Named for the amber waters of Blackwater Falls, Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia.
Blackwater Falls, a 57-foot sheer drop waterfall, is where the Blackwater River transforms from a leisurely, winding stream through the Canaan Valley into a rugged whitewater river that courses through Blackwater Canyon. Owing to a profusion of spruce and hemlock trees along its course, the leaching of tannins from the decaying leaves of vegetation adjoining the stream impart a tea color to the water.
The Blackwater River and its tributaries are one of the most photogenic in the state because of its remoteness and its never-ending cascades. On an expedition of the Canaan Valley and the upper watershed of the Blackwater River in 1852, Philip Pendleton Kennedy wrote in The Blackwater Chronicle: A Narrative of and Expedition into the Land of Canaan, “Perhaps in all this broad land of ours, whose wonders are not yet half-revealed, no scene more beautifully grand ever broke on the eye of poet or painter, historian or forester.” That still reverberates true today.