This New West Virginia Trail Connects 29 Stunning Waterfalls Across the State

West Virginia's brand-new Waterfall Trail is open just in time for summer.

BlackwaterFalls in West Virginia
Photo: Courtesy of West Virginia Department of Tourism

West Virginia is drawing travelers to the state this summer with a new Waterfall Trail that connects more than two dozen cascades.

The trail, which stretches across the state, includes 29 waterfalls — from popular spots to lesser-known gems, according to the West Virginia Department of Tourism. The falls on the trail are just some of the more than 200 that West Virginia boasts.

"We invite all travelers to put the West Virginia Waterfall Trail on their must-see list this summer and beyond," West Virginia tourism secretary Chelsea Ruby said in a statement released to Travel + Leisure. "Whether you reconnect with your favorite falls or find hidden gems, we want to reward your explorations with exclusive prizes that leave you eager to visit Almost Heaven again."

Included on the trail is Blackwater Falls, according to the department of tourism, which cascades down 57 feet and is named for the "distinct amber color of its waters, dyed by the tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles." The trail also features the Sandstone Falls, a series of falls that sit at more than 1,500 feet wide and are divided by a collection of small islands.

Additionally, the trail includes more off-the-beaten-path waterfalls, like Finn's Falls, which is located in New River Gorge National Park, which became a new national park in early 2021. The park boasts 53 miles of free-flowing whitewater along with more than 1,500 climbing routes and a 12.8-mile system of mountain biking trails.

Travelers can also sign up for the Waterfall Trail Passport on their smartphone and then "stamp" their passports by checking in at each waterfall location. Visitors who check in at three or more waterfalls will receive a custom sticker, those who check in at 10 or more waterfalls will receive an aluminum water bottle, and travelers who check in at 20 or more waterfalls will receive a waterfall wanderer T-shirt, according to the department of tourism.

"The research is telling us that travel preferences have shifted in favor of destinations that offer strong outdoor recreation — and that means West Virginia," Ruby added. "Breathtaking waterfalls are everywhere in our 1.5 million acres of parks and public lands, making this trail a must-experience activity for adventure-seekers this summer."

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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