CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — West Virginia residents and visitors can chase waterfalls by traveling the country’s first-ever statewide waterfall trail.
The trail will hopefully encourage people to get outside, reconnect with nature, and discover over two dozen waterfalls in the Mountain State. Travelers on the trail also have the chance to win prizes.
“We invite all travelers to put the West Virginia Waterfall Trail on their must-see list this summer and beyond,” said Chelsea Ruby, West Virginia Tourism Secretary. “Whether you reconnect with your favorite falls or find hidden gems, we want to reward your explorations with exclusive prizes that leave you eager to visit Almost Heaven again.”
Over 200 waterfalls can be found in West Virginia, and 29 of them are featured along the trail. Some of those waterfalls include Drawdy Falls in Boone County, Cathedral Falls in Fayette County and Blackwater Falls in Tucker County. The trail also features six waterfalls located in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, including Finn’s Falls and Sandstone Falls.
Several of the waterfall trail stops are within an hour and thirty minutes from Charleston, the Mountain State’s capital city.
Below is a full list of the 29 waterfalls on the statewide trail.
Southern West Virginia Waterfalls
The majority of Southern West Virginia waterfalls are in Fayette County, but some are located in Mercer, Raleigh, Wyoming counties and more.
The trail explores all sorts of waterfalls ranging from grottos tucked in the hills of a beloved Charleston park to cascades located just outside of a historic ghost town.
Waterfalls in New River Gorge National Park
The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is the newest U.S. national park; the 63rd to be exact. It is located in Southern West Virginia and spans three counties: Fayette, Raleigh and Summers.
A total of six waterfalls can be found in the park within secluded coves or at the end of scenic trails.
Note: There are ADA-accessible views at Sandstone Falls.
Other West Virginia Waterfalls
While most falls on the West Virginia Waterfall Trail are in Southern West Virginia, there are also some located in other regions such as Mountain Lakes, Mountaineer Country and Potomac Highlands.
In fact, West Virginia’s tallest waterfall, Blackwater Falls, is located in the Potomac Highlands region. The falls plunge about 57 feet over a rocky cliff at approximately 250 to 550 cubic feet per second.
Note: There are ADA-accessible views at Blackwater Falls, Falls of Hills Creek and Valley Falls.
How to participate and win swag
To get started, visit the West Virginia Tourism waterfall webpage and register to have the trail passport sent to a smartphone. Travelers can stamp their passports by checking in at each location as they explore over two dozen waterfalls.
The West Virginia Department of Tourism says “the more you explore, the more you earn.” They are rewarding waterfall chasers with exclusive gear along their journey:
- Check in at three or more waterfalls and receive a custom sticker;
- Check in at 10 or more waterfalls and receive an aluminum water bottle;
- Check in at 20 or more waterfalls and receive a waterfall wanderer t-shirt.
“From simple boardwalks to hilly treks, we want to make your efforts to experience our falls worth every mile. While out and about on the West Virginia Waterfall Trail, be sure to post photos of your explorations on social media using #AlmostHeaven.”Chelsea Ruby, West Virginia Tourism Secretary
For more information on each location, visit the West Virginia Tourism webpage about the West Virginia Waterfall Trail. A map and more photos can also be viewed at that link.