West Virginia Launches the Nation's First Statewide Waterfall Trail and Mountain State has Plenty to Offer
By Connect-Bridgeport Staff on June 18, 2022
Chasing waterfalls takes on a whole new meaning this summer in West Virginia with today’s launch of the first-ever statewide Waterfall Trail. The trail targets travelers looking to get off the beaten path, reconnect with nature and discover more than two dozen waterfalls for a chance to win exclusive prizes.
“We invite all travelers to put the West Virginia Waterfall Trail on their must-see list this summer and beyond,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “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.”
With over 200 waterfalls found across the state, the twenty-nine cascades featured along the trail are the perfect way to kick off a summer of waterfall hunting. The trail includes well-known falls such as Blackwater and Sandstone, but also features hidden gems like Finn’s in the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve and Drawdy in Boone County. Some, like Cathedral, tower above the valley floor, while others span wide rivers.
West Virginia: An Outdoor Oasis in the Heart of the East Coast
The West Virginia Waterfall Trail debuts at a time when 69% of Americans express a renewed appreciation for the great outdoors. According to a survey by Destination Analysts, 70% of travelers call “enjoying scenic beauty” a top trip characteristic for 2022.
“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 said. “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.”
Just this year, West Virginia has been nationally recognized as a top-tier tourism destination by major travel publications such as Lonely Planet, TIME, Frommers, USA Today, and Condé Nast. All these publications have recognized the state’s unbelievable scenic beauty and outdoor recreation. Among these natural wonders, the rushing waterfalls found across the state create the perfect backdrop for adventure.
Be Among the First to Access the Waterfall Trail Passport
To get started, visit WVtourism.com/waterfalls and register to have the West Virginia Waterfall Trail passport delivered straight to your smartphone. As travelers explore each of the more than two dozen waterfalls featured on the trail, they can stamp their passports by checking in at each location.
The Waterfall Trail is made possible thanks to a collaboration with Bandwango, a travel technology platform that makes checking in at each location quick and easy.
The More You Explore, the More You Earn
The West Virginia Department of Tourism is rewarding waterfall chasers with exclusive gear along the way:
- Check in at three or more waterfalls and receive a custom sticker.
- Check in at 10 or more waterfalls and receive an aluminum water bottle.
- Check in at 20 or more waterfalls and receive a waterfall wanderer t-shirt.
“From simple boardwalks to hilly treks, we want to make your efforts to experience our falls worth every mile,” said Ruby. “While out and about on the West Virginia Waterfall Trail, be sure to post photos of your explorations on social media using #AlmostHeaven.”
Chasing Waterfalls in the Nation’s Newest National Park
Included on the trail are six waterfalls in America’s 63rd national park, the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve. These breathtaking cascades can be found within secluded coves, such as Turkey Creek Falls, or can be enjoyed at the end of a scenic trail, such as Glade Creek Falls. As travelers continue to flock to the national park, the falls along the West Virginia Waterfall Trail highlight must-visit spots to add to a summer road trip route.
For more information, visit wvtourism.com/waterfalls.
Editor's Note: Top photo is of Valley Falls, while second photo is of Blackwater Falls. Photos courtesy of West Virginia Tourism; photos by Sarah Harmon.