With the arrival of spring in Raleigh County comes bursts of wildflowers painting our trails in vibrant colors. Spend the day soaking up the sunshine and gazing upon some of our favorite flora on a hike. Here are just a few great places to find these seasonal blooms.
Grandview is home to some of the most dramatic views of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. In addition to the panoramic vistas, Grandview is an excellent place to discover spectacular displays of not only wildflowers but of West Virginia’s state flower, the rhododendron. The purple catawba rhododendron blooms in mid-May and can be found around the entrance of the park. To view the wildflowers at Grandview, hike Little Laurel Trail. The change in elevation on this steep 2-mile hike provides an opportunity to view a vast assortment of blooms. Try to find the bursts of color ranging from the yellow trout lilies to the dainty, pink-striped spring beauties as you explore this popular trail.
With nearly 20 miles of trails to explore, Little Beaver State Park is a perfect place to spend the day searching for blossoms. The Beaver Creek to Black Bear Trail is a 1.9-mile moderately trafficked path suitable for all skill levels. Running above the lake, this trail is dotted with seasonal wildflowers and virgin pine and oak trees. Try to spot popular varieties like the Bloodroot, a delicate white flower with a yellow center, or large-flowered trillium, a flower with three distinct petals in shades of white, red and pink.
Wildflowers and waterfalls are two defining features of springtime in West Virginia, and on the Glade Creek Trail, you may be able to see both! This 5.6-mile trail follows an abandoned railroad along Glade Creek and is a pleasant stroll for all ages. While on this hike, find a number of cascades, small waterfalls and numerous wildflowers sprinkling the landscape with beautiful shades of white, yellow and pink!
Located steps away from the Beckley YMCA Soccer Complex, Piney Creek is an unexpected trail system that has amazing views of springtime in Beckley-Raleigh County. The 10-mile park winds through the woods and hits the edge of the Piney Creek Gorge. These trails take you to waterfalls, through tunnels of rhododendron and to the ruins of the Beckley Mill. Explore this relatively new trail system for a peaceful hike with delicate wildflowers.
A favorite spot for summertime activities, Lake Stephens is also a great place to visit in the spring! With 20 miles of family-friendly trails, this area has plenty of places to spot wildflowers. Lakeside Loop is a 5-mile loop that travels the east bank of the lake and offers 700 feet in elevation change, perfect for different species of flowers like Dutchman’s Breeches and bluebells.
Ready to hit the trails? Visit these well-known wildflower spots to find some of the brightest blooms!