hiking

dogs on leash

walking

nature trips

trail running

birding

forest

views

kid friendly

mountain biking

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
2 days ago

I take my dog out on this in the summer because there is a nice stream for her to cool off in. After you pass the camping area you do not have to have a lash on your dog.

This trail is 2 miles not 1 1/2, and is moderate not easy. I started at the archery range entrance which was an uphill climb. It does level off after about 3/4 of a mile. I will definitely do this again but will start at the other end of the trail.

hiking
5 days ago

Entrance from shooting range road to other end is uphill nearly the entire way (but then back is downhill and super easy). Trail narrows toward the other end. Trees are clear most of the way - only 2 fallen across path and can get by them easily. Trail is marked well. Some poison ivy along trail and up trees so be cautious of that.

nature trips
8 days ago

Decent hiking trail. Easy to moderate- it does go uphill in some parts. Not too difficult for kids, but it is narrow in some points. A few trees had fallen across the trail so we notified the office- not too difficult to climb over through. Small creek bed runs next to the trail- it was pretty dry when we went.

Not a bad trail, but some parts were steep. There was a neat little spot below alligator rock where we were able to sit on top of a rock and eat lunch.

hiking
28 days ago

The overlook wasn't much of a view at all. However if you're willing to take a short jaunt down the hill from the rock, you'll find some awesome rocks and even a small cave

hiking
1 month ago

Nice, easy out and back trail. Along the way you can see and old, abandon, sealed coal mine ad a slag pile dam. I think it is close to 1.5 miles out and back not the 2.5 miles in the description.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a nice trail with some steep sections. There are several rock outcroppings close to the trail and a rock overhang that is a nice place to take a break and possible have a quick snack. It is located fairly close to the shooting range so it can be a little noisy.

great trail. hard. It was steep but we loved it.

hiking
1 month ago

Should be listed as moderate, would be a great trail for the fall but still worth doing in the summer

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked Beech Glen to Wildcat Trail to Polly Trail for a 3.9 mile loop, starting and ending at Polly Hollow. Nice hike with several steep sections, but just before you feel like passing out the trail levels off and gives you a chance to catch you breath. Seriously, if was a great hike and I will do it again!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail. A little steep in places but if you take your time you should really enjoy this trail.

I liked this one. I believe it’s one of the most well marked trails I’ve been on in KSF. It was a HIKE to get to the top of the ridge (about a mile all uphill), but it was a very nice walk once you get to the top! We only hiked about two miles out and turned around for a total of four miles. The trail did continue pass where we turned.

I’m not sure I would say this is easy... most of the out part is uphill. But good thing there’s plenty of room to rest on the “overlook rock” cause I was beat once I got to the top!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike. Great scenery.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy walk.

Nice trail, lot of climbing. Stepped on a snake, ran back off hill. Cool rock you can climb up.

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
2 months 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
3 months 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
4 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
5 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
7 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!

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