State Parks

Protecting and celebrating West Virginia's "wild and wonderful" parks
map of wv state parks
West Virginia's state parks are beloved by tourists and locals alike. Over 7 million people visit West Virginia's state parks every year, and that number is growing. Visitors use parks for hiking, biking, camping, boating, fishing, wildlife viewing and more. Scattered across the state, parks showcase a wide variety of ecosystem types, scenic views, and outdoor recreation options.
Parks are also great for West Virginia's economy. In 2015, the economic significance of state parks was between $213.4 million and $248.7 million. Every $1 of general revenue invested parks generates $13.15 in economic activity.
Many of our parks have a backlog of maintenance issues, and need additional investment to continue to be an asset to locals and visitors alike. Friends of Blackwater is working to raise awareness of this issue, and we will be bringing you opportunities to advocate for the park system. In the meantime, learn a little more about our parks with the blog posts below or take our state park survey.
State Park Survey

Latest News

holly river falls

State Park Spotlight: Holly River

Holly River State Park, the second largest West Virginia state park, was unofficially created in 1938 as a reclaimed conservation site after being destroyed by over fishing, over hunting, timbering, and poor farming practices. The Department of Agriculture beganĀ  to buy this land in Webster county, relocating the Swiss families living there, and started reforesting […]


State Park Spotlight: Chief Logan

Chief Logan State Park is named for a leader of the Mingo tribe, who lived in the area before the Revolutionary War. The area that would eventually become the state park was first purchased by a local commission, then sold to the DNR. It opened as a state Recreation Area in 1960, and then became […]


State Park Spotlight: Carnifex Ferry

Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park sits on the edge of the Gauley River Canyon, and commemorates an important battle in the Civil War. In 1861, Union soldiers were victorious at Carnifex Ferry and forced the confederate army to retreat across the Gauley River and on towards Lewisburg. The formation of West Virginia as an independent, […]


State Park Spotlight: Canaan Valley

Legend has it that Canaan Valley gets its name from an early fur trader who arrived in the valley in the 1700s and declared “Behold, the land of Canaan”, comparing the area to the biblical promised land. Many early visitors had the opposite opinion, however, in 1853, Harper’s Monthly Magazine described the area as “filled […]

State Park Spotlight: Cacapon

The name Cacapon is thought to be derived from a Shawnee word meaning “medicine waters”, which referred to the Cacapon River. The area that became Cacapon was logged and converted to small farms early in its history, but by the early 1930s, these “truck farms” were no longer economically viable and families were selling the […]


State Park Spotlight: Bluestone

Bluestone State Park is home to Bluestone Lake, the third largest body of water in the state. The huge lake is formed by a dam on the New River, which was built in the 1940s. Construction was begun in 1942, but suspended during World War II, so it wasn’t finished until 1948. Almost immediately people […]