Are you up for a local adventure? There’s no denying that travel in 2021 has taken a lot more planning than in the past; between required testing, flight delays, and ever-changing “do not travel” notices, Mark and I decided to find a place this summer that was uncrowded and outdoorsy. While we were researching off-the-beaten path destinations in the States, John Denver’s classic, “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” began to play on our Spotify playlist, and Mark began to sing it, albeit poorly. That’s when I had an epiphany. “Have you been to…West Virginia?” I asked curiously. He shook his head no, but gave his vocal cords a break in order to do some Googling. We were excited to have found an affordable, accessible destination. Here are 7 adventurous things to do in Morgantown, West Virginia…
Go for a hike – Things to do in Morgantown, West Virginia
Pittsburgh to Morgantown: How to get to West Virginia
While West Virginia is a relatively small state, I’d recommend choosing one area to explore at a time. We made Morgantown, WV our home base while adventuring around Mountaineer Country! One of the best things about Morgantown is that it seems so far away from the hustle bustle of city life, yet it’s very easily accessible. In fact, Morgantown is just an hour and 20 minute drive from Pittsburgh International Airport!
You can find one of the many daily flights to Pittsburgh here.
Getting from Pittsburgh to Morgantown is incredibly easy!
Of course, you will then need a car to get around. I’d recommend securing your rental car for your trip to West Virginia prior to arrival, as rental cars are currently in high demand. Pittsburgh Airport is one of the easiest airports from which to rent a car, and the keys will be in your hands just minutes after landing. And then you’ll be on your way to experiencing all of the fun things to do in Morgantown, West Virginia! Secure your rental car here.
There’s no better time to pack up the car, crank up John Denver’s iconic song, and hit the road to West Virginia!
West Virginia is also within a day’s drive of 2/3 of the U.S. population, so if flying isn’t your thing, you can most definitely drive there! West Virginia is bordered by Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, and is very close to Washington DC as well. We love road trips, and certainly wouldn’t cross out this option either!
Where to stay: Cabins near Morgantown, WV
Morgantown is considered one of the adventure capitals of the States, and for good reason! When I think of adventurous, romantic getaways in the woods, I always think of curling up on a couch with a fireplace in a log cabin… and we did exactly that! Mountain Creek Cabins are located just outside of downtown Morgantown, and offer private, serene, and comfortable lodging. With 9 isolated cabins on site, we couldn’t have asked for a more cozy spot! Our cabin had two bedrooms, a full bathroom, living room, kitchen, and electric fireplace, with a deck, grill, fire pit, and jacuzzi so that you could enjoy the woods in comfort! Have a look at West Virginia’s unique properties here.
Does it get any cuter than these cabins near Morgantown WV?!
While we could have happily stayed snuggled up in our cabin all day, adventure was calling…
8 Adventurous Things to do in Morgantown, West Virginia
1. Hike Raven Rock Trail
Raven Rock Trail is arguably one of the best hikes near Morgantown, West Virginia, and for good reason! This 2.5 mile out and back trail offers sweeping views of Cheat River Gorge, and is an enjoyable hike. The Raven Rock Trail is of moderate difficulty, well maintained, and quite shady due to forest cover. It’s a gradual climb, but can be a bit muddy and rocky, so I would definitely recommend packing hiking boots (LOWA’s are my favorite!). I hope to hike this trail again – and explore more of Coopers Rock State Forest – during peak fall foliage season, as I’m sure it’s stunning!
The views from Raven Rock Trail – West Virginia
2. Enjoy WVU Zipline Canopy Tour
WVU’s Adventure WV Outdoor Education Center is not just for University students, but open to the public too! The WVU Zipline Canopy Tour comprises 4 ziplines, an aerial bridge, an aerial ladder, and a rappel station; the ziplines range from 201 feet to 980 feet, and you can even gain a speed of 35 mph on the final zipline! The staff was incredibly knowledgeable about the West Virginia wilderness and they made sure to educate us on forest management too – an industry I didn’t know much about until this tour. We had an absolute blast, and our guides Garrett and Zack were fantastic! They also have a high ropes course, 35 foot swing, and team development programs.
WVU Canopy Zipline – Things to do in Morgantown WV
3. Kayak on Tygart Lake
After an already exciting morning, we picked up some kayaks at Lakeside and took to the waters. I’m not the strongest kayaker, so we didn’t make it too far in single kayaks, but the lake water was warm (about 85 degrees) and we enjoyed all of the laughs shared between our two kayaks out on Tygart Lake. If kayaking isn’t up your alley, there’s also an Adventure Lake with twenty-five giant inflatable slides and obstacles, and a beach area with chaise-lounges for those who want to relax.
Go for a kayak in Morgantown, West Virginia
4. Picnic in Valley Falls State Park
Valley Falls State Park is the perfect place to relax like a local for a morning. With four pretty waterfalls, large boulders, and miles of hiking trails, you simply can’t go wrong! We had a beautiful day, and savored the sunshine while walking around the park. There are many tables and benches, so I’d recommend packing a picnic, bringing a book, and taking in the views.
Enjoy Valley Falls State Park
5. Golf at Mountaineer Golf Course
If you asked me a year ago if golfing would be an “adventure,” I would probably say it was too leisurely of an activity to fit that label… but in Morgantown, West Virginia, I actually tried golfing for the first time, and can certainly say that I no longer put it in the leisure category! While Mountaineer Golf Course was considered player-friendly, it was definitely an adventure playing on a hilly landscape with gorgeous, mountainous backdrops. For those less keen on climbing West Virginia’s many mountains, I’d recommend hopping on a golf cart and swinging some clubs as a perfect alternative!
Mark has way better golf form than I!
6. SUP on Cheat Lake
Of all water-based activities, stand up paddle boarding is my absolute favorite! I’ve SUP’d all of the world (most recently in Alaska), and couldn’t wait to SUP on Cheat Lake in West Virginia. We picked up our SUPs from McFly Outdoors, drove them down to the marina, and easily inflated them by our car. It was our first time using inflatable SUPs, and we were amazed at how quickly and easily they were assembled. We were racing against a storm, but so enjoyed paddling around, checking out some of the boats in the marina, and cooling off in the water.
Don't miss out on SUPing in Morgantown, West Virginia!
7. Explore West Virginia Botanic Gardens
Just outside of downtown Morgantown, West Virginia Botanic Gardens offers 4 miles of tranquil trails. There’s currently an art installation for Monet’s Garden, which was particularly poignant as I actually visited Monet’s Garden in Giverny a decade ago — it was on my very first trip overseas! There are currently nine gardens open, with most branching off the 3/4 mile Reservoir Loop Trail.
West Virginia Botanic Garden – Morgantown WV
8. Curl up in the cabin
At the end of the day, an adventure is anything you make of it. For some, it may mean turning off the WiFi, losing cell reception, and enjoying an undisturbed night with a loved one. Since Mark and I had fun, busy days while in Morgantown WV, a highlight of our trip was most certainly curling up in our cozy cabin each night! West Virginia truly is the perfect place to disconnect from the world and (re)connect with your loved ones.
Restaurants in Morgantown WV
While most of our time in West Virginia was spent adventuring, we also spent quite a lot of time doing another of our favorite activities: eating. You certainly won’t go hungry during your visit, as there are ample restaurants in Morgantown, WV and the surrounding area, catering to all types of diets and lifestyles.
I highly recommend the following places to eat in Morgantown, West Virginia…
- Almost Heaven Desserts & Coffee: A modern café with a delightful array of sweet and savory options, and a whole list of specialty lattes.
- Apple Annies: A local favorite! Be transported in time with this adorable diner and they’re absolutely drool-worthy cookies (and yes, we ate half a dozen of them!).
- Terra Café: A trendy spot in downtown Morgantown; a great place for Sunday brunch or grab-and-go smoothies.
- Black Bear Burritos: An exceptional, and filling, place for lunch or dinner! What surprised me most about Black Bear Burritos was that they offered tofu or fakin’ bacon for most of their burritos, which was incredible. 10/10 recommend the Irie Member with tofu.
- Tzatziki’s: A light, tasty meal awaits! Their grilled vegetable gyro absolutely hit the spot!
- Lakehouse Restaurant: Situated directly on Cheat Lake, this is the perfect spot from which to watch sunset while eating the best zucchini planks with marinara.
- Mountain State Brewing Company: While I’m not a beer drinker, Mountain State Brewing Company has absolutely phenomenal pizza (and even a s’mores dessert pizza too!).
- Bartini Prime: If you’re looking for a classier sitdown restaurant, Bartini Prime is the place for you. With great sushi and delicious butternut squash ravioli, we were very happy with our meal.
All of the restaurants in Morgantown WV were delicious!
As you can see, you certainly won’t be at a loss for restaurants in Morgantown WV! All of our meals were extremely affordable and the food was made quite quickly; we so enjoyed recapping all of our adventures in Morgantown throughout our meals.
Directions to Morgantown WV
It’s incredibly easy to get around Morgantown, West Virginia. Everything included in this article is within 40 minutes from Mountain Creek Cabins, with the exception of the Pittsburgh Airport. Have a look at the map below for the best directions to Morgantown WV and the most enjoyable things to do.
Morgantown, West Virginia
Pittsburgh International Airport
Mountain Creek Cabins
Raven Rock Trail
WVU Canopy Zipline
Valley Falls State Park
Mountaineer Golf Course
West Virginia Botanic Gardens
Almost Heaven Desserts & Coffee
Black Bear Burritos
Mountain State Brewing Company
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8 Adventurous Things to do in Morgantown, West Virginia
**Special thanks to West Virginia Tourism Board for making this trip happen! As always, all opinions are my own.
Interest in visiting Morgantown WV in October and other hiking opportunities in the area. Blackwater waterfalls, Spruce knob