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West Virginia

West Virginia State Parks

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USA Parks
West Virginia
Potomac Highlands Region
Watoga State Park
Watoga State Park © Brian M. Powell (user Bitmapped on en.wikipedia) / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Watoga Lake in enWatoga State Park, enPocahontas County, West Virginia.
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HC 82, Box 252
Marlinton, West Virginia   24954

Phone: 304-799-4087
Toll Free: 800-225-5982
Email: park email button icon
Watoga State Park is located in the mountains of Pocahontas County just 14 miles south of Marlinton, West Virginia. The park consists of 10,100 acres filled with a multitude of recreational activities including hiking, swimming, horseback riding, fishing and boating. There is something for everyone to enjoy at Watoga State Park.
Of the 34 cabins Watoga has to offer, ten are modern (8-four person modern and two-eight person modern) and 24 are standard cabins from two to six persons. Two of these cabins meet ADA accessibility guidelines. Additional cots are available in cabins for a nominal fee.

The modern cabins are frame construction, featuring wood paneled walls, forced air furnace and stone fireplace.(Cabins #3 and #16 feature gas log fireplaces).

The quaint standard cabins are of log and stone construction with natural stone fireplaces. All cabins are equipped with electric lighting , modern kitchen appliances and bathrooms with showers. Completely equipped for housekeeping, the cabins feature cooking utensils, dishes, flatware, bed linens and towels.

Watoga's modern cabins are open year-round, while the standard cabins open the last week-end in April and close the fourth Monday in October.
Watoga has two separate campgrounds. Beaver Creek Campground is a 38-unit facility located eight miles south of Huntersville, near the park's north entrance. Riverside Campground offers 50 sites along the picturesque Greenbrier River near the western entrance of the park. The two campgrounds provide for tent and trailer camping. Each site includes picnic tables and grills with a central bathhouse with toilet facilities, hot showers and coin operated laundry. The Riverside area features electric hook-ups at 38 sites, while Beaver Creek offers 12 sites with electricity. Reservations are taken for some sites at Riverside during the summer months. Camping is available from April 1st through the end of deer rifle season in early December.
A restaurant and commissary are located in the park's rustic administration building. The restaurant is open daily form May 1 through October. The commissary provides park guests with staple groceries, dairy products and soft drinks they may have forgotten to pack.
Watoga State Park offers a swimming pool open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting. The heated pool includes a bathhouse and snack bar for convenience. There's also lake swimming available at the park's man-made Watoga Lake with sandy beach areas. No lifeguards are on duty; swim at your own risk in designated areas only.
Anglers can enjoy fishing in the park's serene lake and streams, with opportunities to catch trout, bass, catfish, and bluegill. Fishing licenses are required for those aged 15 or older. The clear waters offer a peaceful retreat for fly-fishing enthusiasts as well. Boats without motors are permitted on the lake for a tranquil experience amidst nature's backdrop.

Watoga State Park offers scenic picnic spots with tables and grills amidst West Virginia's largest state park. Enjoy riverside or forest settings for your meal, surrounded by nature trails and wildlife. Picnic shelters are available for rent, providing a covered space perfect for family gatherings or events.
Cyclists should be aware that terrain can vary, so it's important to choose a trail matching your skill level. The park offers several trails; however, not all are suitable for biking due to their rugged nature.

The Lake Trail is an option but check conditions first as parts may be too difficult for casual riders. For those seeking more challenge, the Bear Pen Run Trail could suffice-just proceed with caution and wear appropriate gear.

Riverside Campground provides a gentler ride along the Greenbrier River; still keep alert for pedestrians and wildlife crossings. Always review current maps before setting out since some paths might have restrictions or seasonal changes affecting accessibility.

Remember: safety comes first when exploring these routes - ensure bikes are in good condition and you're prepared for backcountry cycling challenges.
Horseback Riding:

Watoga's Windy Hill Quarter Horse Stables are open from late May through mid-September. Guided trail rides are offered for a 1/2 hour or an hour.
Nature Programs
A seasonal naturalist plans and conducts activities to help familiarize guests with the flora and fauna the park. This program consists of slide shows, hikes, athletic events, campfires and other activities to acquaint guests not only with Watoga, but other visitors as well. Naturalist programs are offered during the summer season.
Area Attractions
Greenbrier River Trail

One of West Virginia's most successful rail-to-trail conversions, the Greenbrier River Trail was just recently ranked by BackPacker Magazine as one of the top ten hiking trails in the United States. Extending 77 miles and traversing 35 bridges and two tunnels, the trail parallels the Greenbrier River and features some of the most spectacular pastoral and woodland scenery the state has to offer.

The trail is not limited to hiking traffic. Its level terrain is well suited for family and group mountain bike outings as well as walking, jogging and cross-country skiing.

The Greenbrier River Trail begins 1.3 miles north of US 60 at Caldwell, West Virginia on Rt. 38. The trail parallels the river for 77 miles from Caldwell north to the town of Cass. Novice and intermediate mountain bikers will appreciate the packed gravel surface on the majority of the trail.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
November 16 Family vacation favorite by Beth And Eddie Bailey Familyb
park review stars; one to five Best memories of our lifetime were made here. We love this area and the people around it. Have met some wonderful friends here over the years. We could never say enough about the park and employees. My grandchildren will always return long after we are gone.
August 9 The Number One State Park In WV by Charlotte McKeever Emswiler
park review stars; one to five Watoga is heaven on earth. Lived on the park as a child, father superintendent, worked at Watoga during my college years. I now take my grandchildren there, so many wonderful memories. My husband and I took a trip to Watoga yesterday. The weather was perfect and everything was beautiful. We need to go for a few days in the fall. We love to walk in the woods and build a big fire in the fireplace and chili in the crockpot. That is living!!!!
June 10 one 0f our favorite parks by mark
park review stars; one to five i have been raised not from from here,still love to go there.
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Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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Cottages and Cabins
Deluxe Log Cabins Rental, Tree Houses rental and Glamping Yurts cabins. All located a a remote scenic wooded area, near the New River national River and Gauley River National recreational area. Only 10 minutes from the New River Gorge Bridge Each cabin has a Hot tub and 3 cabins have a Red Heart Shaped Jacuzzi tub and gas fireplaces - Great for Romantic Get-a-Ways.
46.5 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

Watoga can be reached from north of Hillsboro and south of Mill Point on US 219. A sign directs you to Watoga State Park. From this point, travel two miles on paved secondary road to the park entrance. An alternative route is to turn from WV 39 at Huntersville and travel nine miles to the north entrance of the park.

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West Virginia

West Virginia State Parks