Brown Sign: Blackwater Falls State Park, WV

P1050004How often do we travel to distant corners of the world, while forgetting to enjoy sights in our backyards?  Twenty years ago, we hiked in the headwaters of the Cheat River, which originates in the highland bogs of Canaan Valley.  Among the sights, as the river forms, is the Blackwater Falls.  We have taken only twenty years to return to this sight.

DSCF7380Now, for our California friends, who have Yosemite in their backyards, a falls of 57 feet might seem a bit like knocking over a bucket of water on the deck.  For our Southwest friends, who have the Grand Canyon and the Island In The Sky of Canyonlands in their backyards, a caynon a couple hundred feet deep might seem a bit DSCF7389like a gully after a heavy rain.  But, for the Appalachian Mountains, the roar of cool mountain water over limestone boulders and sandstone cliffs, is an exciting sight.  We also had the good fortune to visit Blackwater Falls the day after 3″ of rain fell in an afternoon thunderstorm.

With family visiting for the week, we wanted to find some local walks in nature.  With five us, we needed to keep the travel time reasonable for he or she who got the middle of the backseat (I volunteered for part of the trip).  The falls is about 1.5 hours through several mountain and farm valleys.

P1040925The “blackwater” comes from the high acidity level of the water draining from the cranberry bogs of Canaan Valley.  These bogs can be hiked also, but that would be a separate trip.

The walks in the park are moslty easy trails along the cliffs on either side of the canyon.  Several viewing points overlook different sections of the canyon.


On a warm day raptors and vultures glide on the air currents rising from the canyon.



Stairs descend to the platforms before and near the falls.


Near the trading post is a picnic area, where we opened our coolers with sandwiches, vegetables and hummus.


Wildflowers and mountain laural were blooming vibrantly for us.


If you are observant, you can even find some extensive beds of mosses.P1040945P1040947

For photographers in the group, Blakwater Falls is a place to practice with different aperature and shutter speed settings, and compositional styles.


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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9 Responses to Brown Sign: Blackwater Falls State Park, WV

  1. The Vicar says:

    Fondly remembered yet never returning. That reminds me of that epic family camping trip to Tuolumne Meadows. It’s one of my best memories from childhood, yet I’ve never manage to go back and do it again! Perhaps your post and picture (and postcard) of Blackwater Falls will inspire me. Thanks!

    • hermitsdoor says:

      My memories of Tuolumne Meadows must be more vague than yours, but no, I have not returned there either. Maybe we need to visit your way more often 🙂 I have a puzzle of Blackwater Falls to assemble when you come our way….

  2. Barneysday says:

    There is a rugged beauty to the western landscape, but the softness of east coast wilderness brings its own brand of beauty and solitude to the scene. Great pics, thanks for sharing them

  3. Momma E. says:

    This was an awesome post to read. I have a fascination with water and waterfalls. I need to get back to Sanderson Brook Falls and experiment with my camera’s manual settings – so this has inspired me. it looks like you had an AWESOME day! Thanks for sharing it! Best, D.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      We took a photograph class a year ago. The instructor likes using different shutter speeds to get different affects with water (smooth vs crisp). Enjoy your practie. I’m sure you will put up some photos afterward.

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