Valley Falls State Park - Hiking

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About

Summary

Valley Falls State Park in Fairmont, WV, is perfect for families, beginner hikers, and experienced hikers.

Written by

Olivia Bayer

Distance

9.9 miles

There are 8 trails that range from .2 miles to 2.1 miles for a total of just less than 10 miles.

Destination Distance From Downtown

109.9 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

Most of the trails are relatively flat, well-marked, and short, but there are a couple that have very steep inclines, like Rocky Trail and Wild Turkey Trail. You can easily see the waterfall a short walk from the parking lot.

Time To Complete

1 hours

If you are looking for a quick day hike, this is the perfect spot. The loop from Rhododendron Trail to Rocky Trail, which is easily accessible from the parking lot, takes about 1.5 hours. Deer Trail, the longest in the park, is only 2.1 miles.

Seasonality

All Seasons

With the abundance of trees surrounding Valley Falls, the changing of leaves in autumn is truly special. Although the park is open in the winter, trails may get muddy or difficult to navigate.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

Valley Falls State Park is really great for beginners because of the short, well-marked trails. There are 8 trails and just less than 10 miles to hike. You can do any of the hikes in a couple hours, and that includes time to view waterfalls, explore stone ruins, and take in the dense forest. The park also has a playground and benches, so it’s a nice location for families.

What Makes It Great

At Valley Falls, hikers can see rushing waterfalls, stone ruins, and dense forest all within a 2-minute walk from the parking lot. To get a better view of the Tygart River, the Great Falls, and the remaining ruins of the grist and sawmill, you just cross the bridge and scramble around a few rocks.

There are 8 trailheads at the parking lot, and although the trails can be combined to create more challenging, lengthy routes, beginner hikers will be right at home, since most of the individual trails are relatively flat and short. For a moderately challenging but quick day hike, try taking Rhododendron to Rocky Trail back down to the parking lot. If you want to avoid steep grades, hike out and back on Rhododendron Trail. Trails are well-marked, and some are well-worn, which makes navigating them really easy.

Valley Falls has a wide variety of activities for such a small area. A few of the hiking trails double as mountain biking trails. You can fish and kayak in the Tygart River if you have the proper licenses and permits. The park also has free shelters (reservation only), a playground, volleyball court, and horseshoe pits, perfect for a small family gathering or picnic.

Who is Going to Love It

While Valley Falls State Park’s trails can be combined to create longer, more challenging hikes for experienced hikers, the short, moderately-graded trails give beginners a chance to test their skills. Families could easily spend a few hours hiking and still have time to play on the park’s playground, or enjoy a picnic lunch in the pavilion. If you want to bike, kayak, and hike all in one day, you’ll really enjoy Valley Falls.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From I-79, take Exit 137, then WV-310 South for 7 miles. Turn right onto Valley Falls Road, shortly after the brown Valley Falls State Park sign. Continue 2 miles to the park’s entrance. You will pass a small parking lot by the Park Office, where you can get maps and information. The main parking lot is at the bottom of the hill as you continue down Valley Falls Road.

The park opens at 7am and closes at dark. All pets need to be on a sturdy leash no longer than 10 feet.

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Location

Valley Falls State Park

720 Valley Falls Road
Fairmont, WV, 26554
39.395374, -80.068928

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