We just got back from one of our best winter trips: sledding at Blackwater Falls in West Virginia! The quarter-mile sledding run is the longest on the East Coast! We also explored the state park and saw the beautiful frozen waterfall. Below are all the details of our overnight trip including the sledding process, tips, where we stayed, and other things to do at the park!
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Blackwater Falls Sledding Info
Sledding Run Process:
- Book your tickets ahead of time on the West Virginia State Parks website. I've heard that some times sell out!
- Arrive 20 minutes ahead of your scheduled time for a safety briefing by a Park Ranger.
- Pick up your tickets outside at the Gift Shop window (just give your last name).
- Pick up one of the sleds provided for you (About 6 foot long!)
- Ride your sled about 5 minutes up to the top on the Magic Carpet through the beautiful woods!
- Slide down a tiny decline and dismount.
- Walk about 15 feet to the top of the hill and go down the run whenever you want.
- You have 2 hours to sled and unlimited time to enjoy the fire pits and rest of the park!
Location: Blackwater Falls State Park near Davis, West Virginia. Once you enter the park, follow signs to the Sled Run which is about 5 minutes from the entrance.
Ages: Kids 8 years old and younger must ride with an adult. From their website: "Age requirements may be raised depending on hill conditions at the time of the sled session." I did see lots of toddlers riding with their grown-ups!
Cost: Weekdays – $24, Weekends & Holidays – $28 (they count Fridays as weekends). Children under 5 ride free with an adult.
2022 Season Dates and Times: Wednesday – Sunday. Season: December 18, 2021 – March 6, 2022
Closing date subject to weather.
- Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat: 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. or 1 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or 4 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Fri & Saturday Night: 7:00 p.m. – 9 p.m. Holiday Sunday Nights (Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day) 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Weather: Check the weather beforehand for Davis, West Virginia. It is the highest town in the state and we found that the temperature was about 8-10 degrees colder at the park than in other parts of the state. (They also have snowmakers to create snow if they don't have any early in the season!)
Blackwater Falls Sledding Tips
#1 Bring snow goggles!
We did not bring snow goggles and after the first run, we had to run back to the car for baseball hats and sunglasses! Their website says you can go up to 30 mph and the snow and wind blowing in your eyes is pretty hard. They do sell snow goggles in the gift shop but they are $44 per piece. I should have brought something like this for my kids for 1/4 the price! (2 pack with 1.4k 5-star reviews)
#2 Bring lunch!
There is a small snack area in the gift shop selling pizza, water, hot chocolate, and s'more kits (loved it for $4.75) but not a lot for lunch. I was glad we packed a picnic lunch to eat in the car once we arrived for our 1 PM time slot.
#3 Wear layers!
This is obvious for any snow activity but since we haven't skied with the kids, this is our "big winter activity." We all definitely needed our long underwear and many layers with the wind and lower temps on the mountain. I wrote about my favorite winter weather gear for kids here and am very happy with my son's new gloves, which are best at keeping snow off his wrists! We also brought hand warmers which I keep in the car for emergencies.
Staying Overnight Near Blackwater Falls Sledding Area
There are a couple of options depending on your group size and the distance you want to travel.
Closest Option: Stay at the State Park!
Where We Stayed: Cabin 1 hour away
We stayed an hour away in Romney, West Virginia in a delightful cabin via Airbnb. The cozy cabin was perfect for our family of 4 but with 1 room and 1 pull-out couch, it would not fit more than 4. It was very clean and our host Laura had so many thoughtful additions including fresh bread, farm-raised pork sausage, eggs, milk, and even homemade blackberry jam ready for us! The cabin is on a 15-acre farm with pigs, chickens, and beautiful views. However, it was 3 degrees wind chill so we stayed warm inside!
Also, I think it is an incredible value for the price! ($99 before tax for a Friday night)
Other Things to Do in Blackwater Falls State Park besides Sledding
Highly recommend checking out the park's map for a ton of great info!
Blackwater Falls Waterfall
Highly recommend checking out the 57-foot Waterfall before you leave the park! There are 2 ways to view the falls.
- Gentle Trail: The easy way was suggested to us by a Park Ranger because of the falling snow. It was only a mile down the road from the Sled Run and just an easy 0.25-mile walk to a lookout. The walk through the trees was beautiful!
- Blackwater Falls Boardwalk Trail: Also just a 0.25-mile trail but you take 200 steps down to an observation deck. The park's map says this is somewhat difficult to difficult but you get to be closer to the falls.
Snowshoe or Cross-Country Ski
You can rent snowshoes or cross-country skis at the Sledding Run Gift Shop and enjoy 10 miles of cross-country skiing trails!