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Outdoor Recreation in the Mountain State
Whether you’re planning a summer break, a romantic getaway, or a family retreat, West Virginia has just what you need once you’re ready to step outside.
Explore the many state parks of West Virginia – the perfect haven for any outdoor enthusiasts. Discover the many hiking trails, fishing ponds and picnic spots of the Mountain State – the ideal four-season destination for any upcoming vacation.
Babcock State Park
Babcock State Park encompasses over 4,000 acres of rugged land in southern West Virginia and is located southeast of Charleston along-side of New River Gorge National River. The park provides wonderful opportunities for those who enjoy spending time outside. Trek along the twenty miles of hiking trails and be sure to stop to admire the beautiful scenic overlooks and surroundings.
Rent a paddleboat for cruising around Boley Lake or have fun fishing in the park's trout stream. Ride through the park on horseback for a fun way to see the park. During the summer, the swimming pool is a great place to cool off and spend time in the park.
Beech Fork State Park
Another pillar of West Virginia state parks is Beech Fork State Park – a summer paradise set in southwestern West Virginia near Barboursville. Home to the 720-acre Beech Fork Lake, this state parks grants visitors access to great fishing spots, excellent boat launches and scenic picnic areas.
Gather the kids and the family dog for an exciting hike through Beech Fork State Park, or break out the tackle box and reel in some catfish, walleye, and bluegill. Get on those sneakers and take advantage of the tennis court, volleyball court and basketball court, or look into renting a canoe from the Beech Fork Lake Marina.
The park is also a perfect destination for bird watching enthusiasts. Pack the binoculars, and keep an eye out for cuckoos, ovenbirds, vireos, and wood warblers. After a day of boating and swimming, be sure to dry off at Barboursville, just 17 miles from Beech Fork State Park.
Berkeley Springs State Park
For a real escape, head to Berkeley Springs in northeast West Virginia for relaxation done right. Make your way to the Berkeley Springs State Park for the natural mineral springs in bath and water fountain form. Once hosts to President George Washington, these historic bathhouses – the Roman Bathhouse and Gentlemen's Spring House – are open year round to the public. Get ready to feel your stress melt away in historic West Virginia.
After a dip in the soothing waters of the Berkeley Springs State Park, be sure to explore the onsite Museum of the Berkeley Springs. Free to the public, the museum showcases historical artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia of Berkeley Springs – not to mention the displayed bathtub once used by Washington himself. After your day at Berkeley Springs State Park, try a short walk to Berkeley Springs – where spring water flows from their tap as well!
Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park
Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park is a wonderful oasis on the Ohio River. Located west of Parkersburg and north of Charleston, this seasonal park welcomes visitors to learn more about its historical significance. Ice Age hunters were the island's first settlers, followed by Native Americans through the 1780s, when settlers arrived in the Ohio Valley.
An Irish aristocrat named Harman Blennerhassett built a beautiful Palladian style mansion on the island in 1798, but unfortunately it burned to the ground in 1811. The original foundations were found and today's visitors can see the recreated version of the mansion. After touring the mansion, enjoy a horsedrawn carriage ride or bicycle ride.
Be sure to stroll through the Blennerhassett Museum to learn more about the Blennerhassett's and the mansion.
Capacon Resort State Park
Capacon Resort State Park is a beautiful park spanning more than 6,000 acres, near Berkeley Springs. The park is named after the adjacent Capacon Mountain, the highest point in north east West Virginia, at an elevation of 2,300 feet. The Capacon River winds along the western edge of the mountain. Bring along your hiking shoes for trekking through the twenty miles of maintained trails or try your hand at trap shooting in the park's shooting range.
Spend the day at Capacon Lake in a row boat, paddle boat, at the swimming beach or fishing. Guided horseback rides are also available. While in the area, be sure to visit Berkeley Springs State Park to soak in the warm mineral springs.
Chief Logan State Park
Set in the western part of the state, Chief Logan State Park is one of the many prides of West Virginia. Located less than five miles from Logan, and less than nine miles from Chapmanville, Chief Logan State Park is a 4,000-acre outdoor paradise just waiting for adventure loving visitors.
Chief Logan State Park plays host to nearly 20 miles of hiking path, so break out those hiking boots and step foot upon one of the many trails. Don’t miss mini golf with the family, or take advantage of one of seven picnic patios. Take a break from the sun and stroll through the Museum in the Park – open Wednesday through Sunday and featuring exhibits from the West Virginia State Museum.
Get a family picture in front of the C & O Kanawha class steam locomotive, or build snowmen during the winter months at the park. After all this fun in outdoor West Virginia, be sure to check into the Chapmanville – just a 15-minute drive from the Chief Logan State Park.
Kanawha State Forest
Lace up those hiking boots on your next visit to West Virginia, and make your way to the Kanawha State Forest. Set just south of Charleston, the state capital, the Kanawha State Forest is nearly 9,300 acres of wooded, lush scenery, perfect for a day-trip full of fishing, hiking, and bird watching. Whether you're in town on business or pleasure, make the trip to Kanawha State Forest and explore. One of the more popular activities at Kanawha State Forest is mountain biking and its 10 trails.
If navigating your mountain bike through the terrain isn't in the cards, try hiking the many trails at Kanawha. Try the 1/4 mile Spotted Salamander Trail, which is wheelchair accessible, or the 1/2 mile Alligator Rock Trail.
Little Beaver State Park
Little Beaver State Park encompasses over 560 acres in southern West Virginia. This beautiful state park south of Charleston, is a wonderful place for recreational enthusiasts. Bring your fishing pole and gear for a fun day of fishing, in the 18-acre Little Beaver Lake. Trout, bass, channel cat, crappie and bluegill are the variety of fish ready for catching.
Explore Little Beaver Lake in one of the rental paddle boats or row boats for a nice day on the water. Kids love playing on the playground. The eighteen trails are perfect for hiking and biking through the rolling hills. At the end of the day, take a break and relax under one of the picnic shelters, while enjoying a tasty lunch.
Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park
Glenville is a city surrounded by state parks. Set in central West Virginia, Glenville is located five miles from the Cedar Creek State Park, and a few hours from Burnsville Lake WMA, Elk River WMA, Kumbrabow State Forest, and the big Monongahela National Forest. Our suggestion? Travel the 30 miles east to Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park.
Neighboring Stonewall Jackson Lake – a great fishing spot for bass, bluegill and crappie – Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park is a perfect summer getaway for you and the family. Nearly 2,000 acres of hiking, biking and golfing opportunities are found within this state park, not to mention relaxing picnics and some great reading light on the Adirondack chairs overlooking Stonewall Jackson Lake.
Try canoeing, kayaking or tubing on the lake, or take advantage of the nearby fairways at the Arnold Palmer Signature Course. Explore some new ground on one of the daily Segway tours, or sit back on the Little Sorrel Lake Cruise as you soak up the sun and fun at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park. Rest up for another day at the park in Glenville – only a 45-minute drive from Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park. Whether fishing, hiking or kayaking your days away, you’re bound to enjoy your time in outdoor West Virginia.