As one of the most extensive old-growth forests in the state of West Virginia, Cathedral State Park offers 133-acres of ancient landscape to explore. In 1997 this park was officially designated a National Natural Landmark, which means it's now a permanent sanctuary for these aged trees. In addition to the older trees, there are over 170 different species of wildflowers, ferns, and other types of plant life to photograph and enjoy.
Up until 1922, Cathedral State Park was formerly the site of Brookside Resort. Erected in 1882, it drew visitors from the larger surrounding cities who were looking for a distinct change of scenery. When the land was sold to the state in the early 20s, it was stipulated that the forests were to remain untouched. In 1966, Cathedral State Park entered the National Registry of Natual Landmarks thus cementing its existence.
Hiking is one of the most exciting parts about Cathedral State Park. Their wildflower blooms are famous throughout the state, and shouldn't be missed. Several species of birds almost make their homes here, so these trails make great spots for birdwatchers. If you are going to explore the three miles of available trails here, make sure to catch the mountain stream that winds its way south.
Canines are allowed on all of these trails, provided they stay leashed up at all times. Park officials urge visitors to clean up after their pets, as these trails tend to be a little less traveled. Camping is available just inside of the park grounds, at Canaan Valley Resort. These sites are available via reservation and offer first-class amenities for out of state visitors.
All wild campsites have full electric and water hookups, ensuring that you'll have a comfortable stay. There are also six cabins available for rental here year round. All camping facilities are dog-friendly, but owners must pay an additional rental fee if they wish to keep their canine inside of the rental cabins. When on the campgrounds, dogs must be on a 6-foot leash or shorter.