Your guide to fall adventures at Babcock State Park

Autumn brings an added beauty to Babcock State Park. The park’s oft-photographed Grist Mill looks stunning set against a backdrop of warm fall colors. The mill may be the star of the park, but there’s plenty more to see and do here. Peak color comes around the middle of October. For live updates on fall color at Babcock, visit Here’s everything you need to know to plan a trip.

The main attraction at Babcock State Park is the Glade Creek Grist Mill, a fully functional replica of the original Cooper’s Mill, which once stood on the grounds. Other popular activities you can enjoy in the park include hiking, mountain biking and fishing. 

There’s also plenty of things to do in the surrounding area. Located 20 miles southeast of the New River Gorge Bridge, Babcock is a perfect launching point for whitewater rafting, rock climbing and other outdoor adventures in the New River Gorge. It’s also just a short drive from Hawks Nest State Park, which offers stunning overlooks of the gorge.

‘Almost Heaven’ Photo Op

Babcock is home to one of several “Almost Heaven” swings. These handmade oversized wooden swings are set against scenic backdrops throughout West Virginia and are perfect for capturing memories of your trip. The swing at Babcock features the Grist Mill in the background, so be sure to snap a photo of family or friends in the swing to create an instant Instagram-worthy shot. Be sure to share your photos on social media using #AlmostHeaven.

The webcam at Babcock gives anyone a seasonal color view.  Photographers particularly like the ability to observe and then make plans to visit, perhaps during the week when there are fewer visitors.

WV Waterfall Trail

On your visit to Babcock, plan an excursion to some of West Virginia’s most majestic waterfalls. Some, like the falls at Glade Creek, are accessible right from the Grist Mill parking lot, Others are accessible via a short hike. Visit to download your free digital passport. Check in to Babcock’s waterfalls on the map and earn points toward prizes like stickers, water bottles and T-shirts.

Hiking Trails

If you enjoy hiking, Babcock State Park is a great place to visit. The park has more than 20 miles of trails, including easy loops and challenging climbs. Download a trail map, plan your hiking adventures today and remember to leave no trace behind.Check out one of Babcock’s newest trails, Old Sewell Road, a moderate trail that follows the path of the old narrow-gage railroad and connects the park to the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. If you prefer scenic overlooks, the Skyline Trail follows a natural cliff line to spectacular vistas. Or follow the easy-to moderate, 1-mile Lake View Trail loop around Boley Lake to take in some scenery and get a bit of exercise.


Whether you’re planning a lengthy vacation or just need a place to stay for a couple of nights, Babcock has cabins and campsites for you to choose from and they are reservable online as available when clicking View Rates and Availability.

The park has 28 cozy cabins available to rent spring through the end of October. The first 13 cabins are located along Glade Creek near the park’s famous grist mill and the rest are located deeper in the park. Whichever cabin you stay in, you can be sure to have a quiet place to relax and unwind.

Babcock also has 52 campsites available spring through fall, weather permitting. All campsites can accommodate tents, but only 28 campsites are suitable for trailers and RVs. You can reserve campsites online.

If you prefer lodge amenities or need a place to stay during Babcock’s off-season, book a room at nearby Hawks Nest State Park Lodge.

Recommended Itinerary

  • Visit the Glade Creek Grist Mill
  • Instagram your visit with a photo in the Almost Heaven swing
  • Shop at the gift shop
  • Go for a hike or bike ride
  • Go waterfall hunting
  • Fish at Boley Lake (Buy West Virginia Fishing License)

Pro-Tips for getting the most out of your trip to Babcock State Park

  • The Grist Mill is open on weekends only after Labor Day through the last Sunday in October and reopens in late spring.
  • The Grist Mill is a popular destination for photographers, especially on weekends. Plan to visit during the week if you want a less-crowded photo-taking experience.
  • Pack a lunch and bring some extra water for your hiking.
  • Trails can get busy on weekends. Weekday use is not as busy.
  • Boley Lake provides some great photography opportunities.
  • The Babcock Gift Shop has a great selection of unique gifts, locally crafted glass and other artisan items. 

Plan Your Trip

Fall is a popular time to visit West Virginia state parks and forests and lodging fills up fast. Don’t miss out … make your Almost Heaven getaway plans today!

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