Found in the Allegheny Mountains, Tucker County, West Virginia, Blackwater Falls State Park is home to multiple natural features stretching a striking rugged landscape. Home to the fabled Blackwater River, the park offers tourists miles of trails for exploring the multiple waterfalls it hosts.
These cascades have strewn across the park, with the eponymous one being the highest at 57 feet. This high fall exhibits a dark color stemming from the tannic acid of fallen red spruce needles and hemlock.
Tourists flock to the overlook surrounding the Blackwater Falls for pique vistas. Besides the sprawling waterfalls, Blackwater Falls State Park also features lush foliage displaying captivating views throughout the year.
How To Get To Blackwater Falls
The closest towns are Davis and Thomas. Both of these towns are not far away from Charleston. Additionally, they offer several top accommodation options for tourists visiting for long periods.
Travelers can drive from either Davis or Thomas to the park in less than thirty minutes. The park has sufficient parking space for visitors at the Blackwater Falls Trading Post. Blackwater Falls, the center of interest in the park, lies about 0.2 miles off the Trading Post.
Tourists get to the falls by walking on a well-maintained wooden boardwalk. More than 200 steps take visitors to the striking Blackwater Falls, offering magnificent vistas and grounds for photography. During winter, the boardwalk gets covered by ice, requiring visitors to wear the right gear while staying cautious.
There are also entry points for exploring Blackwater Falls State Park; one is through the Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge. The resort is a perfect parking spot close to one of the park's top waterfalls, the Elakala Falls.
What To See At The Blackwater Falls State Park
Prominent for the coal mining and lumbering trade that treaded its rugged landscape, Blackwater Falls State Park has had a fair share of changes to be a top West Virginia attraction. The park has been a point of interest for intrepid adventurers since the 1800s.
Formerly established in 1937, the park began adding amenities in 1955, including log cabins and camping grounds. The park also has interpreted signages on the numerous trails winding across the landscape. These signages detail tourists more about the numerous attractions lying across the landmark.
The Blackwater River, a significant feature of the Blackwater Falls State Park, flows across it, with multiple falls forming on its course. These cascades form most attraction sites in the park, winding down into the Blackwater Falls Canyon.
Besides the multiple falls, the park has several trails stretching through the landmark. These terrains are well-demarcated, leading tourists along the Blackwater River while winding past ranges.
If taking a hike to the Blackwater Falls toward the south, visitors will find the Douglas Falls. These cascades lie along what was previously a coal mining zone in the 1900s. Several abandoned coke ovens line the area with interpreted signages highlighting the effects of the industry in the region. The activity adversely affected the water, harming animals, especially fish.
Other notable falls in the park include Albert Falls, Kennedy Falls, Teresa Falls, and Pendleton Falls. Additionally, various overlooks offer visitors different perspectives of these natural features.
The landmark also exhibits unique phenomena throughout the year, meaning each season offers a unique experience to tourists. For instance, the landscape brightens up during autumn with the most vibrant foliage. During this time and fall, the viewing points like Lindy Point showcase different shades of crimson, yellow, and orange darting across the faces of the ranges.
On the other hand, winter offers perfect grounds for enjoying sledding on the largest sled run on the East Coast. Alternatively, during the summer, the foliage turns lush, offering perfect green scenery, with the landscape posing a perfect setup for outdoor activities.
Tips For Visiting Blackwater Falls State Park
Like most travel destinations in the US, the Blackwater Falls State Park requires visitors to have several tips on their sleeves when visiting it. These tricks come in handy when navigating the park's tricky, rugged terrain.
One of the most important tips travelers need to consider is attires. Tourists traveling during winter must carry warm clothes and the ideal shoes for winter hiking. Conversely, during summer, light clothes will do the trick.
Travelers interested in the full glare of the cascades at their element need to explore the park during summer or spring. Apart from that, these periods are also ideal for camping as the campgrounds are often open during this time.
Photogenic visitors should set their eyes on the main viewing points and overlooks. These areas are set out perfectly to provide striking vistas of the surrounding landscape. In matters of photography, tourists should not forget to carry a camera as the surrounding guarantees picture-worthy moments.
These tips guarantee tourists a seamless trip across the park. However, there are a few things travelers should avoid when exploring the park, including the following.
- Tourists must never litter.
- Tourists should never try swimming in the waters of the Blackwater River
- Travelers should ensure that they follow the rules set forward by the park's management
- Visitors that are novice hikers should avoid trekking toward catchment areas with mossy boulders and no trails
Like most landmarks along the Allegheny Ranges, Blackwater Falls State Park guarantees a unique experience to tourists. The park features eclectic natural attractions that boast rich and peculiar geologic formations. This blend of quirky sites with lush scenery makes the park worth visiting.