Blackwater Falls

Frozen blackwater

Frozen blackwater

Blackwater Falls

What is Tannic Acid, I thought. My interest was piqued. I had to see this. I had just put down the travel guide to the West Virginia State Parks after reading about Blackwater Falls State Park and how the water was black from Tannic Acid. The snow was falling heavily and I was over an hour from this treasure. Was it worth the risk to drive in these conditions? Well, we were sure going to find out. Me and the kids packed our cameras in the car and bundled up for the journey. We left my parents house on our journey with temperatures dropping and the snow continuing to fall. The trip was surreal – everything was white, the roads, the trees and the sky.

We arrived at Blackwater Falls Park and apparently we were the only visitors on this day. Imagine that, an entire park to ourselves. We double checked our gear and clothes and set out on foot to find the falls. After we set out on the path, the snow stopped falling. The scene was awe inspiring-fresh snow covered hemlocks and pines. Soon we were there on the viewing platform face to face with the falls. Only one small problem, it wasn’t so much a waterfall as it was a giant frozen block of ice with the precious blackwater spewing through wherever it could. It was beautiful, better than I could have imagined. We went to work with our cameras shivering and clicking away until the cold told us to stop. We packed up and headed back to the car, but wait – I still hadn’t found out what tannic acid was and why the water was the color it was. The office was closed. The impetus for my journey was still unsolved. Oh well, some other day I thought. Right now, we needed to eat. We finally found an open restaurant nearby and went inside.

Once inside the answers to all my questions about Blackwater Falls lay before me on a mural on the wall. What is Tannic Acid and why is the water that color…..