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PrettylilTraveler

Exploring Blackwater Falls State Park In West Virginia

The park is named for the Blackwater River, a tributary of the Potomac River that flows through the park. The river’s name comes from its dark color from the tannic acid in the water.

The Blackwater Falls State Park is located in Davis, West Virginia, near another popular landmark, Seneca Rocks. This area has been called by many names, including “The Switzerland of America,” “The Scenic Panhandle,” and “The Forgotten Mountain.” It is also known as The Land of Open Spaces because over two million acres of public land are available to explore in West Virginia alone.

The Blackwater River runs through Blackwater Falls State Park and is one of those places that looks like it should be in a National Geographic magazine or something. It’s gorgeous! The falls drop 80 feet into a pool at the bottom, where you can swim if it’s warm enough! There are also several other smaller waterfalls throughout this section of the park that are just as pretty as Blackwater Falls itself.

5 HIKES AND OVERLOOKS THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS

Elakala Falls

The hiking trails in Blackwater State Park are some of the most beautiful and peaceful trails you will ever find in West Virginia. One hike I wouldn’t miss on your adventure through this state park is Elakala Falls.

To see Elakala Falls, start your adventure at the visitors center at the trailhead and pick up a map. The trail is about 4.3 miles long. However, you only need to hike about .2 miles to see the falls. View it from the bridge, or hike to the ground level for a closer view.

There is also an option to go down Yellow Birch Trail, about 4.3 miles roundtrip. This will take you through some amazing scenery, such as a canyon that has been carved out over time by water rushing through it.

TRAIL: Elakala Falls to Yellow Birch Trail
MILES: 4.3 Miles RT
ELEVATION: +393 ft Elevation Change
DIFFICULTY: Moderate
FACILITIES: While there are no facilities on the trail, the visitor center at the start of the trailhead has restrooms and park maps. 

Blackwater Falls Overlook

To get to the Blackwater Falls Overview, back towards Blackwater falls from the visitor’s center, and you’ll see a little pull-off with a few parking spaces.

Blackwater Falls Overlook is located on the opposite side of the actual Blackwater Falls trail. It’s just a pull-off on the side of the road. If you are capable, I would suggest taking the trail down to the bottom of the falls to get the complete experience. Be careful, though. The trail is steep, and you face racing white water when you reach the bottom of the falls. Don’t get too close! 

Location: 39.11301,-79.48

Blackwater Falls

Blackwater Falls is the second-highest waterfall in West Virginia, dropping 105 feet. It’s located in Blackwater Falls State Park and is accessible by a .4 mile hike down 200 stairs to an observation deck, but it’s the closest way to see the falls from above. This is my favorite way to see the falls because you can get such a great view of them up close.

TRAIL: Blackwater Falls
MILES: .4 Miles RT
ELEVATION: +131 ft Elevation Change

Pendleton Point Overlook

Pendleton Point Overlook is generally considered an easy route. It takes an average of 20 min to complete and features beautiful scenery along the way. You’ll pass through various environments, including forests and open meadows. The trail is great for hiking and walking, and you’ll unlikely encounter many other people while exploring.

TRAIL: Pendleton Point Overlook
MILES: 0.9 Miles RT
ELEVATION: +68 ft Elevation Change
DIFFICULTY: Easy
FACILITIES: No

Lindy Point Overlook

One of the most popular trails in the park, and probably my favorite, is Lindy Point Overlook. I think it’s the best place to watch the sunrise and/or sunset. To get to the overlook is less than a mile, so I would suggest grabbing a bottle of wine or some brews from the local gas station and maybe even a chair or blanket, and just hanging out here for a little as the sun lights up the canyon. 

TRAIL: Lindy Point Overlook
MILES: .8 Miles RT
ELEVATION: +49 ft Elevation Change
DIFFICULTY: Easy
FACILITIES: No

PrettylilWestVirginia - Downloadable Google Map

What You'll Find Inside

PrettylilWestVirginia is my downloadable Google map of the coolest places to visit around the beautiful state of West Virginia!

Let’s be honest, no one has the time to spend reading blog after blog and scrolling through Instagram to land of these locations. Skip the scrolling and start living. Once you download my PrettylilWestVirginia map or any of my other Google Maps, you’ll add the freedom to just get in your car and go.

Hike up to old fire towers, go off-roading on the Hatfield–McCoy trails, see the tallest waterfall in the Northeast, explore my favorite photography spots, and escape to the places never even knew existed right at your fingertips. There’s so much to discover in the hills of West Virginia.

I’ve spent countless hours researching and tracking all of my stops around West Virginia I’ve vetted the best destinations and most instagrammable photo opts for you to take with you on your travels. These are the maps that I use for all of my road trip planning.

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