Your guide to fall adventures at Babcock State Park

There are few places in West Virginia that are as iconic as Babcock State Park. The park’s famous Grist Mill is one of the most photographed places in the state and fall is one of the best times to visit and snap a picture of your own. But while you might visit Babcock for a photo, you’ll want to stay for more incredible scenery and outdoor adventures. 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.

Featured Activities at Babcock State Park

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.

Featured Trails at Babcock State Park

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.

Need help choosing what trails to hike during your stay? Here are a few of our favorite trails at Babcock:

Skyline Trail
This two-mile (one way) moderate to difficult trail follows a natural cliff line and provides spectacular vista views. Trailheads are at Manns Creek overlook in the picnic area and across the road from Cabin 5. Hikers must return along the same trail or by park roads.

Manns Creek Gorge Trail
This two-mile (one way) moderate trail is great for hiking and mountain biking. Trailheads are located across from Campsite 26 and at the first parking area at Camp Washington Carver. This trail doesn’t loop, so hikers and bikers will need to return along the same route to walk the Camp Washington Carver road back to the campground.

Lake View Trail
This one-mile easy to moderate trail loops around Boley Lake. Trailheads are at the lake parking lot or at the gate above the grist mill. A spur from the grist mill gate provides an additional half-mile moderately difficult hike.

Places to Stay at Babcock State Park

Whether you’re planning a vacation or need a place to stay for a couple of nights, Babcock has plenty of cabins and campsites for you to choose from.

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.

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

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.
  • 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. 
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