Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis West Virginia

         The Wicked Witch of the East’s shriveled feet must be under the porch somewhere; I open the cabin door this morning and it’s as though I’ve awakened in the land of Oz, seeing the world in color for the very first time.  Splashes of brilliant red, orange and gold appear over my head, framed by October’s bright blue sky.

Gazing skyward in Blackwater Falls State Park.

          It’s autumn in Blackwater Falls State Park near Davis, West Virginia.  We arrived last evening after dark, too late to notice the riot of color awaiting us.  This morning a fire crackles in the hearth as I plan the day’s activities with sister Diane and friends Shirley, Patti and Tina.  After a breakfast feast of ham/broccoli/cheese casserole we’re ready for a short hike.
Balanced rock trail leaves from the cabin area.  We’re hiking, not on the yellow brick road, but on a carpet of red and orange leaves.  The trail winds its way through deep woods with lush ferns and rhododendrons lining the path.  We arrive at balanced rock and pose for pictures, then cross the road and walk to the lodge for a view of Blackwater Canyon. 
At the lodge we learn it's “Astronomy Weekend” at Blackwater Falls and the park is hosting a star-gazing party tonight.  We listen in on a somewhat boring lecture on meteor spotting and then duck out—we’ll search for real meteors later.
After lunch we drive the park road to several lookouts spots.  A wedding is taking place at one of the overlooks.  The bridal party is framed by colored hardwoods, deep green pines and spruces—nature’s cathedral.  
We find The Falls Trail and descend 214 steep steps to Blackwater Falls overlook.  Leaves swirl in the water below the falls, creating an ever-changing autumn mosaic.

Scene from the trails in Blackwater Falls S.P.
         Back at the cabin Tina cooks braised eye of round with mashed potatoes; homemade applesauce accompanies the meal.  After dinner we treat ourselves to blueberry cake and cider donuts.  As darkness falls we take a short walk around the cabin area, glance skyward, and notice a dazzling, star-filled sky.  As we’re watching the stars two meteors streak across the heavens.  Astronomy weekend’s agenda fulfilled.
As I snuggle under the covers tonight I look forward to another day of wonder—in this technicolor land of Oz.

Cabin in the magical woods of Blackwater Falls State Park.

Country roads, take me home..... near Davis, West Virginia.

Interested in planning a trip to Blackwater Falls State Park next fall?  Check out this website:


  1. I miss seeing the trees change colors back east. It's great to see that you are sharing some of the color with the rest of us.

  2. Wow! Rita, you continue to amaze me with your first class reports of journeys to such a wide variety of places that are so strikingly beautiful. And, for this particular adventure, I'm unable to decide which I like better, i.e. the menu or the venue!


  3. You're a mind-reader! I dreamed of fall colors last night and awoke to see your amazing photos from your trip to Blackwater Falls.

    We don't get much seasonal change here in LA, so thank you for letting me enjoy autumn vicariously through your stunning photography. :- )

  4. The colors of the hardwood forests back east are amazing, aren't they?

    As to the menu vs. venue, well, I'll say that we spent a lot of time on that trip savoring the food instead of hiking the trails!