Autumn in Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

We visited Blackwater Falls State Park in October 2010.  Blackwater Falls is located in Canaan Valley, near the town of Davis, West Virginia.  The fall color was at its peak in the canyon and around the falls.  Blackwater Falls is a highlight of the park, with relatively easy access along a wooden boardwalk comprised of approximately 100 steps.

Blackwater Falls

Pendleton Point Overlook provides spectacular views of Blackwater Canyon and the Blackwater River below.  The river is named for the “black” water that is a result of tannic acid from fallen hemlock and spruce needles.  We were fortunate to photograph Blackwater Canyon the day before a nor’easter came though, as the strong winds brought many of the leaves down by the next day.

Blackwater Canyon

Elakala Falls in Blackwater Falls State Park is a spectacular series of falls along the waters of Shay Run, which cascades down the canyon’s wall to eventually reach the river.  Nick photographed these falls while I read a book at the lodge, as my injured foot was not able to make the steep trek down the banks of Shay Run.  This was the first fall, along the Elakala Trail, which I was able to see before turning back.

Elakala Falls #1

The second drop along Shay Run may be the most beautiful and requires hikers to leave the trail.  The fallen leaves add a lot to the mood of this photo, making it feel like autumn.

Elakala Falls #2

This is also the second drop of Elakala Falls, but photographed from the other side.  The circular pattern in the water is due to a swirling eddy, which was captured by a 15 second exposure.

Elakala Falls #2 with Swirling Eddy

The third drop is the hardest to reach and requires a steep and slippery descent, but zooming in on the fall resulted in this intimate shot.

Elakala Falls #3

This is Blackwater Falls at night.  The half moon was bright enough to light up the falls during a 30 minute exposure, such that the scene almost appears to be shot during the day, but not so bright as to obscure the star trails.

Star Trails over Blackwater Falls

Seneca Rocks is a beautiful place in Autumn.  This rock formation is a famous natural landmark in West Virginia, which rises 900 feet from its base.  This photo was taken just after a rain storm passed, with the clouds speeding by.

Seneca Rocks in Autumn

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