Holly River State Park is a delightful state park in the middle of West Virginia. Located in Webster County, the park is perched along the Left Fork of the Holly River near the town of Hacker Valley. It is the second largest park in the West Virginia state park system, with a total of 8,294 acres offering 42 miles of interesting hiking opportunities.
We stayed at Cabin 10 recently, exploring the park and its many hiking trails. There are three short trails that were well worth doing — and writing about!
Laurel Fork Trail
It’s always a delight to encounter a wheelchair accessible trail. Located on the island between the Activity Building and the Carpenter Pavilion, the half-mile trail; note: there is a typo on the trail map, which indicates that the trail is 5 miles long — it’s actually .5 mile long. The ADA approved trail is paved and follows the perimeter of the island. The streams on both sides provide a constant sound of running water; in summer the trail would be fully shaded.
The trail includes four rest stations, two shelters, three water fountains, and 10 historical markers with braille signs that share the history of the park. It was a pleasant walk, especially after the more strenuous morning hike we were on.
Salt Lick Trail
After enjoying the Laurel Fork Trail, we headed back to our cabin via the three-quarter mile-long Salt Lick Trail, which runs parallel to the Laurel Fork and the park’s main road through the park, although halfway up the mountainside.
From the Laurel Fork trail, the Salt Lick Trail begins with a brief climb before winding around the mountain through a young forested area and a stand of magnificent old-growth trees, crossing several foot-bridges before descending down just beyond Cabin 9.
Nature’s Rock Garden Trail
At 1.1 miles long, this loop trail is the longest of the three trail and is a fun little climb halfway up the side of the mountain around some interesting rock formations. The trail includes two stream crossings.
We weren’t in the park an hour before we were enticed by the Nature’s Rock Garden Trail, a short loop trail that was easy walking a bit up the side of the mountain and back down again.
Before heading up the trail, stop by the park office to pick up a brochure explaining the rock formations and flora that you’ll encounter along the trail.
Getting there: 680 State Park Rd, Hacker Valley, WV
Website: Holly River State Park