West Virginia’s State Public Lands

Blackwater Falls State Park by Kent Mason.

As West Virginians, we own 35 state parks and 9 state forests – about 164,000 acres of land. We also own three river trail systems and have numerous wildlife management areas. These lands are managed by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR).

Breathtaking scenery like: Seneca Rocks, Lindy Lookout, the Cheat River Valley from Coopers Rock lookout, the saw mill at Babcock, and Watoga’s starry skies. Historical sites that tell the story of West Virginia and why we are Mountaineers: Prickett’s Fort, Blennerhasset Island, Droop Mountain Battlefield, Carnifex Battlefield, and Fairfax Stone.

These public lands stretch from Tomlinson Run in the North to Panther State Forest and Pinnacle Rock in the South; from Tu-Endie-Wei near the Ohio River to Berkeley Springs in the Eastern Panhandle. Our state’s public lands provide the backbone for our tourism economy: our waterfall trail and our cranberry trail.  

Kanawha State Forest.

We have decided to set aside this small amount of West Virginia – only about 1% of the state – to assure that the story of West Virginia is told, and our heritage and iconic beauty is protected – for us, and for our children and grandchildren.

Each of these state lands offers unique aspects of West Virginia’s traditional outdoor recreation: hunting and fishing, swimming and boating, hiking and mountain biking, and birdwatching and education.

Many facilities have overnight lodging – from luxury resorts and lodges to historic Conservation Corps cabins to primitive camp sites.  We have experiences in West Virginia that don’t exist anywhere else.  

The West Virginia state public land experience is one of peaceful enjoyment, protected habitat for hunting and fishing, and families and friends enjoying the outdoors undisturbed. If you want to advocate for our state public lands, sign up for our Public Lands newsletter or send us an email. 

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