A mesmerizing sight located deep within West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, Blackwater Falls State Park is a must-see on your next road trip! This trip features gems like the Blackwater Canyon, Elakala Falls, Blackwater Falls Gentle Trail Overlook, and Lindy Point.
Blackwater Falls State Park features a plunging five-story waterfall that twists and tumbles through an eight-mile gorge. The water is black (as the name suggests) due to tannic acid from seeds that fall from hemlock and spruce trees. Blackwater Falls is open year-round, and offers opportunities in the wintertime for cross-country skiing and even sledding (don’t worry—you won’t be sledding down the waterfall!). For those visiting in the summer, the park has more than 20 miles of hiking trails, and offers boating and swimming in the lake, which just reopened to swimmers this year. The park conveniently offers no entrance fee, which means free Instagrams!
Elakala Falls is a series of four waterfalls that descend into the Blackwater Canyon in West Virginia. The falls lie within Blackwater Falls State Park and are extremely popular. The first fall is easy to get to, but the other three falls are increasingly harder to access. But, that means they are far less crowded and offer better viewing opportunities. The second waterfall is the smallest, but is still relatively easy to access. The third waterfall is the highest of the four at 40 feet, but is extremely difficult to get to, and there is no official path to the fourth waterfall. Any hikers planning to go to the third or fourth waterfalls should be experienced and ready for a treacherous route.
The name of the falls comes from a Native American legend, of which there are slightly different versions. The first story involves a princess by the name of (you guessed it) Elakala who committed suicide by jumping off of a cliff into the first waterfall after being rejected by her lover. The second story is about a male warrior named Elakala who was scared of girls. He fell to his death from the waterfall after two women pursued him.
Nicknamed the “West Virginia Burreatery,” Hellbender Burritos is a burrito lover’s paradise. Offering unique West Virginia-style burritos, Hellbender is the place to go if you’re looking for a Frito Pie Burrito, a Barbecue Burrito, or even a Buffalo Burrito. They have a rotating selection of local West Virginia draft beers to pick from and salsa and homemade guacamole, too!
The restaurant is vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, so anyone with dietary restrictions can still enjoy a burrito food baby. Their burritos are said to weigh over a pound each!
The Purple Fiddle has a little bit of everything and can satisfy your every need. The venue features a stage, a café, a bar, and even a built-in hostel! There’s a show every day, so if you’re aching for live music, this is the place to be.
The bar offers more than 50 microbrewed beers in cans and bottles and has four West Virginia beers on tap. They also cater to vegetarians, vegans, and those who are gluten-free. Go West Virginia!
The Youghiogheny Scenic & Wild River is part of the Mississippi River watershed, which goes from the western Rockies to the Appalachians in the east. The Youghiogheny first runs through a rural setting, with farms and lots, and then begins to narrow and deepen, flowing through a heavily forested area.
This area, with its rich geologic history, is accessible for those looking for adventure. The area is open for fishing and hunting at time throughout the year and opportunities for whitewater rafting are plentiful. Make sure you’re prepared for a thrilling, difficult, and dangerous experience!
With daring waterfall hikes and adrenaline-inducing whitewater rafting, and some live music in between, West Virginia is the place to go if you’re looking for a trip full of adventures that you will never forget.
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