Outdoor Adventures in West Virginia State Parks (with Map & Photos)

An all-season state, West Virginia never disappoints for inspiration, whether you're biking or swimming in the summer sun, or driving along scenic roads to observe the many hues of fall. Winters feature skiing and other snow activities, while spring welcomes you to the mountains and their wildflowers and waterfalls. Culture-seekers will discover centuries-old Appalachian traditions still very much alive in small towns and historic sites, while those in search of fine cuisine will find fresh regional specialties straight from the farms. All of this is possible in this state that, with its perfect location, is close to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the USA.

West Virginia State Parks
West Virginia State Parks

Outdoor Adventures


As the only state entirely within the Appalachian Mountains region, West Virginia is a true amusement park for outdoor enthusiasts. It is home to six national parks, the Monongahela National Forest, 45 state parks and forests, and the mighty New River River, one of the oldest on the continent. In September, rapids fanatics descend the state for the "Galey Season," a six-week period of thrilling whitewater rafting down the Gauley River. Fishermen will love the many advantages of casting their lines and catching the state's official fish, trout, in more than 32,000 km of streams and over 100 public fishing lakes. The Ohio and Kanawha rivers are popular for boating, while the Potomac rivers, Cheat and New River are ideal for buoying (something the locals love!). Looking for adventures on dry land? More than 600 kilometers of old railway lines have been transformed into scenic trails for walking, walking, cycling and horse riding. There are also nearly a thousand km of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, made especially for quads (4x4).

West Virginia State Park
West Virginia State Parks

Appalachian Cuisine and Culture


In spring, the region's typical wild leek, the "ramp", appears on almost every menu, from simple snack bars to upscale restaurants. Other beloved West Virginia items include pepperoni breads (invented by Italian immigrants), apple dumplings (Golden Delicious apples were created here) and buckwheat pancakes (celebrated by the Preston County Buckwheat Festival every September). Learn all about Appalachian music along the Mountain Music Trail, where dozens of music venues and festivals keep this music genre alive. If you love a good music festival, West Virginia's summer calendar is full of them, from the Mountain Music Festival in May to the 10-day FestivALL in June and the internationally famous Pickin' in Parsons Bluegrass Festival.

West Virginia State Parks
West Virginia State Parks

Diverse Accommodation, Traditional Hospitality


Across West Virginia's cities, you'll find vibrant downtown neighborhoods, diverse accommodations, and a warm welcome. Enjoy AAA Four Diamond luxury at the European-inspired Bavarian Inn, located in the state's oldest city, Shepherdstown, and perched on a cliff overlooking the Potomac River. Nearby, see iconic historic sites on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Relax in a hot spring at Berkeley Springs State Park or at The Greenbrier at White Sulfur Springs, which features Forbes' only five-star spa in the world. Prefer to enjoy a round of golf instead of a hot tub? The Highlands State has one of the first open golf courses in the US (Oakhurst Links, at Greenbrier). Today, there are more than 100 golf courses to choose from across the state, including courses designed by golf legends such as Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones, Sr.

West Virginia State Parks Map