Landscapes,  Travel

A Photography Drive in the Scenic Canaan Valley, West Virginia

The Canaan Valley in West Virginia has some beautiful mountain scenery.  The two primary photography and tourist attractions in the Canaan Valley are Blackwater Falls State Park and the Dolly Sods Wilderness.

Autumn in the Canaan Valley, West Virginia
Autumn in the Canaan Valley, West Virginia

Outside of these two beautiful tourist attractions, there is also plenty of beautiful scenery to view and photograph.  This scenic route was told to me by a local for where to photograph beautiful scenery in the Canaan Valley. The scenic route starts and ends in Davis, West Virginia where we stayed during our visit.

  • To start, take Route 32 south out of town and take a left turn on Cortland Road.  Cortland Road is about 3.8 miles south of Davis.  There are some beautiful mountain and hillside views to photograph along Cortland Road, especially in the fall.
  • From Cortland Road take a left on Beall Lane to visit the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Area.  There is a north and south trail into the wildlife area.  Birds, macro and some landscapes down by the river are all photo ops on the trails.
Flanagan Hill Church and Cemetery, West Virginia

Flanagan Hill Church on Route 72

  • Take a left back on to Cortland Road.  Follow Cortland Road to Summer Road where you’ll take a right to get back to Route 32.  Take a left on to Route 32 and follow it south for about 4.7 miles to Route 72.  Take a right on Route 72.

Along Route 72, look for country scenes like barns, white churches and old buildings to photograph.  Close to 6 miles down Route 72, look for River Road on your left hand site.  River Road is basically a one lane dirt road that runs along the edge of the Cheat River.  Look for scenic views of the river to photograph.

Swinging Bridge, Otter Creek Wilderness Area

Swinging Bridge, Otter Creek Wilderness Area

  • Continue to follow River Road until it connects back to Route 72.  Just about a mile up the road, you’ll find the Otter Creek Wilderness Trail.  Looks for compositions of the river, macro photographs, and photographs of the suspension bridge that spans the Cheat River.
  • Continue to follow Route 72 until you reach US 219.  Take a right on US 219 and follow it to Thomas, West Virginia.  Here you’ll take a right on Route 32 that will take you back in to Davis.

There is also a wind turbine farm near Thomas that you may want to photograph.  You can get a view of the turbines from US 219.

Written by Martin Belan

Related Blog Posts
What to Photograph at Blackwater Falls State Park?
Photograph Beautiful Landscapes at Bear Rocks Preserve in Dolly Sods Wilderness Area
Photographing Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

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