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“Nearest touch of nature” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kanawha State Forest

Kanawha State Forest
Charleston, WV
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Ranked #4 of 26 Attractions in Charleston
Type: Forests, State Parks, Outdoors
Activities: Swimming, Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: A convenient location, just seven miles south of Charleston, plus a large swimming pool, playground, hiking and biking trails and a 9,300-acre forest, make this recreational area one of the most popular in West Virginia.
Charleston, West Virginia
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Nearest touch of nature”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

A beautiful little park about 15 minutes outside of Charleston. Not particularly well advertised or famous (likely the reason it remains pristine), it has a good reputation with local botanists and mountain bikers as well as those who just want to walk and enjoy the woods.

A note for the unwary: You will have NO PHONE SERVICE here. It doesn't matter what your carrier is. Take a map to get you out of the area and be prepared for a few hours without phone calls, texts, or internet service.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Berea, Kentucky
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Hidden Treasure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

It is so close to Charleston, and it is surprising how unblemished it is. The walking trails were nice, and we got to see a lot of unusual plants including a Ghost Plant and a Coral Fungus. I would have liked to have had either a trail map or better signs for their trails, but I had printed out the hiking trail descriptions so we knew difficulty and location before we started out.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, West Virginia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“DebWV”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

I walk and ride my bike around Kanawha State Forest often. The wildflowers in the spring are wonderful and I love the streams, picnic areas. The camping area is very nice as well.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“How about some maps?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

Beautiful State park, however, there wasn't a map to be found and there were poorly marked trails as to what you would see once yo ustarted down the path and/or the length. These items would help. Also, my hotel didn't have any info so brochures provided to area hoteliers would be helpful.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, WV
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

Kanawha State forest has a wealth of things to do and see. There is a small, wheelchair accessible nature trail (the trail is flat). There's a swimming pool, several playgrounds, picnic shelters, a kids' and handicap-accessible fishing pond, a gun range, a campground, and a really huge netowrk of trails. The trails are where it's at in Kanawha State Forest. The map offered by the Forest Office is OK- but not anything to write home about. If you're good at finding your way around, it will do. More than that- you may want to stop at Charleston Blueprint and pick up the topo maps of the area. The trail network is somewhat difficult, because it consists of a mix of old and current logging roads (and gas well access roads) that you access via genuine old-fashioned trails. The trails are all pretty steep (but relatively short) to get you to the "roads." The network creates a really large variety of trail combinations you can do - pace yourself. In the past, there have been some security issues in the parking areas - particularly the ones further back in the park - don't leave your stuff sitting out in your car. They are occasionally broken into. Because of the steepness of the mountains, you'll find cell service and GPS reception can be difficult. You can always get cell service by tromping to the top of a trail. You'll find some amazing attractions back in the forest - beautiful waterfalls, rocky ridges, Alligator Rock - that really looks like an alligator, an old coal mine entrance, loads of amazing wildlife. It is an overall great place!

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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