Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area

Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area is a 3,168 acre parcel of West Virginia public land in Tucker County. Located near the town of Davis, WV Little Canaan WMA has an impressive network of hiking trails running through it.

During our recent trip to Blackwater Falls for the 2023 WV Deer Rifle Season, we quickly hopped over to Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area to scope it out. It was very close to where we had been hunting and wanted to see if the public land offered us any new opportunities.

Read on to find out what Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia has to offer.

Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area

Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area opened to the public in 2012 after it was acquired by the state of West Virginia from the Canaan Valley Institute. At 11 years old it is one of the newest Wildlife Management Areas in West Virginia.

The WMA is heavily forested which provides an opportunity for bear, deer and turkey hunting. But that’s not all. 3 miles of the Blackwater River flows through Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area.

We accessed the WMA along Camp 70 road which gave us a scenic view of the Blackwater River. The road, however, was in serious need of repair.

Watch out if you’re in a small SUV. It took us a long time to drive the three miles as we tried to dodge the potholes. My Toyota RAV 4 would not have fared as well as my father-in-law’s truck.

The road in was a bit discouraging. We had been traveling A Frame road into the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge all week and it was as smooth as glass. Camp 70, however, was quite the contrast.

Traveling woes aside, we made it to the parking lot and trail access. Along the way we decided we weren’t going to stay and hunt, instead deciding to return to Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge.

Blackwater River WV

Fishing at Little Canaan WIldlife Management Area

While we were unsure of the hunting prospects at Little Canaan, we quickly noticed that there was plenty of opportunity for a future fishing trip.

We accessed the public land from Camp 70 road, which led us along the Blackwater River. For three miles we followed it, flowing upstream as it headed toward the waterfall.

Launch your kayak from several of the marked pulloffs along the road. If you prefer to stay out of the water, the 3 miles of shoreline give you endless places to choose from. Additionally, there is a physically challenged fishing pier on the Blackwater River along Camp 70 road.

The Blackwater River is stocked with trout as part of the WV Trout Stocking Schedule. Along with different types of trout, anglers can expect to reel in bass along with a multitude of other species.

Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area Hiking

Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area Hiking Trails

If you like spending time outdoors, The town of Davis, WV should be on your list of places to visit.

The road into Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area is tough. It felt like a very long drive to travel a short 3 miles.

If you are hiking you probably don’t need to go all the way to the end parking lot. Stop at the start.

You should be able to find what you need at the Camp 70 Road Trails Gateway. This trailhead gives you a lot of options to choose from and your time would be better spent outdoors hiking than driving to the parking lot.

If we had chosen to go hunting at Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area, any of the trailheads along Camp 70 road would have given good access to the property. From there we could have hiked into the section north of the Blackwater River.

Several miles of trails await hikers and hunters alike. Whether you are hunting or hiking at Little Canaan WMA, choose your trailhead and start your adventure.

Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area

Final Thoughts

While we chose not to hunt at Little Canaan WMA, that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to go there. If we had parked the truck, we would have been the only people hunting Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area that day.

Would have been pretty nice to have that much property all to ourselves. On top of that, the non-hunting related activities are definitely worth visiting for.

The network of trails through Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area and the surrounding area are seriously impressive. You could spend an entire week hitting the trails and not cover them all.

Add in the accessibility of the Blackwater River and it’s trout fishing potential and you’ve got a great outdoor experience all in one place. We’ll be back. And maybe this time we’ll hunt it too.

West Virginia is home to 1.4 million acres of public land.  The WV DNR manages 96 different properties for the  enjoyment of WV residents.  At 3,168 acres, Little Canaan WMA is one of many parcels of public land in Tucker County, WV.

Check out the rest of the site to find out more about Wildlife Management Areas in West Virginia.

There is no camping permitted at Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area but if you are planning a visit the Blackwater Falls State Park cabins are nearby and are a great option.

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