15 Waterfall Trails in West Virginia

15 list of the best waterfall trails in West Virginia you can try out while in the region including Red Creek Trail, Glade Creek Trail, Valley Falls...

During the vacation or stop by in West Virginia, you may need some alone time or downtime to relax your nerves in nature. What other way is better than a visit to the waterfalls, which are quite many and diverse. Below is a list of the best waterfall trails you can try out while in the region. They are available in different sizes, depending on what you prefer. Also, proximity varies among them, with some being less than a mile away and others more than twenty miles away.

15 Waterfall Trails in West Virginia

Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is among the top iconic spots to explore while in the state of West Virginia. Also, the beauty and the incredible features of the park make it the best spot for photography as well as for exploration by nature-lovers. The park has two major waterfall trails, Elakala and Blackwater waterfall.

1. Elakala Falls Trail

Elakala Falls Trail
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Elakala Falls Trail leads to a magnificent Elakala falls that comprises of four waterfalls in series. The trail is very short and covers 0.6 miles from a road that comes from Blackwater falls lodge heading to Elakala Falls. The start of the trail is on the southern park side close Blackwater lodge from where it gradually descends downhill where the falls are based.

As mentioned earlier, Elakal falls comprise of four falls in a series arrangement. However, from the trail, you will be able to spot only the first waterfall that drops to about 35 feet, and the rest are visible when you arrive at the place.

In the park, it’s ranked as the second according to popularity, making it a great place to explore in warmer days of the year. The location of the trail is quite ideal. Sitting next to the popular Blackwater lodge, it’s definitely a must-visit place when you are staying at the lodge.

2. Blackwater Falls Trail

Blackwater Falls Trail
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The trail is much shorter and most exploited than that which leads to Elakala falls in the same park. Starting from the parking lot, it covers a 0.2 miles distance to the base of the waterfall. You will locate the trail at the parking lot of Blackwater trading post, from where you will encounter a series of staircases as well as gravel trails as you head towards the falls.

The best time to visit is during warmer months. At this time, you will have a chance to reach the base of the fall. But during winter, there is the closure of the staircases that leads to the base of the fall. This is to avoid risking the lives of the tourist from the accidents that may occur. But despite that, you will still get the breathtaking view of the fall.

3. Red Creek Trail

Red Creek Trail
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For a thrilling adventure in the jungle, then Red Creek Trail is a great choice. Covering about 7.5 miles, you will definitely need comfortable shoes to have the best time. The trail starts from Dolly Sods’ southern part towards the central area, where it meets up with the Blackbird knob trail. 

Also note, while venturing into the wilderness, avoid the GPS data, it will mislead. Somehow, it’s not accurate. To have a complete venture to the falls, getting your gears wet will be mandatory. This is because you will have to traverse Red creek. The depth of the creek often varies and relies on the season. At the start of the four miles, you will have a chance to admire some beautiful falls. 

Some are large, while the other is pretty small. Dolly Sods wilderness was initially a military training ground. Thus, some ammunition may still be around. When you spot one, contact the authority and avoid touching. Also, biking is not permitted; therefore, you only have the option of walking.

4. Glade Creek Trail

For the best multi-exploration adventure, the Glade Creek trail will never disappoint you. It has several fascinating sites that are less than a mile off the trail. Some of them include Kate’s fall, a 40 feet wide, and about the 5-foot tall waterfall. Also, there are campsites based in various locations off-trail.

The trail is situated close to New River Gorge and covers 12.2 miles to and fro. The trail has been based on an old railroad that is raised. Therefore, you will be walking on a flat path throughout the venture.

On the trail, you will have an opportunity to Kate’s fall, which is about 0.3- 0.4 mile to and from off the trail. Glade creek trail is among the best New River Gorge as it contains many campsites that are off-trail. Due to the flat nature of the trail, it’s considered the best spot for moderate hiking.

5. Sandstone Falls Trail

Sandstone Falls Trail
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Apparently, Sandstone falls are the largest fall on the new river. It’s truly a mesmerizing sight to see. With a width of 1500 feet, there is an island at the center which splits the river water. At the drop point, water covers a range of 10 to 25 feet in height.

The sandstone trail covers about a quarter-mile and its accessible handicaps due to the boardwalk that covers the distance to the observation deck, offering you with a stunning waterfall view. Also, it leads to two bridges that are handy if you need to get to the island across the river. Last but not least, you will also have a chance to go fishing during this trip.

Location: Sandstone Falls Trail

6. Falls of Hills Creek Trail

Falls of Hills Creek is a hidden jewel you can’t miss to visit by all means. The trail covers about 1.3 miles and guides you to a great spot where you can have a thrilling view of the grand falls as they cascade gracefully down the hills creek. The falls are available for viewing the whole year-round.

This fascinating jewel has a boardwalk trail that allows handicaps to admire the beauty of the fall. It comprises of 3 falls, the water cascades at different great heights from the top. The least covers a 20 feet distance, 45 feet as the medium height, and finally a majestic drop of 63 feet. With a drop of 63 feet, the waterfall is ranked as the second-highest in the mountain states waterfall.

7. Brush Creek Falls Trail

This amazing waterfall trail is about a mile to and fro. Along the trail, you have a stunning view of pretty Rhododendron flowers. They are quite amazing and make the path glow with beauty as it gives a warm sensation. A mile is relatively small, considering it’s to and fro; thus, you can start your venture any time of the day without a hurry.

At the falls where the trail leads, you will encounter a fascinating 25-foot drop of the waterfall. The location of the fall is the Brush Creek Nature Reserve and preserved by both the bluestone river and brush creek. The beauty of the spot and the attractive background is perfect for a photography session. Also, it provides a great location for nature lovers to admire the scenic beauty and serene conditions.

8. Rock and Rhododendron Trail

The trail covers a 3.9-mile distance to and fro as it guides up to the base of the beautiful falls. From there, you will have a stunning view of the fall as it elegantly cascades. The path is characterized by several looping trails, as well as those on a moderate level.

Rock and Rhododendron Trail leads to Valley falls state park. The fall comprises of four incredibly beautiful falls formed by the dark gushing water. The river that feeds the fall is known as Tygart Valley River. At the park, there are over 18 miles of trails for hiking as well as those that lead to the scenic view of the waterfall. Last but not least, there is a great jungle of the park that makes the venture even more thrilling.

9. Cathedral Falls Trail

Cathedral Falls Trail
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The fall is based some few meters away from the parking lot. In fact, you can have a look at the waterfall while still standing next to your car at the parking lot. Situated along the US60, it’s a fascinating and must-see place when you are nearby.

The falls are also situated closer to Kanawha falls, and it’s quite a short distance while driving upstream. Therefore, you can explore any other fall apart from the cathedral falls due to their close proximity to each other.

Cathedral waterfalls rank as among the highest waterfalls in West Virginia. Nature at which it cascades down the crated slopes is mesmerizing and worth admiring. Also, the beauty of the place makes it ideal for photography.

Location: Cathedral Falls Trails

10. Whitaker Falls Trail

The Whitaker waterfalls trail takes about 10 minutes to walk when you are coming from Elk lodge. Closer to the lodger are camping spots, restaurants as well as hotels. Closer to the fall, there are no facilities, therefore, utilize the restaurant and hotels nearby Elk lodge before heading to the jungle as there are no such facilities close to the waterfall.

Interns of aesthetic beauty, Whitaker Falls, uphold that the waterfalls are compost of a waterfall series, which is quite unique and distinct from the other waterfalls. The surrounding is a lush of greenery and trees, creating an incredible and charming look that’s perfect for photography.

Location: Whitaker Falls

11. Valley falls

Valley falls
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Douglas falls about a mile or two on foot, but the alternative you can use a four-wheel-drive, which is great in dealing with the rugged surrounding of the forest. When exploring on foot, there is a footpath that will guide you up to the waterfall base. The whole waterfall area is quite beautiful and worth exploring. But while having the best time, be cautious while stepping on the rocks. They are covered with algae hence slippery.

Blackwater waterfall outdoes Douglas waterfall in other features but not the stunning beauty. The area has red rocks that seem colorful from sunburn. And the water is vividly green. Thus the two make a perfect contrast, which is ideal for photography.

Sadly, the watercolor and maybe the color of the rock may be due to acid drainage coming from the mines. Therefore be careful when touching or handling the water, as some people may be tempted to have a taste thinking its pure. But it’s still fascinating how polluted water can also create a pretty environment with incredible colors worth admiring.

  • Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Distance: 3.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Map: Valley falls
  • Location: Valley falls

12. Seneca Creek Trail

Seneca Creek Trail
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The trail covers a distance of 10.1 miles with moderate traffic to and fro. The trail is situated close to Riverton in West Virginia. The main feature of the Seneca creek trail is a waterfall with a moderate ranking based on popularity and natural features. 

This trail is quite flexible, with dogs allowed, there are several other ventures to try out. For instance, hiking, walking, bird watching, wildlife, nature exploration, and this includes wildflowers, wildlife, and even waterfall exploration.

There are a number of amazing waterfalls along the trail. Some are larger, and others are considerably small. But the most incredible one is the 30foot upper Seneca creek waterfall. In spring, there are often many boaters who fancy a bumpy ride on the rivers and falls on their path. But there are also those who prefer relaxation and enjoying the serenity and coolness in the cover of jungles during summer.

13. Holly River State Park

Holly River state park trail is a great sport in West Virginia for nature lovers. With over 8,000 acres of land under trees and bushes, this provides you with a great jungle experience. The park has two trails, which lead to major waterfalls like Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh. Like other natural waterfalls, these are stunningly beautiful. Other ventures you can try out during this time include picnics, hiking, recreational programs, cabin, and camping, among others.

14. Tecumseh Falls via Reverie Trails 

This trail covers 4.6 miles distance with a bit of traffic to and fro. The traffic loop trails are situated close to Hackey Valley in West Virginia. The trail is functional in activities such as running, hiking, and bird watching, among others. On this tail, dogs are also permitted, but they have to be on a leash to be allowed.

The key attraction in this trail is the Tecumseh waterfall, which is moderate in size but beautiful. Last but not least, photography, as mentioned earlier, West Virginia has some of the most incredible waterfalls that are very attractive. This makes them a potential site for state of the art photography by models as well as ordinary individuals.

15. Twin Falls Resort State Park Trails

From the name, there are two amazing waterfalls that are situated half a mile apart. The two waterfalls are linked via hiking trails. What makes is the best spot for your holiday is the breathtaking mountain ridge and the beautiful cascading waterfalls that are hard to compete with. With over 28 miles of trails, both smooth and rugged, you will hardly miss a place to explore.

Conclusion

Some of the trails are quite slippery or too rugged; therefore, hiking shoes that are comfortable will come in handy. In total, you have about 13 trails to explore. Each of them covers between 2 to 4 miles. Last but not least, if you are a dog person, they are permitted to go with during hiking but only under leash.

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