There are four significant drop on Shay’s 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 trailhead, 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 Shay’s 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.
Where in the World is Elakala Falls #1?: map