Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia is one of my favorite spots when I am wanting some quality shooting and escape time from the suburban jungle. I love this state park year round, but I especially enjoy it in the winter as a layer of snow adds such a beauty to the landscape here. The park sits in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia, which is one of the most scenic areas in the central Appalachian Mountains as you can see from the image below.
The park has four waterfalls within its boundaries, two of which are easy to access; Blackwater for which the park is named, and Elakala Falls. The other two, Falls Run and Pendleton Run require a bit of hiking and good mountain hiking skills. In the winter I have three “go to” spots I love hitting.
The first stop I always make is at the Upper Blackwater Overlook. It is a very easy walk from the parking lot to the overlook and offers a gorgeous view of Blackwaterfalls as seen below.
From there I will go to the lodge and hike down to Elakala Falls, the trailhead is located to the left of the parking lot. It is a short easy hike to the upper part of the falls, but navigating down to the river to get the full view of the falls will require some serious and careful navigating due to the snow and ice, but the views are worth it.
From there I usually climb back up and drive over to the lower observation deck of Blackwater Falls. The staircase down to the falls offers some nice views of the falls…
but the lower deck is where I love to be to capture some of the beauty in the details of the frozen falls.
My first visit to this park was actually in a snowstorm, back in January of 2010. It was one of the snowiest winters I can remember, and I hiked roughly 1.5 miles in three plus feet of snow to get to Lindy Point. I can remember thinking “why”, until I got to the point and then I knew why…
..what a view! If you want to visit here, or want more information on the park you can click Here to learn more.