Hike Skyline Trail at Babcock State Park

4 miles 300 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Brandon Dewey

The Skyline Trail is one of the best trails in West Virginia’s Babcock State Park, as it has a few overlooks for hikers to enjoy.

The skyline trail is a 4 mile out and back trail that allows you to start from either end. I prefer to start from the lower trail head near Cabin 5. To get to this trailhead: enter the park, and follow the narrow road the leads to cabins 1-6. Drive down the road until you reach cabin 5, and find a place to pull off the road and park. The trailhead will be on your righthand side. If you do not like to drive on narrow roads, I suggest starting the trail from the top. To reach the top trail head after entering the park, make the first right on to Manns Creek Park Road. Follow the road toward cabins 14-28. At the intersection, continue straight toward the scenic overlook and the Manns Creek Picnic Area. Pass both the picnic area and the overlook, and park in one of the parking lots. Once parked, walk back toward the scenic overlook. After enjoying the view. the trailhead is located to the left of the overlook and is marked with a wooden sign.

From the bottom, the first part of the trail is rocky as it climbs up the mountain, but after about 0.25 miles, it turns into a nice dirt trail. The trail is lined with rhododendrons lining most of the way, making this an ideal trail in late May to early June when they historically bloom. The trail is easy to follow and is marked with yellow diamond blazes. After a couple of switch backs, the trail levels outs and narrows as it follows near the cliff’s edge, but then you are rewarded with your first overlook. About 0.3 miles just off the trail on the left is a short spur trail that leads to a small rock outcropping that gives you a view of the Mann Creek Valley. After enjoying the view, walk back to the trail, and turn left to continue your hike. Follow the trail as it continues along the ridge line. At around 0.7 miles, the trail leads to the second overlook near the Manns Creek Park Road. There are benches at this overlook for you to sit on while enjoying the view. Stay along the Skyline Trail, and at 1.5 miles you will reach a trail junction with the Rocky Trail and a stream. Continue straight at this junction, crossing the stream, and follow the Skyline Trail the last 0.5 miles to the main overlook near the Manns Creek Picnic Area. There are also benches there to sit on while enjoying the amazing view. After taking in the view, follow the Skyline Trail back to your vehicle.

This one of the best trails in Babcock State Park and has 3 great views. Dog are allowed on the trail, and it is great trail for kids as well.

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Tags

Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

This is a great trail run, too

The short distance made for a good running trail. It wasn't too rocky, but its hot during summer! Bring water with ya or make sure you leave extra in the car.

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