hiking

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Located just seven miles south of Charleston, West Virginia, Kanawha State Forest is in close proximity to the heavily populated Kanawha Valley and is a recreational haven. Some of the state's most popular picnic areas are here, along with significant hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing opportunities. A playground attracts families during the summer season and the fully equipped campground is one of the few in the Charleston area. Camping at Kanawha State Forest is remote in nature given the proximity to the states capitol city. Sites cater to camper units of 26-feet or less, pop-up and tent camping. Campsite reservations are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends. The 9,300-acre forest is noted among naturalists for its diverse wildflower and bird populations. Rich cove forest sites provide nesting habitat for 19 species of wood warblers, a feature which draws birders from as far away as Canada. The forest offers some of West Virginias best special hikes in winter, spring and fall.

Good difficult technical trail, more so than I remember. Large down tree across the trail in the flat on last third before connecting back to Davis Creek trail.

hiking
27 days ago

Fun trail, easy for beginners.

Nice trail. Would be great in the fall. As others have said, this is not an easy trail it definitely should be listed as a moderate. If you venture off the trail a little 100 ft. , to the top of the mountain, you can see some better ridge line views. (The location I paused on my recording is where I went on up the mountain a little)

hiking
1 month ago

We take this trail with our two year old in a toddler pack. He really enjoys getting out and playing in the creek at the beginning of the trail. It connects to a bike trail on the way back and you can walk onto the alligator trail from there. This trail is very woodsy and quiet. It is also a popular trail with a lot of foot traffic so I feel quite safe.

This is a beautiful trail! Just recently started hiking and I found this trail to be doable yet slightly challenging. The views are awesome!

Terribly marked. Fun walk in the woods, not much of a trail after 10 minutes. Lots of thorns. Steep inclines.

great trail. Mostly uphill, Steep. lots of rocks and trees to rest on. 1/4 of a mile after passing the over look vegetation becomes thick. Took an 11yr old and a 14 yr old. kids had fun ( a little challenging for the little one, but he loved it). We encountered a Timber Rattle snake. It was a beauty. I give it 5. looks like a stream runs next to it in certain spots but it was dry when we went.

One of my favorites - Alligator rock is a guaranteed winner for kids

hiking
2 months ago

More moderate than easy, but worth it. Good for kids - not too long and good variety - stream, woods and rocks

Super steep hike up but worth it. Follows an almost-vertical creek most of the way to the top. There's a gas road up there and good views, but don't lose sight of the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

We did this while there was snow on the ground. It was a vigorous hike but not too bad. We did this with the Girls Who Hike WV group.

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent trail for hiking as well as seeing different fungi and flowers from spring to fall!

One of our favorite family hiking trails!

hiking
5 months ago

This has been one of our favorite trails since moving to WV. My son has been hiking it since he was five. During mushroom season, the variety of fungi is amazing in the woods along the trail!

hiking
8 months ago

I walked this trail in mid-September and saw many flowers and mushrooms. Dawdled by and in the creek. LOL.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail, not too hard but beautiful. We picked up mossy rock trail up to the ridge road. Then walked the ridge to alligator rock trail followed back down to the parking lot. About 3 1/2 miles total. A few trees down on the last stretch.

Nice trail. Not too difficult but still a challenging enough for a good workout.

Very pleasant trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice little trail. Well kept but you hear a lot of noise from traffic. A good trail to teach new hikers how to read trail markings.

Not a bad hike but I wouldn't say it's easy. The park map lists it as moderate and that's a much better description. It's more of a hike than just a walk in the park.

good trip with friends and the dogs

hiking
9 months ago

Not easy! My kids struggled with steep terrain and lots of huge trees to climb over. Beautiful though!!

hiking
9 months ago

Great for those starting, have health issues, older folks or you children or just a easy stroll through the woods.

Great for those starting, have health issues, older folks or you children or just a easy stroll through the woods.

It was a great hike but there was a lot of trees had to climb over not good for kids

CCC Snipe trail, Mossy Rock, Middle Ridge Trail, Teaberry Rock trail, Davis Creek Trail. This was a 6 mile loop hike and we started at Snipe trail with a steep climb. We then followed Mossy Rock to Middle Ridge Trail. This trail was a easy hike and very enjoyable to look around with breath taking views. Be careful to watch for the markers leading Middle ridge, it's easy to follow the road and not the hiking trail. Once on Teaberry, it's a steep climb back down, but enjoyable. Make sure to follow markers because there are trail leading off in different directions close to the bottom. Once we got to the bottom we stopped and allowed our dog to walk the creek and she enjoyed this play time. Continue up the creek onto Davis Creek trail and follow it back to the parking lot and beginning of Snipe trail. If reverse this hike, it will give you similar results. Overall, this was a great hike today !!

hiking
10 months ago

Pretty tough trail - definitely moderate, lots of steep hills. It is a loop, but making the loop requires walking along the road for about 1/2 mile.

This trail is clearly marked and easy to find if you are already walking along Davis creek trail toward the South end.
However, if you are coming just for this trail, I think the best place to park is at the other end of the trail. There is a small gravel lot on the right before the turn off to Dunlop Hollow. Follow the trail up a steep hill, and you will intersect a gravel road. This intersection can be a bit confusing, but follow the arrows on the wooden signs and you will find the other half of the trail a short way down the gravel road. When While Hollow trail ends, it will intersect Davis Creek Trail. Turn left, follow Davis Creek trail to the end, and then go left along the road about half a mile to your car.
In summer, there is a bit of overgrowth on some parts of this trail. Wear long pants or wait until cooler weather if this is something that bothers you.

hiking
10 months ago

I absolutely love this trail! I come to Kanawha State Forest often and this is a stop every time. It is definitely not an easy hike, so be warned. I would say moderate to difficult, as most of it is straight up a steep hill. It does make a nice loop, which is great for people like me who hate backtracking on hikes.

If you are coming to this trail for the overlook, I recommend beginning at the first entrance to the trail (not the one at the bow range). To find it, enter the forest by the main road. Go just past the turn-off to the pool and park in the small, unmarked gravel lot on the left. A sign across the road marks the entrance to Overlook trail. From there, it is a short 15 minute hike (about half a mile) straight up to the overlook. The rock at the top provides a great spot for photos, a quick picnic, or just resting after the climb. For a casual hiker looking for a quick hike with a rewarding view at the end, this is the best way to go - as long as you are in shape.

From there, your options are to go back down the way you came, or to continue along the rest of the trail (about a mile). In summer, I do not recommend continuing this way for the casual hiker, as the underbrush is quite heavy along a lot of the trail (this means briers and poison ivy). This half of the trail is not as difficult, but I do find the overgrowth unpleasant. This half of the trail is not as heavily traveled which probably contributes to this. However, it is a nice hike in other seasons, and when you come out the other end, it is a very short walk along the main road to get back to your car.

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