Blackwater Falls

I am ready to move to a warmer climate. I am tired of snow, spinning tires, and 2 hour school delays. But, despite this long snap of frigid weather and mounting snow drifts, I still find inspiration to get in my car and snap some photos. It would be much easier to snap pictures during the other three seasons, when I actually want to get out of my car for different angles, but right now I am basically a “shoot from the car window”  kind of pretend photographer.

When my son was in for Christmas, we decided to drive to Blackwater Falls right after a frigid couple of days. We wanted to see if the falls were frozen. What was I thinking?


We stopped to take photos of this lovely old house.

Blackwater State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, West Virginia near the town of Davis. The park is about 1 1/2 hours away from my home.  It is named for the cascading falls of the Blackwater River, whose amber-colored waters plunge 62 feet and then tumble through the Blackwater Canyon, which is roughly an eight mile long gorge. The so-called “black” water is from tannic acid from the nearby fallen hemlock along with red spruce needles.

According to

“The river enters Blackwater Falls State Park at an elevation of 3,040 feet. For the next 2.2 miles it is a wild river, dropping 57 feet at the main falls and then descending another 560 feet, before leaving the park. The river, geologically young, has carved the spectacular, deep, and almost vertical walls of Blackwater Canyon, which cuts through the surrounding plateau. Blackwater Lodge opened in 1956 on the south rim of the canyon, and a 65-site campground was opened in 1961. The state park, consisting of 1,688 acres, was established in 1937.”

I have never been to the falls in the winter. Summer is a beautiful time to visit the whole area, but we wanted to see what it looked like after a few days of frigid temperatures. I was not too smart and wore tennis shoes and my gloves might as well have been made of thin cotton. But, I had my camera and it was great having my son along with me.

We arrived at the falls parking lot and were surprised to see so many cars. I thought we would be all alone, seeing that it was so cold. I noticed license plates from Virginia, New York, Delaware, and Ohio among the many from West Virginia.


Did I mention there were 214 steps to get down to the falls? I hadn’t been there in years and hoped the slipping and sliding would be worth it.



It was a beautiful walk and I was so happy the wind was calm. I am not a fan of cold, but I trudged on, hoping the falls would not disappoint.

They didn’t There were parts that were frozen, but a majority of the falls were plunging, business as usual. I was taken back by the surrounding beauty. This was a winter wonderland, no doubt about it.




Trees in the canyon below showed the beauty of winter.



My son is a great photographer. His photos look a lot better than mine.




Blackwater Falls, one of the most photographed areas in the state.







So, if you go down, you must go back up. In all honesty, the stairs that snaked their way down to the falls had many platforms along the wall. There were benches and different viewing areas for those who did not want to take the whole journey. It was not bad, and I am a complainer.



My son was able to make this snowman while he waited for me at the top of the stairs..just kidding. I did fine. But, we felt we deserved a break, so we stopped at the Mountain State Brewing Co. for a beer.


IMG_3945All in all, I was glad we ventured into the mountains to visit Blackwater Falls. The best part, though, was spending the day with my son.



6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by ncmountainwoman on March 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Great photographs, especially the icy falls. Cannot believe you made it wearing sneakers. Your toes must have been felt as frozen as the stairs.


    • Thanks! Actually, it wasn’t that cold. My fingers were cold because my gloves were too thin, but other than that, it wasn’t too bad.And the stairs were’t slippery at all. I don’t think I’d want to do it again, Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!


  2. Beautiful pictures. The steps remind if the 300 steps I climbed a few weeks ago to see a Buddhist temple in Thailand except it was very hot and humid there. I sasw yesterday on the news that Niagara Falls has frozen over.

    For some reason I thought you lived in Michigan.


    • Thank you! How wonderful to be able to visit Thailand! 200 steps…wow, I would have had to take a few breaks. I was looking at the pictures of Niagara also and then looked through a lot of photos of the 1969 “dry falls.”

      Nope, I’m a West Virginia


      • Posted by Bill on March 8, 2014 at 7:08 pm

        Michigan is scenic with lighthouses, windmill (Holland MI), but West Virginia is also scenic. I remember taking my daughter to college (Muncie, Indiana) and crossed WVa at Wheeling. I don’t know how many times I heard the song “Dusty Roads” on the radio.
        Nowadays I cross the state two time a year on I-81 going north to PA and south for the winter in TN. Do you live in the center part of the state? Bill

      • Ah, a snow bird. That’s what I want to do in a couple of years. I live in north central WV, a little south of Morgantown.

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