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.

Latest News

trunk of a large tree in Cathedral State Park

State Park Spotlight: Cathedral State Park

Cathedral State Park, located in Preston County, is home to the largest documented stand of virgin timber remaining in West Virginia. Although the park is relatively small (only 133 acres), the trees there reach as much as 90 feet tall and 16 feet in circumference. Some of the trees in Cathedral are over 400 years […]

State Park Spotlight: Beech Fork State Park

Beech Fork State Park, located in the south of the state, covers 3,144 acres in Cabell and Wayne Counties. Its most notable feature is a 720 acre lake, which was created by the Army Corp of Engineers in the 1970s and is now used for fishing and boating. The park officially opened in 1979, and […]

view of the gristmill at Babcock State Park in autumn

State Park Spotlight: Babcock State Park

Babcock State Park, located in Fayette County, was one of the first state parks to be created in West Virginia. The bulk of the land was deeded to the state of West Virginia in 1934, for only $2 an acre. The land had already been timbered at that point, and was considered to be near […]

stream cascade in Holly River State Park

State Park Funding Solutions

This past spring, citizens made clear that commercial timbering in state parks was not an acceptable solution for the parks’ maintenance backlog. Now, with a new legislative session on the horizon, people are thinking about alternative funding sources that could be used to preempt any more bad ideas from the legislature. Recently, Robert Beanblossom, who […]

view from Lindy Point in autumn

Progress on Parks, LWCF, and more

We got some good news this week, as both of West Virginia’s Senators expressed their support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF supports outdoor recreation and conservation programs around the country, including  millions of dollars for projects right here in West Virginia. Both Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley State […]

tour group learns about old growth forests

Nature Walk Celebrates Old Growth Forests

On July 15th, 20 nature lovers met at Blackwater Falls State Park to learn about the characteristics of old growth forest in an event presented by Friends of Blackwater. The event was led by naturalist Doug Wood, who gave practical lessons on how to identify old growth, as well as some information on the ways […]