Oglebay Waterfall – Hiking Falls Vista Trail

Oglebay Waterfall

Oglebay Park visitors seeking adventure should lace up their hiking boots and head towards the Falls Vista Trail. This easy hike will lead you directly to the Oglebay Waterfall. This unique two-tiered waterfall is part of the WV Waterfall Trail.

At only 12 feet high, the Oglebay Waterfall isn’t the tallest stop on the WV Waterfall Trail. However, it has a unique feature that sets it apart from other waterfalls in the state. The Oglebay Waterfall has a double drop before it cascades to the creek bed below. This tiered waterfall is two attractions in one.

WV Waterfall Trail

The WV Waterfall Trail is a 38 stop adventure from north to south through the state of West Virginia. This year, the West Virginia Tourism Department is awarding prizes to those who visit multiple waterfalls on the list.

Each of the 38 locations on the waterfall trail has a check in sign like the one pictured above. There, adventurers can scan a QR code on the back of the sign. Visiting multiple locations on the WV Waterfall Trail will earn you prizes, including a free t-shirt if you visit enough waterfalls.

Read on to learn more about this family friendly hike at Oglebay Park near Wheeling, WV.

Falls Vista Trail at Oglebay Park

Your journey begins behind the Oglebay Park Schrader Environmental Education Center. There are many trails that weave throughout the hillsides of Oglebay Park and several begin here. In total, there are 4.5 miles of trails throughout the park.

If chasing waterfalls isn’t your goal for the day, explore the other trails. Oglebay Park is beautiful and all the trails will lead to something interesting. But if you want to get to the Oglebay waterfall, you will want to follow the signs for Falls Vista Trail.

Oglebay Waterfall

Total distance for your hike of the Falls Vista Trail is just over 3/4 a mile out and back. This makes it a great choice for families with small children, especially since they can play in the water at the end. Some West Virginia hiking trails are not ideal for kids, but this isn’t one of them.

Since Falls Vista Trail follows along a creek bottom, this unpaved trail can get muddy at times. A recent upgrade to the trail has remedied this – a nearby fallen tree was cut into round ‘stepping stones.

Falls Vista Trail
Fallen trees repurposed into stepping stones

In the muddiest parts of the hike you can easily step from one to the other and avoid the wet mud. The kids enjoyed hopping all the way down. There’s even anti-slip tread adhered to the wooden slabs to keep people from slipping. Oglebay Park thought of everything.

Oglebay Falls Vista Trail

The total distance to your destination is under half a mile. And once you make it to the end of Falls Vista Trail, you have arrived at the Oglebay Waterfall.

Viewing the Oglebay Waterfall

There is a scenic overlook platform for visitors to view the Oglebay waterfall. Your hike, however, shouldn’t end here.

The view is slightly obscured by the bushes and trees that are surrounding the platform.

Oglebay Waterfall

In order to get the best, and closest, view of the falls step off the platform and continue on. There is a small but well worn trail that continues on to the right of the overlook. Slowly take that trail to the bottom of the creek.

If you want to hike all the way to the waterfall you will have to walk through the creek so plan accordingly. It’s not very deep but your shoes will still get wet.

If you aren’t sure about hiking down from the viewing platform to see the waterfall, check out our video below. It shows the walk down from the overlook to the creek bottom. That should give you an idea of the level of difficulty you will encounter to get an up close view of this stop on the WV Waterfall Trail.

Once you make it, you can even go behind or underneath the Oglebay Waterfall.

If you’re OK with getting wet, you can even walk to the top of the waterfall and view it from the edge.

Remember, be careful if you decide to do this. Wet rocks can be slippery. Even though this WV Waterfall is only 12 feet high it would be an unpleasant fall onto the creek bottom below. It’s all rock beneath you and falling would likely result in serious injury.

WV Waterfall

Shortcut to The Oglebay Waterfall

There are lots of things to do in Oglebay Park, and if hiking Falls Vista Trail doesn’t sound like your idea of fun but you still want to see this WV waterfall, don’t worry. There is a shortcut that takes you directly to the waterfall.

Instead of driving up the hill to Oglebay Park, simply turn at the bottom of the hill onto Warden Run. From there it’s a short drive out to the Oglebay Waterfall.

There is plenty of parking and the waterfall is visible from the road. You can’t miss it!

Pull off to the side of the road and there is enough parking for 5 or 6 vehicles. From there a quick hop across a creek gets you to the overlook is less than 100 yards.

Remember, you can go down from the overlook to get the best view of the Oglebay waterfall.

Bonus Tip: If you start at the end, the second half of your hike is downhill. If you start at the trailhead behind the Schrader Center you have to hike uphill after making it to the waterfall. It’s still an easy hike , but doing the trip in reverse is significantly easier.

To learn more about activities at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, WV visit their official park website.

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