Mountain streams and rivers plus drops in elevation equal waterfalls, and West Virginia is not lacking in any part of that equation. While you are in the Mountain State, here are the seven best waterfalls to visit if you want to come home with an incredible photo.
The massive falls on the Blackwater River between Thomas and Davis, West Virginia, pour water colored by natural tannins over a 63-foot (19-meter) drop. The waterfall is easy to access by a wooden walkway and stairs, and visitors can enjoy it any time of year. In the spring, the melting snow creates an impressive gush of water, while the fall colors and frozen wonderland of winter are equally picturesque.
Located on Douglas Road south of Thomas, West Virginia, the Albert Falls is a small, unassuming set of waterfalls. But if you catch the Albert Falls along the Blackwater River at the right time of year and in the sunlight, the water becomes a turquoise color that will make you think you’ve stumbled into a tropical forest.
While you are in Blackwater Falls State Park taking photos, hike up to the Elakala Falls too. These smaller falls are harder to get to, but the hike is worth it. The series of four waterfalls rolling over moss and rock, hidden in the rhododendrons almost make it feel like you’re in a fairy world.
The mill on Glade Creek in Babcock State Park looks like it should be a painting someone imagined rather than a real place right in front of you. The water spills over rocks and frames the wooden mill with its bright red waterwheel perfectly. And, because the park is hip to the times, you can even fly a drone over the creek during certain times to get exactly the perfect photo.
You don’t have to go far from Route 60 near the Gauley River in southern West Virginia to see the Cathedral Falls. But, if you park your car and take a short walk along the Cane Branch, you’ll get an even better view of the 60-foot (18-meter) waterfall. The rocks around the falls create a space that makes you feel like you’re on the inside of a gothic cathedral, hence the name.
Between the Gauley Bridge and Fayetteville near the Gauley River is Laurel Creek, and the falls are located right off Route 16. You can see the falls from the roadway, or climb down to get a better view.
Located near Hinton, West Virginia, the Sandstone Falls are the largest falls on the New River, and they create a completely different experience than the small creek waterfalls that are so common in the state. The water drops 10 to 25 feet (3.1 to 7.6 meters) across the 1,500-foot-wide (457 meters) New River (one of the oldest rivers in North America).