West Virginia is a hiker’s dream thanks to its gorgeous trails and breathtaking views. Its waterfalls, in fact, bring visitors back to the state every year. While there are many more falls in West Virginia, here are the top 10 you must visit.
The Best Waterfalls in West Virginia
1. Blackwater Falls
The 62-food Blackwater Falls is the namesake of the Blackwater Falls State Park nestled in Davis, West Virginia.
The falls mark the spot where the water moves into the Blackwater Canyon. Its rhythmic thundering and gentle mist make it a favorite spot for park visitors.
The trail to get to the falls is a 0.4-mile loop that is fit for most hikers despite its moderate challenge level.
Though it might take a little extra physical effort to arrive at the falls, the woods are lush and beautiful, making it worth every step.
2. Cathedral Falls
Cathedral Falls is a perfect spot for West Virginia visitors who aren’t sure if they’re really up for a hike.
Though the falls are nestled in the woods, thanks to their impressive height coming in at 60 feet, you can easily catch a glimpse of them if you find yourself on Highway 60 in Gauley Bridge.
That makes it a perfect attraction to catch a glimpse of while on the go.
However, to really get a feel for the majesty of the falls, all it takes is a quick 200-foot walk from the parking area.
3. Indian Branch Falls
Indian Branch Falls is yet another West Virginia waterfall that allows visitors multiple access points, depending on their physical capabilities.
You can choose to take the 1.5-mile trail by hike or by bike if you’re interested in immersing yourself in the surrounding woods and getting a little exercise in.
However, the falls also have a backroad access point that allows you to get close to the falls by car and take a short walk to observation areas.
It’s worth remembering that the hike offers better views, while the drive requires less exertion.
4. Babcock Mill Creek Falls
The Babcock State Park is primarily known for its two biggest attractions. The Glade Creek Grist Mill and the falls that surround it.
The combination of the remarkably well-preserved mill and the natural beauty of the rushing water give the area a uniquely picturesque feel. It’s frequently used as a photo backdrop for guests.
The trail to reach the mill is very short. It’s just a quick walk from the park’s headquarters and visitor’s center.
In fact, the mill and falls are often used as a starting point for other hiking paths in the park.
5. Elakala Falls
When you visit Elakala Falls, be prepared to not just see 1 breathtaking waterfall but 4.
The falls are made of 4 waterfalls that are the meeting point between Shay’s Run and Blackwater Canyon.
As you might have guessed, these falls are also found in the Blackwater Falls State Park.
Though they might not be as widely known as the falls that give the park its name, they’re still worth the 0.6-mile hike it takes to reach them.
Though the route is moderately strenuous, you can take your time enjoying the views along the way.
6. Sandstone Falls
Sandstone Falls in Summers County may not be the tallest waterfall in the state, but it makes up for that by being one of the widest.
Spanning around 1500 feet, the falls offer a beautiful misty view of the New River.
Since the falls aren’t considered as dangerous as some of the taller cascades in West Virginia, it’s even considered safe for swimming in certain designated areas during the summer months.
You can also take the leisurely and wheelchair-accessible 0.25-mile walk to the falls’ observation areas to get a view from above.
7. High Falls
High Falls in Monongahela doesn’t make itself easy to find, but that makes the journey to get there even more worth it.
The trail to reach the falls is an impressive 8.2-miles, and the estimated time it takes to reach them is over 4 hours. However, the trail isn’t extremely difficult.
That means High Falls isn’t the sort of landmark you try to squeeze into an already busy day.
Take your time and enjoy the views along the walk and make sure to pack a picnic to eat while you admire the 2800-foot cascade.
8. Douglas Falls
If you’re looking for an excuse to get out into the great outdoors, but you’re not sure you’re ready to take on a difficult hike, you should make Douglas Falls your go-to destination.
All it takes is a 0.6-mile easy walk through lush woods to see the cascade. In fact, most hikers find they don’t need longer than 15 minutes from start to finish.
Though the falls are beautiful, they’re one of the less well-known stops on the Blackwater Canyon Trail, so you won’t have to fight the crowds for a good view.
9. Twin Falls
The Twin Falls State Park is a prime destination for people who want to be out in nature but still want a little luxury with them.
The park has a resort for guests who want to make sure they’re well rested before they head out on the beautiful and easy hike to see the waterfalls that give the park its name.
Since the trail is a loop, you don’t have to worry about getting lost if you find yourself mesmerized by the rushing water cascade for a little longer than intended.
10. Pipestem Falls
Pipestem Falls is a 30-foot cascade located on Pipestem Creek near Bluefield, West Virginia. Though some people might flock to the larger Bull Falls, Pipestem offers visitors a relaxing environment where they can sit back and become one with nature.
There are multiple trails in the park, most of which are considered moderately difficult. However, with some patience and preparation, most hikers shouldn’t have any difficulty reaching the falls and enjoying the view.
Like many waterfalls in the state, swimming isn’t allowed in the falls themselves, so keep that in mind when taking summer hikes.
Amar was born and raised in England and embarked on an 11-country round-the-world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second, which ended up being a 23-country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then, Amar has spent the last 14 years traveling the 7 continents.