Watoga State Park Foundation Inc Home

We regularly perform not-so-random acts of kindness directed at helping the people and places that we love.  People who have seen Watoga State Park in West Virginia, come back to it time and again.

Rhododendron bloom on Park Rd
Rhododendron bloom on Park Rd

They come for the trails and the big trees. They come for the fish in the lake and the mountain air. When hikers flick fallen branches off a trail or choose to leave only footprints they are part of a large network of volunteers who love and support Watoga State Park. Little things count.

Here are things you can do to help Watoga


Become a Friend of Watoga Now

Enjoy the park! Simply by using it, Watoga’s guests help show the value of public lands and waters preserved for everyone.

Fish! The lake is stocked with trout. Volunteer to help at a fishing derby.

Ride a bike, hike a trail, paddle a canoe! Or go along with Ken via Watoga’s Trails Blog. You’ll learn about trail work opportunities with others in all seasons of the yearMonongasenka overlook south towards Droop Mountain in distance


Learn about Wild Edibles or Art in the Park. (Also, volunteer to help put on those events.)

Spread the word! Bring friends and families to Watoga, then share your memories.

Run as well as hike – there are trail races each August. A half marathon is a grand way to see 13 miles of woodland trails. (Some effort is involved.) The 5K trail race is a joy.

Learn fascinating facts! The park puts on hundreds of nature programs each year, most with neat activities for children. Learn woodsy skills. Dutch oven cookery is especially popular.

Travel in time. Watoga’s history remains visible today. Stay in a cabin built by the Civilian Conservation Corps 80 years ago, hike a ridge trail as old as the hills, see trees over 300 years old.

See new things! (Wildflowers spring to mind. Also fawns and bear cubs.) Nature is self-renewing. So are we.

Meet more Watoga volunteers through the Watoga State Park Foundation, a (501c3) nonprofit. Doing good can be lots of fun. There’s strength in numbers.


Visit Watoga!

Facebook Icon for Watoga State Park in West Virginia
Foundation on FB!

Watoga Trails Blog

Growing Up at Watoga State Park – Mom’s Bandannas for Freckles

Excerpt from The Deans© 2020By C.J. MaxwellC.J. Maxwell is the pen name of John C. Dean “Ronnie, Johnny, Vicki,” Dad yelled. “Come with me. I have somethin’ to show ya.” Of course, we followed. Thus began the story of Mom’s Bandannas for Freckles while I grew up at Watoga State Park. “Look what I have,” …

Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races

2019 Race Results

2019 Official Signup Site

The Watoga State Park Mountain Trail Challenge Races brings trail runners to the park each August for a tough half marathon or a beautiful 5K race on shaded woodland trails. All proceeds benefit the park through the Watoga State Park Foundation. Come run our beautiful trails, meet friendly volunteers, and win prizes!

Runners on half marathon course Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races

Watoga State Park
4800 Watoga Park Road
Marlinton, WV 24945

Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races

Which race for you? See course description links below, featuring new 3D interactive course maps!

Both races start and finish at the Beaver Creek Campground in Watoga State Park

Age Groups: 14 and under, 15 – 19, 20 – 29, 30 – 39, 40 – 49, 50 – 59, 60 – 69, and 70 +

Timing by Appalachian Timing Group

Awards for each race: 1st, 2nd, & 3rd overall, male and female, plus 1st & 2nd in each age group, male and female. Finisher’s medal for half marathon challenge.

Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races Half Marathon

Saturday August 10, 2019 8:30am

Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races 5K

Saturday August 10, 2019 8:40am

Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races Resources Links

Half Marathon 

WatogaHalfMarathonGpx File Download


Watoga5KGpx File Download

Watoga Trail Races FaceBook


Race Directions

2018 Event Sponsors

Barnet Cabins Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races 2018 Event Sponsor
Barnett Cabins
Dirt Bean Coffee & Bike Shop Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races 2018 Event Sponsor
Dirt Bean Coffee & Bike Shop
Greenbrier River Cabins Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races 2018 Event Sponsor
Greenbrier River Cabins
Hummingbird House Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races 2018 Event Sponsor
Hummingbird House
Jack Horners Corner Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races 2018 Event Sponsor
Jack Horners Corner
Lodge On The Greenbrier Watoga Mountain Trail Challenge Races 2018 Event Sponsor
Lodge On The Greenbrier
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A variety of lodging options are available.  Rental cabins and campgrounds are within the park.  National Forest Campgrounds are close by.  Beds and Breakfast and motels are also reasonably convenient.

Watoga Cabins

Watoga State Park cabin available for rental

The first cabins were built by the C.C.C. in the 1930s. They make a special place to stay in the wilderness. Check early for reservations, as they are popular.

Camping at Beaver Creek

Joggers along road at Beaver Creek Campground, Watoga State ParkLast year, when people came to Beaver Creek for the races Saturday morning, one comment heard a number of times was, “Why, we could have camped right here!” Both races start and finish at the campground check-in station, and the big tent for the post-race lunch is right there, tooMap of Beaver Creek Campground at Watoga State Park. The thirty-four regular campsites are unreserved, and the park will allow overflow tent camping on the airstrip, making the campground a virtual village of trail runners that weekend.

Riverside Campground

This popular campground has both reserved and unreserved sites. It’s 4 miles by road from there to Park Headquarters along beautiful Island lick Run, then another 3 miles to Beaver Creek Campground. Campers can check in at either campground. Both campgrounds have showers and restrooms, dishwashing stations with hot water, and playgrounds.

Riverside Campground Map Watoga State Park

Lodging Options Outside the Park