Journey Through West Virginia’s Breathtaking Waterfall Trail

With over 200 waterfalls strewn throughout the state, West Virginia presents an unprecedented opportunity for explorers to embark on the first-ever statewide Waterfall Trail. Designed for adventurous travelers seeking an escape from the ordinary, this trail invites you to reconnect with nature as you unveil more than two dozen mesmerizing cascades.

Delight in the adventure of waterfall hunting as you kickstart an unforgettable summer. Along the trail, you’ll encounter renowned falls like Blackwater and Sandstone alongside hidden treasures such as Finn’s in the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve and Drawdy in Boone County. Whether towering over lush valleys or spanning mighty rivers, these diverse cascades guarantee awe-inspiring sights and unforgettable experiences.

Take in Majestic Natural Beauty

Mash Fork Falls, West Virginia
Photo Credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism

West Virginia’s Waterfall Trail offers a captivating journey through rugged landscapes adorned with cascading falls. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of these natural wonders, whether they plunge from towering cliffs or flow gently along streams. Prepare to be mesmerized by the breathtaking sights that await you at every turn.

With over 200 waterfalls scattered across the state, West Virginia offers an unparalleled variety of cascades to discover. The Waterfall Trail showcases more than two dozen of these captivating wonders, ranging from well-known falls like Blackwater and Sandstone to hidden gems like Finn’s and Drawdy. No matter your preference, you’ll find waterfalls that suit every taste and provide unique photo opportunities.

Beat the Crowds

Valley Falls, West Virginia
Photo Credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism

If you’re seeking an escape from crowded tourist destinations, West Virginia’s Waterfall Trail is the perfect choice. This hidden gem allows you to explore lesser-known locations and experience the tranquility of nature in its purest form. With each step, you’ll feel a sense of serenity and connection with the untouched wilderness.

The West Virginia Waterfall Trail is a paradise for adventure seekers. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a photography enthusiast, or simply a nature lover, this trail offers endless opportunities for exploration. Follow the winding paths, navigate through lush forests, and be rewarded with the thrill of discovering hidden waterfalls nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes.

Choose Your Hike

Butcher Branch Falls, West Virginia
Photo Credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism

With so many gorgeous waterfalls to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin. As per the Department of Tourism, Blackwater Falls reigns as a star attraction. Plummeting 57 feet, this majestic waterfall derives its name from the unique amber hue of its waters, dyed by the tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. Prepare to be awestruck by the sight and sound of this captivating cascade.

Another noteworthy highlight along the trail is Sandstone Falls. Spanning an impressive width of more than 1,500 feet, these falls are divided by a collection of picturesque small islands. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of this natural spectacle as the rushing waters create a mesmerizing display of power and beauty.

Venture off the beaten path and discover Finn’s Falls, tucked away in the enchanting New River Gorge National Park. Recently designated as a national park in early 2021, this stunning location offers more than just waterfalls. Explore the park’s 53 miles of free-flowing whitewater, indulge in over 1,500 climbing routes, or embark on a thrilling adventure along the 12.8-mile system of mountain biking trails. Finn’s Falls is a hidden gem within this outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.

Waterfalls by Kayak

Kanawha Falls, West Virginia
Photo Credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism

If you’re really up for a challenge this summer, try your hand at a little kayaking or rafting. It’s the ideal way to see waterfalls up close and personal. Renowned as “the last water in West Virginia,” Valley Falls on the Tygart River flows persistently even when other water sources have run dry. Embrace the adventure as you explore this exhilarating run – it’s one of the state’s most beloved waterfalls for kayaking. Spanning 1.5 miles, this route showcases rapids ranging from Class II to Class IV.

While Valley Falls is often touted as an ideal starting point for beginners, it’s important to acknowledge that the falls can vary significantly based on seasonal changes and rainfall. Always check water levels before embarking on your journey to ensure optimal safety and enjoyment.

Experience the resilience of the Tygart River as it propels you through a captivating landscape. Prepare for an adrenaline-filled excursion, navigating the dynamic rapids and reveling in the breathtaking surroundings. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner seeking an exhilarating adventure, Valley Falls promises an unforgettable experience.

Get Your Waterfall Trail Passport

Kumbrabow State Forest, West Virginia
Photo Credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism

When you visit waterfalls in West Virginia, you can earn prizes like t-shirts, water bottles, and stickers. To get started, sign up for a free waterfall trail passport. As you visit each waterfall, be sure to check in using your digital passport. Visit three waterfalls and you’ll earn a prize! If the stunning natural beauty isn’t enough to get you off the couch and into the wild, these handy prizes sure will.

This article Journey Through West Virginia’s Breathtaking Waterfall Trail originally appeared on Wander With Alex. Featured Photo Credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism


Chelsea DeAngio
Chelsea DeAngio

Chelsea DeAngio is a freelance writer based in Greensboro, NC. Inspired by a rootless childhood as a Navy brat, she enjoys traveling every chance she gets. Pop culture often drives her trips. Whether channeling her inner Lady Mary at Highclere Castle in the UK or noshing on nachos at Showgirls filming locations in Vegas, Chelsea is always in search of a little silver screen glitz.