National Park waterfalls

Hidden waterfalls around the New River region

Who doesn’t love a good waterfall? You can find plenty pouring over the mountains of the National Parks of Southern WV.

Here are 4 that are sure to take your breath away:

1. Cathedral Falls

This tall, cascading fall gets its name from its amazing setting: tucked into a rocky natural ampitheater. It flows more than 100 feet, the last 60 of which are visible from the viewing area below.

Cathedral Falls is easy to access, even though it’s tucked back along the road a bit. You’ll find this hidden gem along the scenic Midland Trail byway, with a small parking lot so you can pull over and enjoy this marvel a while.

2. Kanawha Falls

Just a stone’s throw from Cathedral Falls, the mighty Kanawha Falls pound down 20 feet or so, depending on the water level. But the height is not its appeal: the jagged terrain creates a unique irregular line of falls that stretches across the entire Kanawha River, creating a beautiful scene from the shoreline.

3. Sandstone Falls

One of the most popular settings in the gorge, the pouring Sandstone Falls span all the way across the New River for more than 1,500 feet, separated by a series of islands.  A boardwalk leads you out to the falls, and you can also head off on the nearby trails to explore the unique plantlife in an ecosystem that is rare in this part of the country.

4. Sweet’s Falls

The falls you can boat overor watch others boat over! Hike to the cliffs overlooking this drop on the Gauley River, joining the whitewater rafters and other boaters usually there for lunch and a show.

After swishing over the 14-foot falls, boaters have to paddle to avoid the ‘box’ of rocks to the left, or they get stuck, and in front of the crowds no less! There are only 2 ways out: easy and hard. And the guide who takes the easy way in front of an audience is sure to be teased for it later!  

Those are just a handful of the waterfalls you can discover in the Southern WV National Parks. Come discover more tucked-away falls hidden in our mountain wilderness.

Which waterfall is your favorite?