It’s that time of the year again. We have avoided the snow, the weather is getting nice, the trees and plants are beginning to bud, and Spring is here. With this change in weather brings the urge to get back outside and enjoy the nice weather in the great outdoors.

West Virginia has an abundance of beautiful places to choose from to explore once the weather gets nice. However, with that comes the struggle and accessibility of getting to these places.

For West Virginia University students, there are 3 major swimming spots that students tend to flock to once the weather becomes pleasant. These spots are Blue Hole, Arden Falls, and Wonder Falls. While some are easier to get to than others, each has their own degree of difficulty in terms of getting there.

The following map shows where each popular spot is located in the state, and color coordinated to the level of difficulty in getting to the particular spot.

Blue Hole:

According to Google Maps, there are three different ways to reach Blue Hole. The fastest way to reach Blue Hole is by taking WV-7. This route takes you 18.5 miles and would take around 40 minutes by car. Then comes the hard part, navigating Bull Run. Getting to Bull Run road isn’t the difficult part, navigating the road to get to the swimming hole brings a challenge that not all cars are capable of facing.

Craters in the “road,” the size of cars like those pictured below, leave cars feeling the burden of getting to Blue Hole.


Source: Preston County Journal

The Charleston Gazzette-Mail reported that Preston County officials receive about 10 to 15 calls a year stemming from car accidents on the road.

Wonder Falls:

A trip to Wonder Falls is about 28 miles, and would take roughly 46 minutes to reach, according to Google Maps. This route would lead you to George Walls Rd, which is where most vehicles would have to park. This road turns into a rough, unpaved, one lane road according to GoWaterfalling.

Adding to the element of accessibility, not only is Wonder Falls difficult to get to, the Falls is now gated off and posted with “No Trespassing” signs. Students who wish to take the trip to Wonder Falls now risk the potential to damage their cars, as well as running into legal trouble.



Arden Falls:

Arden Falls has become a more popular destination for students over the past several years. In comparison to the other destination, Arden Falls is a bit easier to access.

According to Google Maps, a trip to Arden Falls would take roughly an hour and leave you about 45 miles from Morgantown. Due to limitation of access at Wonder Falls, Arden has gained more traffic amongst students.

As you near the falls, you will find yourself on Route 10 which becomes a more narrow unpaved road. However, this road is in much better condition in comparison to other popular spots and the length traveled on this unpaved road is far shorter than that of Wonder Falls or Blue Hole. The need for a 4×4 vehicle isn’t as high.




The expense of having fun at some of these places is a risk that students will take. Sometimes, the most beautiful spots to reach are not easily accessible. This should not stop us from getting out and experiencing the beauty of this state. However, common sense and a bit of caution could go a long way. So, if you are planning to head to one of these spots, be safe, be respectful and most importantly embrace the beauty of West Virginia!