Watoga State Park Photos Capture a Winter Paradise

A buck and a doe glance through the forest at the photographer as if they are posing for the winter snapshot near a stream with snow all around. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
Out for a stroll on a winter day? Photo by Stanley Clark©.

Since spring is about to arrive, we say goodbye to winter at Watoga State Park with these photos. In fact, even the cold and snow could not keep photographers from capturing magical scenes at this winter wonderland.

Special thanks to photographers Angela Hill, Stanley Clark, and Ann Groves for their unique perspective of Watoga State Park.

If you would like to submit photos for our next blog, please email for more information.

Eastern teaberries (Gaultheria procumbens) along the north branch of Buckhorn Trail. The bright red seems even brighter against the backdrop of snow. Photo by Angela Hill©.
Eastern teaberries (Gaultheria procumbens) along the north branch of Buckhorn Trail. The bright red seems even brighter against the backdrop of snow. Photo by Angela Hill©.
The photographer loved how this park bench near the Brooks Memorial Arboretum seemed to be inviting her to take a seat and enjoy the snowy view. Snow lines both sides of the stream as rhododendrom are on a hill across from the creek.Photo by Angela Hill©.
The photographer loves how this park bench near the Brooks Memorial Arboretum seems to be inviting her to take a seat and enjoy the snowy view. Photo by Angela Hill©.
The Brooks Memorial Arboretum leading to trails at Watoga is encased in snow. No footprints can be seen in the snow in this winter scene. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
The Brooks Memorial Arboretum leading to trails at Watoga is encased in snow. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
Cabin 1 draped in a layer of snow. Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Cabin 1 is across from the Greenbrier River. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
Cabin 1 draped in a layer of snow. Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Cabin 1 is across from the Greenbrier River. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
An otter along the banks of the Greenbrier River near Watoga State Park. Note the natural color of the river in this winter scene. The water is of a rich blue hue with the otter at the end of the river on a snow-packed surface.Photo by Stanley Clark©.
An otter along the banks of the Greenbrier River near Watoga State Park. Note the natural color of the river in this winter scene. Photo by Stanley Clark©.

Winter Photos on the Rocks

A rock outcrop taken along the northwestern branch of the Honeybee Trail shows snow lying in various places of the cragged rock formation.. The photographer snapped this pic from the Dragon Draft Trail and noted how far away this group of rocks seemed to be. Photo by Angela Hill©.
A rock outcrop taken along the northwestern branch of the Honeybee Trail. The photographer snapped this pic from the Dragon Draft Trail and noted how far away this group of rocks seemed to be. Photo by Angela Hill©.
Even though it is an open shelter at the intersection of Buckhorn and Dragon Draft trails, it does provide some relief from the blowing flurries and cold winter air. Photo by Angela Hill©.
Even though it is an open shelter at the intersection of Buckhorn and Dragon Draft trails, it does provide some relief from the blowing flurries and cold winter air. Photo by Angela Hill©.
Photo captures an icy scene along the stream on Dragon Draft Trail on a chilly day at Watoga State Park. Photo by Angela Hill©.
A Watoga State Park photo moment: an icy scene along the stream on Dragon Draft Trail on a chilly day at Watoga State Park. Photo by Angela Hill©.
The morning sunshine peeks across the frozen Watoga Lake. Ice anglers cast a line or two to try to catch a fish on this frigid winter day. Ice fishing enthusiasts enjoy a winter day at 11-acre Watoga Lake. Photo by Stanley Clark©
Ice fishing enthusiasts enjoy a winter day at 11-acre Watoga Lake. Photo by Stanley Clark©
A curvy mountain road along Island Creek depicts rocks covered with stone. The retaining wall was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s. Photographer Angela Hill© commented on this scene that "it just seemed like a magical place."
Watoga State Park road along Island Creek depicts rocks covered with stone. The retaining wall was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s. Photographer Angela Hill© commented on this scene that “it just seemed like a magical place.”
At a picnic table at Watoga, more than 18" of snow pile atop the table. When it snows at Watoga, scenes like this one are common. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
When it snows at Watoga, scenes like this one are common. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
Watoga State Park photos include a snowy drive to work along Island Creek Road for the morning drive of park employee, Ann Groves. Photo courtesy of Ann Groves, Facebook.
Watoga State Park Road as depicted on the morning drive of park employee, Ann Groves. Photo courtesy of Ann Groves, Facebook.
Watoga State Park photos depict a deer in a snowy scene amongst a backdrop of freshly fallen snow. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
At Watoga, even the wildlife seem to pose for photographers. Photo by Stanley Clark©.

Photos of Watoga State Park — When Fall Arrives

A curving road separates trees of yellow, magenta and tall pines lead the way along a leaf-lined road at Watoga State Park. A picturesque fall scene unfolds near T.M. Cheek Memorial at Watoga State Park. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
A picturesque fall scene near the T.M. Cheek Memorial at Watoga State Park welcomes visitors. Photo by Stanley Clark©.

Do photos of Watoga State Park mesmerize you no matter the time of year?

So with that in mind, we decided to feature fall’s parade of colors from this year and prior years. Nonetheless, Watoga is West Virginia’s largest recreation area at 10,100 acres. Since 2010, Watoga has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Moreover, it is located in scenic Pocahontas County in the Appalachian Mountains.

Indeed, There Were Star-Filled Nights and More

Specifically, from Watoga Lake to the Ann Bailey Lookout Tower and beyond, our photographers captured images of what Watoga offers visitors in the fall. During late September through November, we experienced crisp mornings, sunny afternoons, and star-filled nights exploring Watoga’s vistas. Consequently, we hope that you will enjoy these photos of Watoga as much as we did taking them.

But, as each season fades and a new one begins, we will publish even more sights and sounds of Watoga from photographers and videographers. Also, for information about submitting your photos and videos of Watoga State Park for use in a future pictorial, please email .

An array of fall colors presents itself up a stone walkway leading to a mountain cabin at Watoga State Park.Framed ever so perfectly by fall's foliage is a cabin built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Photo by the Watoga State Park Foundation©.
Framed ever so neatly by fall’s foliage is a Watoga cabin built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Photo by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources©.
Tall tees of green, red, orange and yellow are captured in a reflection on Watoga Lake. Reflections on Watoga Lake on a fall day. Photo courtesy of Tana Shifflett - Facebook.
Reflections at Watoga Lake on a fall day. Photo courtesy of Tana Shifflett – Facebook.
Hues of orange red and yellow highlight the foreground of TM Cheek Memorial Overlook where you can see Kennison Mountain and the Greenbrier River Valley in the distance. Always worth a photo no matter the season is the overlook at T.M. Cheek Memorial. Photo by Stanley©.
Always worth a photo no matter the season is the overlook at T.M. Cheek Memorial. Photo by Stanley Clark©.
Stunning fall views await. Seeing the vistas on the other side of the Ann Bailey Lookout Tower is well worth the hike on a crisp October day. Photo by John Dean©.
Seeing what’s on the other side of the Ann Bailey Lookout Tower is well worth the hike on a crisp October day. Photo by John Dean©.
You can see for miles and miles with this fall scene. This is just one of the many stunning views at Ann Bailey Lookout Tower. In the distance are the Greenbrier River Valley and the Little Levels District of Pocahontas County. Bench was donated by the Young family. Photo by John Dean©.
This is just one of several stunning vistas at Ann Bailey Lookout Tower. In the distance are the Greenbrier River Valley and the Little Levels District of Pocahontas County. Bench was donated by the Young family. Photo by John Dean©.
A star-filled night sky captivates watchers near the Beaver Creek Campground one clear October night. Photo by the Watoga State Park Foundation©.
A star-filled night sky captivates watchers near the Beaver Creek Campground on a clear October night. Photo by the Watoga State Park Foundation©.
Taking a break to admire the view of the Watoga swimming pool on a 70-degree fall day are John Dean and his two labs, Jack and Max. 📸: Flora Jane Bott, October 7, 2020
John Dean is a writer, editor, blogger, and journalist. On visits to Watoga, John is always accompanied by his two Labrador retrievers, Jack and Max. He lived on-site at the park in the 1960s and 1970s, and now resides near the New River Gorge National River. Photo by Flora Jane Bott©.