By Maggie Susa
The West Virginia Waterfall Trail has nine new stops, bringing the total to 38. Since its launch last June, the statewide trail has received over 35,000 participant check-ins, with visitors from 49 states and 15 countries.
The trail has received rave reviews, which inspired the Department of Tourism to ask West Virginians to help identify new waterfalls. Those nominations led to the addition of the new falls, which are:
- Westerly Falls — This short-dropped waterfall spans Paint Creek, in Fayette County. With water plummeting from 5 to 7 feet, Westerly Falls is one of the more subtle, yet dynamic, falls in West Virginia. Tackle the short and moderately steep walk from the roadside pulloff to creek level for a closer view.
- Pipestem Falls — With a 30-foot-plus drop on Pipestem Creek, Pipestem Falls is located along Route 20, approximately 11 miles south of Hinton. Follow the wooden steps by the pulloff and let the roaring waters guide the way, as the summer leaves hide the falls from the road.
- Falls Mill — Just off U.S. 19 on Pleasant Hill Road, in Braxton County, is a wide cascade spanning the entire width of the Little Kanawha River.
- Parkinson’s Waterfall — Nestled in Bethany College’s leafy and historic campus, this waterfall is a familiar feature to students and a surprise for visitors. Make your way along Campus Drive until you come upon a trailhead sign near the Steinman Fine Arts Center, marking the Waterfall Trail. The Waterfall Trail and Sutton Trail form a loop that is approximately one-mile long.
- Mann’s Creek Falls — Enjoy sightseeing the many layers of cascading waters at Mann’s Creek Falls, in Babcock State Park. Begin your journey at the Narrow Gauge trailhead located on the service road below the park’s campground.
- Sugar Camp Run Falls — Sugar Camp Run Falls is one of a handful of waterfalls at Babcock State Park. Water rushes between several angular boulders, creating a unique flow, especially after heavy rainfall. Parking in the Glade Creek Grist Mill lot provides easy access to the Old Sewell Trail.
- Flanagan Branch Falls — Flanagan Branch Falls is tucked away on the Old Sewell Trail at beautiful Babcock State Park. You can park near the historic Glade Creek Grist Mill and begin your waterfall venture on the Old Sewell Trail.
- Tucker Falls — Located at Mason-Dixon Historical Park near Morgantown, Tucker Falls is a 14-foot waterfall. This park borders the Mason-Dixon line, making Tucker Falls one of the most northern waterfalls in the state. Take a stroll along the banks of Dunkard Creek on Green Trail and cross over to Orange Trail for a combined one-mile walk.
- Loopemount Waterfall — Located near mile marker 8.1 on the 78-mile Greenbrier River Trail, the Loopemount Waterfall is one of the most remote waterfalls in the state. Park near the Harper Road trailhead and walk north. Meander for a little over 2 miles along the lush rail trail to find this Greenbrier County gem. This wide waterflow is the strongest during the springtime, but there is a gentle stream during the warmer months.
Visitors can win prizes while exploring the falls, including a West Virginia Waterfall Trail-branded sticker, water bottle and T-shirt, all exclusively available through the program.
With the addition of these new waterfalls, the state Department of Tourism has commissioned Base Camp Printing Company, in Charleston, to create a limited-edition waterfall art print that will be mailed to the dedicated explorers who check in at all 38 cascades along the trail.
“It’s a unique offering for West Virginia as we continue to build our reputation as a true outdoor recreation state,” said Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby.
Checking into the Waterfall Trail is made possible by Bandwango, a travel technology platform. To get started, visit WVtourism.com/waterfalls and register.
Those who have already registered and want to restart their adventures can text “resend waterfall trail passport” to 1-888-921-5333 to be connected with a support agent.