From Blackwater Falls to Red Run Falls, Monongahela National Forest is home to some of the largest and most unique waterfalls in West Virginia. The best way to encounter these beautiful landmarks is by taking a road trip.
Road trippers can expect roughly 4 hours of travel time and over 100 miles of distance traveled on our West Virginia waterfalls road trip. The trip takes travelers from Cabins, WV northwest to Davis and south to the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation area and back, making for a roundtrip that includes many of West Virginia’s best waterfalls.
The roundtrip starts and stops at Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins, so travelers can explore comfortably knowing that they can rest easy in the coziest West Virginia cabin rentals after this scenic trip.
Total road time: 4 hours and 29 minutes
Total road mileage: 131 miles
Let’s get to our first stop on our West Virginia Waterfalls Road Trip:
1. Blackwater Falls
At 57 feet high, Blackwater Falls is the tallest waterfall in West Virginia and arguably the state’s most popular. The water that cascades down gets its color from the tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles, creating an amber tone.
Directions from Harman’s to Blackwater Falls State Park:
- Take Jordan Run Road to Forest Road 19/Dolly Sods Road for 1.2 miles
- Follow Forest Road 19 and Laneville Road to WV-32 North in Dry Fork for 15.6 miles
- Make a sharp right onto WV-32 North and travel 11.8 miles
- Continue onto Blackwater Falls Road. Take Blackwater Lodge Road to Park Forest Road 803 in Dry Fork for 2.8 miles
The Blackwater Falls Boardwalk Trail starts at the Trading Post parking area. The trail leads to an observation deck and main viewing area beside the falls. Swimming is not allowed at Blackwater Falls. Learn more about things to do at Blackwater Falls.
2. Albert Falls
Albert Falls are notable for their flat rock faces that jut over the water beneath them. Depending on the time of year you visit, the water becomes turquoise in color, imitating a tropical oasis in the middle of the West Virginia wilderness.
Directions from Blackwater Falls State Park to Albert Falls:
- Head southeast on Park Forest Road 803 toward Blackwater Lodge Road for 0.6 miles
- Park Forest Road 803 turns slightly left and becomes Blackwater Lodge Road for 1 mile
- Turn right onto Blackwater Falls Road
- Continue onto Blackwater Falls Road for 1.2 miles
- Turn left onto WV-32 North/William Avenue. Continue to follow WV-32 North for 2.1 miles
- Turn left onto Douglas Road and travel 1 mile
- Make a slight left onto Blackwater Canyon Trail and follow for 0.9 miles and the falls will be on the left
Once at the falls, you can park your car on the side of the road, and viewing the waterfall requires a short walk into the woods. Swimming is not recommended at Albert Falls.
3. Douglas Falls
This 35-foot cascading waterfall is, like Albert Falls, unique for its tropically tinted water. The rocks that line Douglas Falls received their orange tint from acids that seeped from nearby ovens that were used to burn coal many years ago.
Directions from Albert Falls to Douglas Falls:
- Head south on Blackwater Canyon Trail for 0.3 miles
You won’t have to travel far from Albert Falls to get to Douglas Falls. Travelers will cross a bridge and come to a gate that is open to foot traffic only. A short path behind the gate leads directly to the base of the falls. You can swim in the water pooled beneath Douglas Falls.
4. Big Run Falls
Regarded as one of West Virginia’s best-kept secrets, Big Run Falls is also one of the state’s most beautiful waterfalls. Big Run Falls is made up of three waterfalls of varying sizes.
From Douglas Falls to Big Run Falls:
- Head northeast on Blackwater Canyon Trail toward Douglas Road for 1.2 miles
- Make a slight right onto Douglas Road and travel 1 mile
- Turn left onto WV-32 North and travel 0.5 miles
- Turn left onto US-219 South/Seneca Trail and travel 6.5 miles
- Turn left onto Forest Road 18 and travel 0.4 miles
- Turn left to stay on Forest Road 18 and travel 1.3 miles
Once you cross Big Run Creek on Forest Road 18, a ½ mile hike will take you to a campground with a picnic table. A rock with an orange arrow marks the trail to the top of the falls. Travel another 50 feet to a trail that takes hikers to the middle of the three falls. Since this series of falls is so rocky, swimming is not recommended.
5. Red Run Falls
Red Run Falls is wide and carries amber-colored water. Downstream from Red Run Falls is an unnamed tall waterfall that also warrants a visit. You’ll need to park at Forest Service Road 244 (don’t block the gate, though), and hike the service road just a little under 1.5 miles. There’s a smiley face carved into a tree where you need to head downhill off the trail to the waterfall. You can’t swim here, but the shallow waters are perfect for cooling your feet.
From Big Run Falls to Red Run Falls:
- Head west on Forest Road 18 toward Forest Road 717 for 1.3 miles
- Turn right to stay on Forest Road 18 and travel 0.4 miles
- Turn left onto US-219 South and travel 5.2 miles
- Turn left onto WV-72 South and travel 5.1 miles
- Make a slight left onto Forest Road 244 and travel 1.4 miles
6. Falls of Seneca
Travelers will discover several waterfalls cascading along the fast-flowing Seneca Creek. This stop will require a bit more hiking than previous destinations.
From Red Run Falls to Falls of Seneca:
- Head south on Forest Road 244 toward WV-72 South for 1.4 miles
- Follow WV-72 South, WV-32 South and US-33 East to Whites Run Road in Seneca Rocks for 25.7 miles
- Drive to Straders Run Road in Riverton and travel 3.8 miles
Seneca Creek Trail is nearly 5 miles in length and requires hikers to ford the creek in several spots along the trail. A 30-foot waterfall awaits near the end of the trail, the highest waterfall on Seneca Creek. Swimming is allowed on Seneca Creek at the waterfall.
Learn more about:
After visiting Falls of Seneca, use these directions back to Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins:
- Head east on Straders Run Road toward Country Club Boulevard for 2.9 miles
- Turn right onto Whites Run Road and travel 0.9 miles
- Turn right onto US-33 East and travel 5.1 miles
- Turn left onto WV-28 North/WV-55 East and travel 11.7 miles
See the whole map with directions here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Biggest Waterfall in WV?
Blackwater Falls is the biggest waterfall in WV. Waters plunge 57 feet into the Blackwater Canyon. These falls are the first stop on your waterfall road trip from Harman’s Log Cabins. There’s no swimming at Blackwater Falls.
How Many Waterfalls Does West Virginia Have?
West Virginia is home to at least 275 known waterfalls although there may be some tucked away in excessively remote areas that have yet to be added to this number. If you need a fantastic family vacation, stay at Harman’s Log Cabins and take a day for a West Virginia waterfall road trip. While many waterfalls cascade into shallow and rocky pools where you can’t swim, you can often cool your feet after hiking to the falls. Seneca Creek, where you’ll find the Falls of Seneca, allows swimming, as does Douglas Falls. Both of these are on the Harman’s Cabins Waterfall Road Trip.