West Virginia is such a beautiful state with so many different things to see and activities for everyone. There are so many hidden gems throughout the state. I grew up here, so naturally I am partial to the state, but I truly believe that West Virginia is such an underrated destination. Here you can find many natural wonders, gorgeous scenery, peace + quiet, and the best people. I so hope you are able to visit this state and love it as much as I do! Here are 5 places that you must see in West Virginia:
This one has to be at the top of the list. Dolly Sods is a really special place to me. It is the most unique outdoor area in the state. All of the scenery here differs from anywhere else in this area of the country. Every time we come here, we find something new to love. Whether you visit in the spring, summer, or fall, it’ll be different each time. Bear Rocks is one of the most easily accessible areas of Dolly Sods Wilderness. It is on the north side of the wilderness. Bear Rocks are giant white rocks that jut off the edge of a cliff and are a pop of white in a seas of green trees and bushes. A little further down the cliffside from Bear Rocks is a rock area called Stack Rocks. As the name says, these appear like giant boulders stacked on each other. There is a parking lot next to Bear Rocks to access this area. From here there are also many trails that range from only a few miles to a multi-day backpacking trip. One of my favorite trails in the area is the Bear Rocks Trail (522).
Cranberry Wilderness is an often-forgotten-about place that has so many beautiful things to offer. It is located along the Highland Scenic highway. There are many hiking trails and vistas of the beautiful hills of Appalachia. Some of the overlooks include Big Spruce Overlook, Williams River Valley Overlook, and West Virginia State Forest Overlook. We hiked the Black Mountain Trail which was beautiful the entire way. We hiked this trail in the spring, so things were starting to bloom, but were covered with a dusting of snow. The trail begins by meandering on a curvy trail through a mossy carpet under large pine trees. The trail eventually goes to walking on top of and in between large gray rocks and boulders. The second half of the trail begins with a view of the surrounding hills before it drops down and is relatively flat for a bit before going back up to where you parked your car. Here there is the Black Mountain Interpretive Trail that has several boardwalks and info graphics that describe a devastating fire to the area in the 1930’s.
Spruce Knob is the tallest point in West Virginia. In most months of the year you can reach it by driving your car to the top. At the top of the mountain, there is a fire tower to give you views of the beautiful West Virginia hills in all directions. There are also different facilities here including restrooms and picnic areas. If there is a lot of snow, you may not be able to access Spruce Knob by car, but by hiking trail. This can be a fun and unique way to see Spruce Knob. The Spruce Knob via Huckleberry Trail is 11.4 miles long and weaves through various pine forests. We did this trail in the winter and the snow covering all of the trees made us feel as if we were in a fairy forestland. We also did not see anyone else for most of the day, so it felt as if we had the entire Spruce Knob all to ourselves. You can also do this trail in the summer or extend the trail even longer by continuing on the Huckleberry Trail. In addition to the Huckleberry Trail, there are several other trails nearby including the 0.6 mile Whispering Spruce Trail and the 17.4 mile Huckleberry, Lumberjack, Seneca Creek Loop Trail.
Falls of Hills Creek
Who doesn’t love a good waterfall? The Falls of Hills Creek really surprised me with their size and extent. They are easy to access compared to many waterfalls and I can’t believe they aren’t more popular. The Falls of Hills Creek consists of 3 separate sequential waterfalls that can be accessed by boardwalks and stairs. The Falls of Hills Creek are located near Cranberry Glades and Cranberry Wilderness. There is a large gravel parking lot at the trailhead. The trail to the first waterfall’s overlook is handicap accessible. On the trail there are many stairs that allow you to go down and see different levels of the falls. To reach the very last waterfall, there are 362 steps in total. The Falls of Hills Creek Trail is 1.4 miles round-trip if you go to all 3 waterfalls. My favorite falls was the last waterfall out of all of them and it is definitely worth the extra stairs. This 3rd waterfall is 65 feet tall, the second highest waterfall in West Virginia. These waterfalls are definitely underrated and worth the drive. Spring and early summer are the best time to visit the falls as this is when there will be the most water flowing through them. Overall, I think that this is one of the most underrated and forgotten-about place to see in West Virginia.
Seneca Rocks is a classic West Virginia destination, one you may have seen on an advertisement for the state. The sharp rock fins jut out of the top of the hill and create an ideal environment for rock climbers, hikers, and sunset viewers alike. We love Seneca Rocks and all the activities to do here. Seneca Rocks is part of the Monongahela National Forest. In the town of Seneca Rocks, there is the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center. Where you can find various exhibits, educational programs, and ranger-led activities for all ages.
In the unincorporated town of Seneca Rocks, you can find Harper’s Old Country Store, Yokum’s Grocery and Deli, and Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides. Climbing is very popular at Seneca Rocks, as it is one of the best places on the east coast of the United States to climb due to it’s hard sandstone cliff face. There are over 375 major routes to climb here and a few climbing schools to guide you climbing. If climbing is not for you and you rather hike to the top of Seneca Rocks, there is a 2.7 mile trail to the top of the rocks.
West Virginia has so much to offer to everyone. It is the perfect place for a peaceful, relaxing vacation.
Have you visited any of these places? Do you have any questions about these places in West Virginia?
Thanks for Reading!
Pin for later!