Wednesday, June 20, 2018

West Virginia Travel Guide: 6 Beautiful Places to Visit in the Mountain State

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 1 Comments
Tomorrow, June 20th, is West Virginia Day!  

West Virginia is my home state, and there are some amazing places there that I want to share with everyone in honor of West Virginia Day.  It makes me sad that many people don't even consider West Virginia as a vacation destination, when it definitely is!  Especially if you like being outdoors!  I think everyone can find something to love about the Mountain State.   

I wanted to choose locations that were more off the beaten path and less advertised.  Places like the New River Gorge Bridge and Harper's Ferry are all beautiful and definitely worth a visit, but they're the ones you hear about the most.  I wanted to showcase some of the other amazing, maybe more unusual places to see in West Virginia.  

Actually, I think I did find of a way to make this post somewhat craft related...

My dad is a West Virginia Photographer, and travels to all these amazing locations almost every weekend to snap some beautiful photos.  Every photo in this post is one of his amazing shots, and a lot of the places were one's that he recommended.  I think photography definitely counts as a craft, right?

6 Beautiful Places to Visit in West Virginia

1) Blackwater Falls

Blackwater Falls West Virginia
Blackwater Falls West Virginia.  Taken by Rick Winter

Blackwater Falls is know for it's strange amber-colored water rushing over a 57 ft drop.  The water is tinted that color by tannic acid of fallen hemlock and the red needles from spruce trees.  There are several places to view the falls there as well as well as camping, hiking, and snow sports in the winter.  

The Durbin and Greenbriar Valley Railroad is also nearby, offering mystery dinner excursions, mountain rail adventures, and other trips to places only reachable by train.  They use old steam engines and vintage diesel powered passenger trains for a really unique experience.  They even have a Polar Express during Christmas time!     

Cooper's Rock State Forest in the Fall
Cooper's Rock State Forest in the Fall.  Taken by Rick Winter

Cooper's Rock State Forest near Morgantown is home to Cooper's Rock, a series of sandstone cliffs overlooking the Cheat River Gorge.  Many of the structures there were built during the Great Depression and are listed on the Nation Register of Historic Places.  There are a ton of trails and overlooks to visit, as well as camping, whitewater rafting, and even a golf resort and spa!

Seneca Rock West Virginia
Seneca Rock West Virginia.  Taken by Rick Winter

If rock climbing interests you, then head over to the Monongahela National Forest in the state's eastern panhandle, home to Seneca Rock.  Seneca Rock is a 900 ft rock formation that offers some amazing views to rock climbers and non-climbers alike.  A self guided tour takes non climber's up a 1.3 mile trail to see the beautiful views. 

That's not the only amazing stop in the Monongahela Forest either.  It's also the home of Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia, it's peak Spruce Mountain, the highest peak in the Alleghany Mountains, and Seneca Caverns, a 460 million year old cave system that's definitely worth checking out. 

The Glade Creek Grist Mill in Babcock State Park West Virginia.  Taken by Rick Winter

Babcock State Park in Clifftop West Virginia is one of the most iconic places in the state, with the Glade Creek Grist Mill being a top attraction for photographers (like my dad :-) ).  It's over 4,000 acres of in trails, flowers, and streams that offer hiking, fishing, biking and camping.  It's also only 20 miles away from the New River Gorge Bridge, another amazing West Virginia site to visit.

Campbell's Falls at Camp Creek State Park.  Taken by Rick Winter

Mercer County West Virginia is home to Camp Creek State Park, a 6,000 acre forest known for great camping and beautiful waterfalls.  It has over 35 miles of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding, as well as streams full of trout to fish.  And with it's location right off Interestate 77, it's a perfect place to stop during a trip! 

Summersville Lake in the Fall
Summersville Lake in the Fall.  Taken by Rick Winter

Summersville Lake offers a slightly different West Virginia experience than the mountains of the others.  With over 28,000 acres of water and 60 miles worth of shoreline, the state's largest lake offers several water adventures like boating, fishing, swimming, and even it's own lighthouse.  There are also several cabins and camping locations all around the shore as well, making it a lovely weekend retreat. 

That's my list!  

Which place do you want to visit most?

I've been to several of these places, but definitely not all of them.  Listening to my dad's stories makes me want to see more of my home state, though.  Camp Creek State Park is pretty high on my list now!

Pin for later!

What do you think of my dad's amazing photography?  Do you want to take a trip to West Virginia now?

I sure hope you do! :-)  It get's a bad rap sometimes, but West Virginia is a beautiful place filled with wonderful people.  I hope this list makes you think about adding it to your vacation destinations!  It's definitely worth the visit.

Follow Us @doodle.leaf