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long exposure shot of a waterfall at Blackwater Falls State Park

Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, Blackwater Falls State Park is one of West Virginia’s natural treasures.

Known for its incredible beauty and serene nature, it boasts a spectacular landscape of towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and rugged terrain, and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for adventure.

Attracting over 800,000 visitors every year, many people come here for a weekend getaway from Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Richmond and the state capital of Charleston, all of which are about a 3-hour drive away.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking, birding, and camping. While those who want to stay overnight have several accommodation options available to them include tent and RV sites, as well as cabins and cottages.


Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day by the river or an adventurous hike through the woods, this West Virginia State Park has something to offer everyone.

Here is a brief overview of some of the leisure pursuits you can partake in during your time at Blackwater Falls State Park.

Boating at Blackwater Falls State Park

The centerpiece of Blackwater Falls State Park is the Blackwater River, which winds its way through the park’s rugged terrain.

Visitors to the park can rent canoes, rowboats, kayaks, and paddleboards from the park’s concession stand, or bring their own boats for a day on the water.

The river is perfect for a leisurely paddle, with gentle rapids and stunning scenery along the way. The river is also ideal for tubing, with several companies in the area offering tube rentals and shuttle service.

The park’s lake, Pendleton Lake, is another popular destination for boating enthusiasts. Electric motors are allowed on this body of water, but gas-powered motors are not permitted.

Fishing at Blackwater Falls State Park

The Blackwater River is a prime destination for fishing enthusiasts, with a variety of fish species calling the river home.

This includes the likes of smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and brown trout, which make it a popular spot for fly fishing.

Visitors can access the river at several locations throughout the park, including the River Road and Pendleton Lake.

If you would prefer to fish exclusively in the lake, you will find it well stocked with trout, bluegill, catfish and largemouth bass.

Anglers should bring their own gear, or rent equipment from the park’s concession stand. Fishing licenses are required, and visitors should check local regulations for catch limits and other restrictions.

Hiking at Blackwater Falls State Park

Hiking is one of the most popular activities at Blackwater Falls State Park, with over 20 miles of trails winding through the park’s rugged terrain.

Park guests can explore its diverse habitats, take in stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and get up close and personal with the park’s waterfalls.

The park offers trails for hikers of all skill levels, from easy strolls to challenging treks. One of the most popular trails at Blackwater Falls State Park is the Lindy Point Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the Blackwater Canyon.

The trail is a 0.7-mile round trip, with a moderate incline that leads to a stunning overlook. So it is something most people should be able to manage.

The Elakala Trail is another well trodden path, with hikers passing four stunning waterfalls along a 2.5-mile loop. In addition to these, the park also offers several longer trails, including the North Fork Mountain Trail, which covers over 24 miles of rugged terrain.

Picnicking at Blackwater Falls State Park

For a more relaxed outdoor experience, Blackwater Falls State Park offers several beautiful picnic areas.

The Pendleton Lake Picnic Area is a popular spot for families, with its scenic lake views and easy access to the park’s trails.

Alternatively, the River Road Picnic Area is another great option, with picnic tables, grills, and access to the Blackwater River.

Guests are welcome to bring their own food with them, however they should be considerate enough to pack out all of their trash. They should also refrain from drinking alcohol as this is not permitted at the park.

Birding at Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is a bird lover’s paradise, with over 200 species of birds recorded within its boundaries.

The park’s diverse habitats, including forests, wetlands, and open fields, provide an ideal environment for a wide range of bird species.

These include the likes of bald eagles, ospreys, and peregrine falcons, as well as several other migratory species.

Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars and a field guide to make the most of their birding experience.

Pets at Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is a pet-friendly destination, with several trails and picnic areas allowing leashed pets.

However, pets are not allowed on the park’s swimming beach or in park buildings. Visitors should also be aware of local regulations regarding pets, including cleaning up after them and keeping them under control.

For a full rundown of the park’s pet policy it would be worth contacting the main office.

Camping at Blackwater Falls State Park

For those looking to spend more than a day at the park, Blackwater Falls State Park offers a variety of camping options.

Overall, the park has more than 65 campsites, including tent and RV sites, as well as several cabins and cottages that offer a bit more of a luxurious stay.

Whilst staying at the park’s campground, guests will be able to enjoy amenities like showers, laundry facilities, and a playground for children.

As this park is very popular among lovers of the outdoors, reservations are recommended if you want to stay at the campground, especially during peak season.

Park Location

Blackwater Falls State Park
1584 Blackwater Lodge Rd
Davis, WV 26260
Phone: 304.259.5216




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Blackwater Falls State Park: