Blackwater Falls area offers outdoor recreation

Photo by Amy Phelps Travelers take photos from one of the boardwalk platforms around the Blackwater Falls State Park.

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, mountain views and the feel of a small town, the Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley area is on point.

With the Monongahela National Forest, Dolly Sods Wilderness area and state parks like Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley, there is plenty of outdoor recreation offered.

“Coming from Parkersburg to Tucker County, you are going to have a true mountain experience,” said Jessica Waldo, executive director of the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Expect temperatures to be 10-15 degrees cooler. Our area is known for outdoor recreation, contemporary art and local breweries. It’s a great place for families to come and disconnect, from horseback riding through Canaan Valley to checking out the waterfalls and vistas at Blackwater Falls State Park. There are seasonal events happening all year long, check out our website for any upcoming events this summer.”

Tourists can see the six-story falls at Blackwater Falls State Park as well as hike several trails. The nearby lodge offers a restaurant and petting zoo.

Dolly Sods Wilderness is full of areas to explore and hike. The Monongahela National Forest has 900,000 multi-use public-access acres with hiking, biking, camping, rafting, fishing and more.

Photo by Amy Phelps Seneca Rocks looms, inviting rock climbers to try to climb its heights.

Canaan Valley Resort State Park has not only the lodge, but cabins and campsites, a ski-area in the winter, a golf course, several restaurants in the lodge, as well as two pools, a whirlpool spa and many trails to hike or bike.

For those who really want an adventure, Seneca Rocks can be ascended to its heights.

In the area, there are several rivers stocked with trout, including Blackwater River, Clover Run, Horseshoe Run, Red Creek, Dry Fork and fly fishing at Red Run. For those who enjoy whitewater rafting, the Cheat and Dry Fork rivers have water adventure sports in mind. Blackwater Outdoor Adventures offers whitewater rafting, kayaking, tubing, stand up paddleboarding and camping.

For mountain biker, there are four trails in the area, Camp 70, Canaan Loop, Dobbin House and Plantation, as well as the Allegheny Highlands Rail Trail that has both hiking and biking.

In the small town of Davis, there are three stables that offer horseback riding: Mountain Trail Rides, Timberline Resort and Double S Stables. Davis, once the home of a lumber business, now has many dining options like Hellbender Burritos, Big Belly Deli, The Sawmill Restaurant, Sirianni’s Cafe and Wicked Wilderness Pub ‘n’ Parlor.

Photo by Amy Phelps Another view of the Blackwater Falls from one of the closer platforms.

There are also several craft breweries, and some lodging as well.

The small town of Thomas, once home to coal and timber industry, has a long street of turn-of-the-century architecture, now hosting several art galleries, like Creature, a few restaurants like Flying Pigs Breakfast and Lunchery and the TipTop coffee house and Riverfront Antiques, an antique and wine tasting store. Nearby is the Purple Fiddle, a music venue, cafe and bar, as well as Mountain State Brewing Co.

For those who enjoy running, Run For It, a 2K walk/5k run hosted by the Tucker Community Foundation is held the last Saturday in September during the Leaf Peepers Festival. The Leaf Peepers Festival has inflatables, nature hikes, horse drawn wagon rides, glass blowing demonstrations, fireman’s parade and a craft show.

Mountaineer Days, an annual homecoming event, will be held July 5-7 in Thomas, with crafters and vendors, a parade, cake walk, silent auction, block party and Firemen’s Water Battle with fireworks on Saturday.

In nearby Parsons, the annual bluegrass festival, Pickin’ in Parsons, will be held the first weekend in August, with 25 groups to take the stage, as well as food and craft vendors.

Photo by Amy Phelps The swimming pool and pavilion at the Canaan Valley State Park Resort is shown, with the golf course in the background.

Find out more about the area at gettuckered.com.

Photo by Amy Phelps A view from the Dolly Sods Wilderness. The views offer panoramic views of the wilderness and the mountains.