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“Hidden Treasure”

Kanawha State Forest
Ranked #8 of 50 things to do in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed 5 August 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.

1  Thank KYTravelingMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (112)
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88 - 92 of 112 reviews

Reviewed 30 July 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.

2  Thank Debbie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 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.

3  Thank WNC G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 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!

6  Thank rpdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2013

When you are here you would never know you are only a couple miles from the center of Charleston. Many picnic areas, hiking and bike trails, camping and other activities. Well worth the time to go. No cell service if on Verizon.

2  Thank Milam1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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