10 National and State Parks to Visit in West Virginia Before Summer Ends


West Virginia has stunning national and state parks, perfect for a family vacation or a solo adventure. From incredible views travelers can only get from hiking trails to remote mountain lakes, these attractions offer the best places to spend time outdoors to rejuvenate. Best of all, these are the perfect destinations for outdoor fun for free or on a tight budget. Here are the state parks and national parks worth visiting in West Virginia during the summer.

ten New River Gorge National Park

New River Gorge National Park is located in Fayetteville. It has a lot to offer: hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking are popular activities here. There are also several campgrounds near the park’s trails where travelers can spend time relaxing or trying out various activities.

Related: West Virginia Is Also Called “Almost Heaven,” And That’s Why You Should Visit

9 Bluestone National Scenic River

If tourists are looking for a relaxing trip to the mountains, they need look no further than Bluestone National Scenic River. This river is located in southern West Virginia and flows through Summers and Mercer counties.

In this park there are many beautiful vantage points from which vacationers can view The Bluestone. Higher water levels allow intermediate canoeing and rafting, but the river is rarely paddled. Along the banks of the river, it is possible to observe wildlife and birds.

Per state rules, hunting is permitted in the fall, winter, and spring. Although a permit is required, fishing is also permitted. In the Bluestone National Scenic River, camping is not permitted.

Related: What to do in Point Pleasant, WV (including the annual Mothman Festival)

8 Gauley River National Recreation Area

Gauley River National Recreation Area is located in Summersville. It was created to primarily protect a section of the Gauley River and the Meadow River. The park contains several scenic viewpoints and provides access to great campsites. It has miles of hiking trails as well as other outdoor activities like fishing and canoeing or kayaking. Gauley River National Recreation Area and its surroundings offer tourists a staggering variety of resources while being rich in cultural and natural history.

seven Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is one of the most beautiful places travelers will visit. The historical park features exhibits on the life and accomplishments of John Brown, a renowned abolitionist. There are also several hiking trails that pass through woods filled with wildflowers in the spring. During the summer, there will be many more things to do here besides exploring nature. Visitors can participate in family-friendly activities such as cooking demonstrations or visit museums dedicated specifically to Civil War history.

6 Monongahela National Forest

Located in the beautiful Allegheny Mountains, it is one of the most visited national forests in the eastern United States, with over three million visitors annually. The Monongahela National Forest has many miles of hiking trails and offers plenty of opportunities for camping or cabin rentals. Mountain biking and horseback riding are permitted on the extensive backcountry road network. Other recreational activities include hunting, fishing and game viewing.

5 Canaan Valley Resort State Park

Canaan Valley Resort State Park is located in Tucker County. The park offers cabins for rent, as well as campsites with hookups for RVs and tents. The natural splendor and recreational opportunities of this popular golf and ski resort are unmatched. At Canaan Valley Resort, there are dining options for everyone, thanks to the many on-site restaurants.

4 Babcock State Park

Babcock State Park is located near New River Gorge. It’s a great place for bird watching and hiking, with over 20 miles of trails. Vacationers can also paddle, canoe or kayak. Guests have the opportunity to see a live feed from the famous Glade Creek Grist Mill year-round. The old Cooper’s Mill, which once stood on the property, is replicated in full functionality by the Glade Creek Grist Mill. The mill and natural setting provide the perfect backdrop for some great photography. The park offers campsites for tents as well as cabins available by reservation.

3 Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains. Visitors can participate in recreational activities such as swimming, hiking and biking trails. They can also spot wild animals such as bears, grouse and woodcocks. The park has well-maintained picnic areas that are ideal for family outings. Blackwater Falls State Park has an 18-hole golf course open to non-golfers and avid golfers who want to practice their skills.

2 Cacapon Resort State Park

Cacapon Resort State Park is located in Morgan County on the slopes of Cacapon Mountain. It is a popular place to visit as it offers hiking trails that lead to panoramic views of the entire mountainous region. A full spa, championship golf course, and beautiful indoor and outdoor dining options are just a few of the attractions available at Cacapon Resort. There are other outdoor activities to try, such as mountain biking, fishing, and camping.

1 Hawk’s Nest State Park

Located in Fayette County, Hawks Nest State Park is well known for its spectacular scenery. The park offers an expansive pavilion for guest convenience and an on-site restaurant. The New River and Gauley River valleys are visible from the nine-hole executive golf course. Holidaymakers can also enjoy stunning views of the New River Gorge Bridge and the thrilling cable car linking the lakeside recreation facilities from the lodge.


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