An Outdoor Guide to Mercer County
Last updated: March 10, 2023
As the warmer months approach, Mercer County’s lush green forests and glistening waters come to life, calling all visitors to explore our scenic trails and charming towns. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush on rugged terrain or a leisurely stroll through a picturesque park, our area offers endless ways to enjoy the outdoors.
Take In The Views
From seasoned hikers to novice adventurers, everyone will find something to love in our three state parks. Pack a picnic and hit the trails at Pinnacle Rock State Park, where you can take in amazing mountaintop views from the impressive 3,100-foot sandstone rock formation. For an afternoon of adventure, head to Camp Creek State Park, which features two mesmerizing waterfalls, a central campground and a vast network of trails. Other great hiking spots in Mercer County include Lotito City Park, Brush Creek Preserve and Falls and the newest addition to the area, the Gardner Center Trails. Wherever you decide to trek, the vistas of Mercer County provide the perfect backdrop.
Experience the magic of our cascading wonders on a waterfall tour across Mercer County. These enchanting waterfalls are at their best after the late-season snowmelt and springtime rainfall, and each boasts its own unique personality. From tall and skinny trickles to rolling cascades from high cliffs, you’re sure to be captivated by the beauty. Take on the challenge of the County Line Trail at Pipestem Resort State Park for a glimpse of the scenic Indian Brand Falls. Hike through Camp Creek State Park and marvel at two well-known waterfalls — Campbell Falls and Mask Fork Falls. Or take a break from driving and stop by Wolf Creek Falls, a beautiful yet lesser-known roadside cascade located along US-19. For families with young adventurers, Mercer County has plenty of kid-friendly waterfalls to explore as well.
Springtime brings a special opportunity to explore the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. With wet seasonal weather, conditions become ideal for riders who aren’t afraid to get a little muddy. Another advantage to riding the trails during this time of year is the blooming wildflowers and new, green leaves that greet riders as they speed past them. Warmer temperatures and breezes make riding an open-cab ATV or UTV more comfortable, without the need for multiple layers like in the winter. The thinner mud also makes for an even more exhilarating ride. Hop on the Pocahontas Trail in Bramwell to explore the deep, rhododendron-packed ravines, historic homes and old coal mining towns off the beaten path. The Pocahontas Trail system links up to three other Hatfield-McCoy Trails — Indian Ridge, Pinnacle Creek and Warrior — creating the most continuous miles of trails east of the Mississippi. Before you start your ATV adventure, learn all about the safety tips for kids and beginners.
Cast A Line
Reel in some trout or catch crappie in the waterways of Mercer County. For a family-friendly fishing experience, visit Brush Creek Falls, Camp Creek State Park or Pinnacle Rock State Park, where you can enjoy lively water, plenty of fish and picturesque views. And for those who love to fly fish, the Bluestone River flowing through Pipestem Resort State Park offers unobstructed casting lanes with accessible shorelines and an abundance of trout.
There’s nothing quite like floating atop cool mountain waters. Luckily, there are many streams, rivers and lakes across Mercer County that are the perfect place to spend a peaceful afternoon paddling. Glenwood Recreational Park allows for water sports such as kayaking, canoeing and boating. Get help launching into the New River at Kairo’s Resort for a worry-free adventure. Paddle down the Bluestone River, known for its isolated wilderness and abundant wildlife, for a truly remarkable experience.
With a unique blend of breathtaking scenery, exciting outdoor recreation and warm community spirit, Mercer County is an incredible destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in the great outdoors. Make sure to get a travel guide to start planning your next outdoor adventure in Mercer County.