Best Kid-Friendly Waterfalls in Mercer County 

Last updated: April 29, 2022

When thinking about spring in Mercer County, stunning waterfalls might come to mind. Our area is home to numerous awe-inspiring cascades that are best seen after the springtime rainfall and late-season snowmelt. 

If you are searching for a fun and free activity that the entire family will enjoy, head to Mercer County for some quality time out in nature. Here are a few of the best kid-friendly waterfalls in West Virginia. 

Camp Creek State Park

Known for captivating waterfalls and scenic camping, Camp Creek State Park is a wonderful place to bring the kids for a spring getaway. The park is home to two well-known waterfalls — Campbell Falls and Mash Fork Falls. The first cascade, Campbell Falls, is the larger of the two, measuring about 15 feet high and 40 feet wide. To reach the first waterfall, take the White Oak Road and Trail, an easy 1.4-mile route that starts upstream on Turkey Loop Road and Trail from the Campbell Falls Forest Access. The falls are easily accessible, as families can make their way to Campbell Falls on foot or by vehicle. The falls descend in a series of shelves into an oval pool. The area is a favorite fishing and swimming hole in the warmer months and is a very picturesque spot for photographers. Kids (and adults alike) can partake in water activities like wading in the creek and skipping rocks. 

To find Mash Fork Falls, take the road to the Mash Fork Campground. Continue for a quarter of a mile on a gravel road that runs along the side of Mash Fork. The falls of Mash Fork sit only six feet high but are very wide and beautiful at peak flow. A couple of deeply undercut sandstone ledges make Mash Fork Falls stand out. Like Campbell Falls, there are many different ways to view Mash Fork Falls. Cross the bridge for easy access to the opposite side of the creek to explore more. 

While at Camp Creek State Park, take advantage of the pristine area and enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing and picnicking opportunities with your family. Extend your trip with an overnight stay in a cabin or at a campsite in the park.

Brush Creek Preserve

Right outside of the small town of Athens is a hidden gem that is the perfect destination for families. Brush Creek Preserve and Falls is a piece of land in Mercer County that is protected by The Nature Conservancy. Before reaching the preserve portion, check out Brush Creek Falls — one of the largest waterfalls in southern West Virginia. This easy-to-visit, 25-foot cascade is a favored spot because of its accessibility, which makes it great for families with young children. 

Visitors are able to walk up to the brink of the fall and down to the base, and depending on the water levels, get behind parts of the waterfall. The hike to Brush Creek Falls is just a quarter of a mile and is simple to navigate. Upon reaching the falls, the trail enters The Nature Conservancy Preserve and continues downstream for another 1.5 miles. The preserve, which is open year-round, is also home to many wildflowers and uncommon plant species, including the rare Canby’s mountain-lover and white cedar. In spring, migrating warblers are abundant in the preserve, as well. Continue about a mile past Brush Creek to come across a second, smaller waterfall, White Oak Creek Falls.
Family time is always needed, and the wide-open spaces and lovely scenery of Mercer County make for the best escape! Take time to disconnect and explore the seasonal landscapes of our area this spring with your family. Request a free Mercer County Travel Guide to plan your next getaway.