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Blackwater Falls, Seneca Rocks, and Nelson Rocks in 4 Days

Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click each marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

Day 1

  • Blackwater Falls
  • Elakala Falls
  • Lindy Point

We drove from Cleveland to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia around 3 PM. The main area to park is labeled as the Trading Post – park here if you can for the easy path down a bunch of stairs to get close to the falls (there is an overflow lot if it’s full). Really don’t need more than 30 minutes total here, but definitely worth going to all the viewing platforms – there’s only 1 path down so you won’t miss them.

Blackwater Falls

Drove to the other side of the park for Elakala Falls. The trail starts on the left side of the Lodge and you could spend anywhere from 15-60 minutes here. Very short, easy trail and the best view is down at the foot of the falls to get a picture with the bridge over the falls. There is a faint path that follows the stream and a couple other waterfalls if you’re willing to scramble down a bit further. First part with the main falls is a must-see, others you could skip but they’re nice.

Elakala Falls

Continued further into the park to Lindy Point, which was very popular. The lookout is pretty impressive but probably better early in the day unless you’re aiming for a sunset shot – but you’re looking right into the sun at sunset.

Lindy Point

We stayed at a cabin in Canaan Valley, near Timberline Resort. We brought almost all our food to eat at the cabin but picked up a couple things at Shop n Save, a full grocery store in Davis then drove the 20 mins to the cabin.

Day 2

  • Seneca Rocks

Drove about 35 minutes to Seneca Rocks. The main trail is just under 3 miles RT with about 800 feet of elevation gain. You’re in the trees the whole way up but the view from the platform where the trail ends is very pretty. However, it’s absolutely worth going up past the “STOP” sign warning you that people have died on the rocks. It’s not that bad and you can go as far as you’re comfortable with – there were lots of people that ventured out onto the rocks and you can see the rock climbers.

Climb up past the main viewing area and venture out as far as you’d like

Afterwards we went out on Mirror Lake with a kayak and canoe, as it was included with our lodging.

Day 3

  • Nelson Rocks
The bridge at Nelson Rocks

Spent the morning at the cabin and had reservations for the 1 PM via ferrata course at Nelson Rocks. This was one of the coolest things we’ve done – absolutely loved it. Takes anywhere from 3-5 hours and we went pretty fast as it was just the guide and the 2 of us. Iron rungs and a bridge take you up, over, and around the mountains. Check out the pictures to learn more – you should probably be pretty comfortable with heights but you’re attached to the mountain the whole time. Really amazing that something like this is within driving distance of where we live.

Climbing near the top – look how small that bridge is now!

Ordered pizza for dinner from Sirianni’s – just ok.

Day 4

  • Blackwater Falls
  • Pendleton Point
  • Douglas Falls

On our way back home we stopped by Blackwater Falls again as it was earlier in the day and the lighting was better. The “Blackwater Falls Viewpoint” is nice as it overlooks the main falls from afar but not a must-see. We went back down to the close-up view, too, since it’s a quick stop.

We almost didn’t go to Pendleton Overlook, but are very glad we did. It’s not as popular as Lindy Point but I think the view is better because you see more of the river flowing through the gorge. There is a rock outcropping just beyond the main viewing platform that is the best spot for a picture.

Pendleton Point

Douglas Falls will probably stick out as the best place of the whole trip (aside from Nelson Rocks for me and my wife). It’s a bit out of the way and down a rough road – you don’t need AWD but it was definitely better to be in a vehicle with higher clearance. There are handwritten signs as you get closer but you need to take Rail Falls Road until it ends. Make sure to take the trail along the riverside downstream a bit as you can get back to water-level and explore a bit. We ate a picnic lunch and spent about 1.5 to 2 hours.

Douglas Falls
Another angle of Douglas Falls

This was our second trip to West Virginia this year and it again proved to be an excellent family-friendly destination with multiple scenic places close to each other. This is also a popular area in the winter for skiing.

Year traveled: 2020

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