Elakala Falls #1, West Virginia

The first drop on Shay’s Run in October 2010

There are four significant drop on Shays Run that make up the whole of Elakala Falls. As I read up on the falls, I got the sense that it was more difficult to view the falls than people imagined.

Let me say that visiting the first falls is nowhere near as difficult as it seems. From the trail head, you can very easily get to the bridge above the falls. To get a better view of the falls, you will have to head downhill a bit, but it’s not too bad. You’ll be rewarded with a really gentle but beautiful waterfall. I admit, to see the other 2 “easy to visit” falls downstream does require some effort, but it’s not nearly as impossible as people indicate.


  1. Head toward Davis/Thomas, WV on WV-32. Once in either town, you should see signs for Blackwater Falls State Park. Follow the signs!
  2. Instead of heading toward Blackwater Falls proper, head toward the Blackwater Lodge.
  3. Park in the parking area for Blackwater Lodge near the left edge of the lodge (if you’re viewing it from the front). If you walk just a few feet from the parking lot, you should find the trail leading to the falls.
  4. After a short distance, you will find a bridge crossing Shays Run, and you’ll be able to see the first falls. Cross the bridge. It is much less complicated to hike down that side of the river, as there is a clearer trail there.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Elakala Falls #1?


3 thoughts on “Elakala Falls #1, West Virginia

  1. After a 14 hour round trip to Blackwater Falls Park today, I’m happy to say that I found of course the Blackwater Falls and Elakala #1. Unfortunately, I was unable to reach #2 or #3. It appears that the main Elakala trail is dotted along the way, but that’s about it. Even for #1, I really had to look around a bit before figuring out how to get down to the base. Do you have any further info on how to reach #2 and 3? Thanks!

  2. Exactly one month since my prior trip there, I had the chance to revisit there yesterday. This time, I did manage to work my way down to Elakala #1 and 2. #2 was quite difficult; lots of downed trees in the way and I had to crawl over some of them. Not recommended for the non-agile! I didn’t even try for #3 as I was out of time. Would you please remove my email address from the prior message? Thanks. I can see it publicly.

  3. Awesome to hear that you were able to find #2. I do remember having to climb over some trees, but it wasn’t the worst I had seen. I’m more afraid of heights, and I remember not really being worried about heights (until I saw what might be ahead for waterfall #4.)

    And hopefully your email address is now removed from the title. Think I figured out how to change that.

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