Parks & Wild Places
It’s easy for visitors to forget about the hustle and bustle of the daily grind in a place where state parks outnumber the traffic lights four to one. The northern reaches of the 900,000 acre Monongahela National Forest offer guests ample opportunity to quench their thirst for adventure with miles of trails and endless recreation opportunities.
The Blackwater River cascades nearly six stories into the spectacular Blackwater Canyon. The awe-inspiring falls that plunge 63 feet into the Canyon below attract nature lovers to this model West Virginia state park time and again. Two overlooks provide different views of the Falls. The Gentle Overlook is an easy access facility, while the trail from the Trading Post offers a way to the base of the Falls for an up-close and personal experience.
A 6,000-acre West Virginia State Park situated in the center of Canaan Valley, this resort state park is known for its dynamic winter sports playground. Fantastic downhill and cross-country skiing, the new tubing park, snowshoeing, sleigh rides and a full winter recreation calendar make a winter visit here an extravaganza! Throughout spring, summer and fall, the park’s trails are great for hiking and mountain biking. The park offers 160+ lodge rooms, 23 cabins, camping, and full conference facilities for large groups.
The nation's 500th refuge was dedicated in 1994 and its 16,225 acres are managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. These lands in the northern sector of the valley are protected to remain wild forever. Visitors can enjoy interpretive hikes, 31 miles of year-round trails, hunting and fishing opportunities and a visitor center with educational exhibits, films and displays.
Encompassing close to 900,000 multi-use public access acres, the National Forest offers many high mountain, outdoor recreational opportunities including hiking, mountain biking, camping, great trout fishing, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, birding, horseback riding, hunting and much more! A great deal of Tucker County is national forest lands.
Situated on a high-mountain, windswept plateau overlooking the Alleghenies, this unique area provides the opportunity to explore conditions normally found much farther to the north. "A bit of Canada gone astray,” the Wilderness Area is known for its Canadian-like flora and weather patterns. Heathers and cranberries reign in summer. Hiking, backpacking, primitive camping, berry-picking, and a true wilderness experience are in store for those inclined to explore the backcountry. Word to the wise: this IS true backcountry! Prior to visiting, please be familiar with all regulations and have maps available.
Over 20,000 acres of wilderness area are situated in a mountain "bowl" formed by the Otter Creek drainage. Low environmental impact activities such as hiking, bird watching, backpacking, trout fishing and primitive camping are permitted. Forty-two miles of primitive hiking trails that follow old railroad grades can be accessed from Rt. 72 near the Dry Fork River. A wonderful place for wildlife watching!