Steve saw an article in Motorhome magazine about a picturesque falls nestled high in the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia and he was excited to see it. The campground at Blackwater Falls State Park, located in Davis, WV could not accommodate Betsy – she is a little too big. We found the nearest available RV park in Moorefield, WV called Riverside Cabins and RV Campground, a spacious park by the river with a separate lot area designated for transients like us. Getting into the campground was not a walk in the park, however. Click here if you want to see Steve’s review.
Blackwater Falls is about 57 miles from where we were parked, so we set aside a day to see for ourselves if it lived up to its billing. Well, it did! For one thing, it has its own distinctive characteristics. The name Blackwater comes from the dark reddish-brown appearance of its water, which has a color sort of like tea.
The river is fringed by red spruce and eastern hemlock, and the tannic acids from their needles and branches leach into the streams after falling to the ground and receiving a pelting of rain and snow. The waters plunge 57 ft over Blackwater Falls and then flow through an 8-mile long gorge within the Alleghenies.
Access to Blackwater Falls is thru a 214 steps boardwalk that follows the natural contours of the waterfall.
Though Blackwater Falls is the centerpiece of this park, there are two other waterfalls – Elakala Falls and Pendleton Falls – that we came across during our 8+ miles of hiking. We enjoyed hiking in this neck of the woods because despite the humidity, the trails are shaded and it stays fairly cool under all the lush greenery. Several trails intersected and we got a good workout following seven of the many trails. And once again the rain did not fail to drench us just as we were heading back to our car!
The article mentioned one more hike with a view at the end that we wanted to see – Lindy Point. It showcases stunning mountain views and a large section of Blackwater Canyon.
Steve also likes riding on trains (although we don’t like the noise they make passing by our RV parks). We hopped on a vintage passenger train, the historic Potomac Eagle, which rolls through a scenic section of West Virginia and is considered one of America’s most beautiful train rides.
For three hours we enjoyed a narrated excursion through a tranquil and pristine mountain valley, historic farms and lush mountain greenery. Around every curve we were rewarded with the blooming wildflowers, evergreens, and mixed hardwoods in this unspoiled countryside environment. Bald eagles were soaring above as we enjoyed a yummy lunch and then sat outside in an open car for a portion of the trip.
The train briefly stopped at “The Trough”, a spectacular narrow mountain valley. Below us ran the South Branch of the Potomac River, where the water was so clear that we could see fish as they lie resting in the shade.
We saw a young eagle perched high up on a tree, and according to our guide the area is the eastern home of the American Bald Eagle. Our lunch consisted of “comfort food” and was very filling. We felt the trip was a bit pricey for 3 hours but we really enjoyed it.
These wildflowers brought color to the lush and green background scenery.
Next Up: Finally – a great biking trail, in Maryland.