Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
440.00 ft (134.11 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.60 mi (7.40 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This 4.6-mile out-and-back hike takes you to the pretty triple cascade that makes up the Mann Creek Falls. If it is hot, and you have the time, there is a small swimming hole at the bottom of the third cascade. Then it begins a gradual ascent up the side of the steep, but pretty, Mann Creek Gorge as it passes through thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron. In bloom, it is gorgeous. Additionally, as you approach the gorge’s ridge, the trail weaves through outcroppings of house-sized boulders and low cliffs. Along the top of the gorge is a rocky overlook that offers a 180-degree view of isolated Mann Gorge.

The Manns Creek Gorge Trail is off the beaten path from the main parts of Babcock State Park, so the trail can often be hiked in complete solitude. It takes off from site 26 of the Babcock State Park Campground. It loses altitude slightly as it descends from the campground, passing sandstone outcroppings and intercepting Manns Creek. In about a half-mile from the trailhead, the trail bottoms out at Manns Creek Falls on the left.

Swim at your own risk here due to the strong currents of the falls. If you choose to enjoy the small pool at the bottom of the third cascade, be careful. After the falls, the trail climbs moderately for a mile or so through thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron as it weaves among sandstone cliffs and rocks. Leveling out near the top, you come to the overlook at 1.4 miles from the trailhead. The trail continues another 0.2 mile, then makes a sharp left and leaves the gorge’s edge and crosses the flat plateau. The forest is more open and drier along the flat plateau with a mix of white pine and deciduous trees, creating a very different feel than the vegetation in the gorge. The trail ends after about 2.3 miles on County Route (CR) 11-3. Retrace your path to return.

The trail can be hiked the opposite direction from the trailhead on CR 11-3, avoiding the camping fee at the campground. The National Geographic Trails Illustrated map of the New River Gorge (Map 242) is a great asset for New River Gorge hiking and shows Manns Creek Trail, but puts it slightly off the actual route along the edge of the Gorge. Babcock State Park’s small-scale hiking map correctly shows the trail’s route.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Camping fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Pretty waterfall and expansive overlook. Easy hike. Access from campground.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

2,390.00 ft (728.47 m)

Highest point

2,660.00 ft (810.77 m)

Net Elevation Gain

340.00 ft (103.63 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Waterfalls
Fishing
Family friendly

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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