It’s easy to see why the state of West Virginia has so many excellent state parks for lovers of the outdoors. The Appalachian Mountains offer plenty of scenic views while the state's rivers, lakes and lush forests are a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. If you find yourself living in West Virginia or visiting this great state, make sure to check out these state parks.

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West Virginia State Parks: 5 Fantastic Parks to Visit in WV

1. Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is located in Northeast West Virginia in the Allegheny Mountains and is one of the most beautiful state parks in the country. It’s named because of the waterfalls located on the Blackwater River that fall five stories into an 8-mile gorge. The park offers 20 miles of hiking trails where you’ll find breathtaking scenes and adventure. You can also fish and boat in the river. In the wintertime, visitors cross country ski and can go sledding as well, making Blackwater Falls State Park a year-round treasure for all who visit.

2. Blackwater Falls State Park

The Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is a park with a lot of historical significance as visitors can see steam-driven locomotives. At this unique state park, you can take a train ride through the town and up into the mountains where you’ll stop for tours and dining and you’ll see unbelievable views of West Virginia landscape. If you love natural wilderness and are also a history buff, this is a great state park to visit as you take a dive back into 20th Century industrial America.

3. Blackwater Falls State Park

Audra State Park is a smaller state park located in Northeastern West Virginia but is known as a “hidden gem” to visitors. It’s an absolutely beautiful area where the Middlefork River flows through and offers some of the best swimming in the state, because of its very clean water, according to locals. There are great hiking trails through the park as well. And whether you want to take a day trip to just enjoy the water and a picnic or if you make a trip out of it, there are numerous campsites right on the water. It’s a great state park especially for the whole family.

4. Blackwater Falls State Park

Babcock State Park is located in Clifftop, WV and is a very historical park that offers great scenery. It’s adjacent to the New River Gorge National River and it’s known for the Glade Creek Mill, which was built in the 1970s from three other historical gristmills in the area and it’s one of the most photographed spots in the park. There are great hiking trails around the park that offer beautiful views and opportunities to explore the nature offered. There are also cabins offered by the park that were built in the 1920s and 1930s and have great views looking out from them. Visiting Babcock State Park is a true getaway experience.

5. Blackwater Falls State Park

Hawks Nest State Park sits on 370 acres in Southwestern West Virginia along the New River Gorge. The highlight of this state park is the absolutely perfect view you get of the land from the park’s cliff top overlook on U.S. Route 60 where you are nearly 800 feet above the river and can survey the entire park from above. Other than that, there are great hiking and biking trails and the park is also known for some of the best whitewater rafting in the state and there is also great boat tours offered as well.

This article was written by Cameron Lafontaine.