Blackwater Falls State Park (Photo Guide)

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If you’re visiting West Virginia you won’t want to miss out on Blackwater Falls State Park. Filled with stunning waterfalls and amazing views the park is an attraction during all seasons for tourists and photographers. The park is extremely beautiful for fall colors as well and well worth the 3 hour road trip from Washington DC.

Places to Photograph in Blackwater Falls State Park

Here are the best places to photograph at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia.

Blackwater Falls

The main point of interest at Blackwater Falls State Park is of course Blackwater Falls. To get to Blackwater Falls you’ll start by parking at the Blackwater Falls trading post which leads to a 0.2 mile walk to the falls.

Most of the walk is on well maintained wooden walkway all the way to the falls as you can see in the photo below.

Blackwater Falls covered in ice
Blackwater Falls covered in ice

On my visit the entire wooden trail was covered in ice making it difficult to walk down to visit the falls. It took about 30 minutes to walk down since each step was covered in over an inch of ice. Once I got to the actual falls the mist of the water created an extra coat of ice on the entire walkway.

Wooden walkway to Blackwater falls covered in ice
Wooden walkway to Blackwater falls covered in ice

Check the weather of the area before visiting to ensure an easy trip down to the falls. On my trip I wish I had traction cleats for my shoes.

Elakala Falls

Another popular spot to photography at Blackwater Falls State Park is Elakala Falls. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to personally visit so I am sharing my friend Zack’s photo.

To get to Elakala Falls you’ll need to start at the Elakala Falls trail which is only a 0.2 mile hike to the falls from the parking lot.

Elakala Falls by Zack Lewkowicz

Lindy Point

To get to Lindy Point you’ll have to start at the Lindy Point Trailhead and hike 0.4 miles to the observation deck. The peak of Lindy Point overlooks Blackwater Canyon. From this perspective you can get a great view of fall trees and fog rolling in and out of the area.

Lindy Point by Zack Lewkowicz

Popular Hikes in Blackwater Falls State Park

If you’re looking for more todo in Blackwater Falls state park I’ve also included some hikes in the area. Of course the most popular hikes are the ones I listed above to Blackwater Falls, Elakala Trail and Lindy Point Overlook.

Additional hikes in Blackwater Falls State Park:


A sturdy tripod is an essential tool for capturing sharp images, especially in low-light conditions or when using longer exposure times. Invest in a quality tripod that can support the weight of your camera and lens. This will help prevent camera shake and allow you to shoot at slower shutter speeds without compromising image quality. Additionally, a tripod will provide stability for composing your shots as Blackwater Falls.

Wide Angle Lens

To capture images of the waterfalls, I recommend bringing a wide angle lens like the Canon RF 15-35mm. The observation deck for Blackwater Falls is a great spot to use a wide angle lens.


Consider using filters to enhance the beauty of Blackwater Falls State Park. A polarizing filter can reduce glare and increase color saturation, perfect. Graduated neutral density filters are useful for balancing the exposure of a landscape scene, especially when dealing with a bright sky and darker foreground. You can also bring an ND filter to create a smooth effect on the waterfalls.

To maximize your experience in the area, do not miss out on Pendleton Overlook and Blackwater Falls Viewpoint. These additional spots offer stunning views and should not be overlooked.

Blackwater Falls State Park offers a myriad of opportunities for photographers to capture the beauty of nature. From the majestic Blackwater Falls to the hidden gems of Elakala Falls, the park is a photographer’s paradise. So grab your camera, venture into the wilderness, and let your creativity soar in this natural wonderland. Want to improve your photography? read my travel photography tips.

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