visit when you need a study break

When school’s in session, time can get away from you. There’s class to go to, homework to finish, an exam to study for and a work shift you’re always 15 minutes late for. Whether you’re a taking classes part time at night or on campus full-time, being a student is hard work. When you need to destress, take time to play even harder at a West Virginia state park or forest. Or enjoy a restful weekend full of Almost Heaven views. Find your college or university below and plan a trip to one of the nearby parks or forests.

Northern Panhandle

Nearby Schools: Bethany College, West Liberty University, Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia Northern Community College

Set along the Ohio River, Tomlinson Run State Park is West Virginia’s northernmost state park. It offers hiking, boating, fishing, and is known for its unique yurt-style camping tents.

Eastern Panhandle

Nearby Schools: Shepherd University, Blue Ridge Community & Technical College, Martinsburg College, Valley College – Martinsburg

Freshly renovated, Cacapon Resort State Park has a brand-new restaurant, spa and fitness center, among other amenities. The resort also offers championship golf and horseback riding. 

Mountaineer Country

Nearby Schools: Fairmont State University, West Virginia University, Alderson-Broaddus College, Salem International University, Pierpont Community & Technical College, West Virginia Junior College – Bridgeport, West Virginia Junior College – Morgantown

The twisting, rocky trails at Coopers Rock State Forest are a mountain biker’s dream. Its romantic views of the Cheat River Canyon also make this park a good place for a date. If boating is your thing, head to Tygart Lake State Park. The 1,750-acre lake also is ideal for fishing and even scuba diving. 

Mountain Lakes

Nearby Schools: Glenville State College, West Virginia Wesleyan University

Cedar Creek State Park has three lakes seasonally stocked for fishing, as well as hiking trails and a miniature golf course. Live it up in style at Stonewall Resort State Park, which offers championship golf, dining, and boating on a 2,630-acre lake.

Potomac Highlands

Nearby Schools: Davis & Elkins College, Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College, Potomac State College of West Virginia University

Adventure-seeking students will love Canaan Valley Resort and Blackwater Falls State Park. Both parks have miles and miles of hiking trails and breathtaking scenery. During winter, Canaan Valley is a prime location for downhill skiing, while Blackwater Falls is home to the longest sled run in the east. 

Mid-Ohio Valley

Nearby Schools: Ohio Valley University, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Mountain State College, West Virginia University at Parkersburg

North Bend State Park is ideal for students who want to learn new outdoor skills. The park’s Quest program offers instruction in beginner mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing and more. If you prefer something a little less intense, the gentle grade of the North Bend Rail Trail is ideal for a leisurely bike ride.

Metro Valley

Nearby Schools: Marshall University; West Virginia State University; University of Charleston; BridgeValley Community & Technical College; Carver Career Center; Huntington Junior College; Mountwest Community & Technical College; West Virginia Junior College – Charleston

Boating and fishing are the main draws of Beech Fork State Park. Rent a kayak or canoe and spend the day paddling the peaceful waters of this 720-acre lake. Drop a line and you might even catch a largemouth bass. Just a short drive from the Capitol City, Kanawha State Forest features a large network of hiking and biking trails. 

New River & Greenbrier Valley

Nearby Schools: Concord University, Bluefield State College, Appalachian Bible College, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, New River Community & Technical College, Valley College – Beckley, Valley College – Princeton

Take in stunning views of the New River Gorge at Hawks Nest State Park or the Bluestone Gorge at Pipestem Resort State Park. For an adrenaline rush, try out the zipline aerial tours at Pipestem. Camp Creek State Park and Forest boasts over 30 miles of trails—one leading to the picturesque Mash Fork Falls. And Bluestone State Park is prime for fishing and boating on its 2,040-acre lake.

Hatfield & McCoy Country

Nearby Schools: Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College

Unique attractions at Chief Logan State Park include a wildlife exhibit and a museum exhibiting local and regional art and history. It’s also home to Christmas in the Park, an annual drive-through holiday lights show.

Discover more about West Virginia state parks and forests and book your Almost Heaven getaway today!

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