Peters Creek Falls

  • Location: Near Lockwood, WV (Nicholas County)
  • Elevation: 943 feet
  • Coordinates: 38.231287, -81.045311 / (38°13’52.6″N 81°02’43.1″W)
  • Waterway: Peters Creek
  • Height: Around 25 feet
  • Nearby Waterfalls: Laurel Falls, Ramsey Branch

Peters Creek is a large waterfall spanning the entirety of Peters Creek in extreme southern Nicholas County, just before the waterway empties into the Gauley River (which makes the southern border of Nicholas County with the northern border of Fayette County).

Peters Creek Location

Getting to Peters Creek is a bit of an adventure, but well worth it – especially if you enjoy seeing other neat objects while on your trek! When I tagged along with my pal, Matt, we hopped off of US-60 in Fayette County near Victor at Route 3 (Saturday Road). Once you head onto Saturday Road, you’ll be on the roadway for about 6.4 miles – this is a smooth paved road, with no issues. After 6.4 miles, you’ll make a sharp left onto Lucas Road. Lucas Road initially is not in bad shape – it’s navigable in a low-clearance vehicle. However, we pulled off at a ran-down wooden shack on a gravel road just off of Lucas Road as Lucas Road begins to leave Laurel Creek. You’ll want to watch for this, as it’s a little tricky – this gravel road will take you down eventually to creek level but you may want to consider walking this segment instead of driving if you don’t have four-wheel drive. If it helps, we parked near coordinates (38.214050, -81.030617).

Keep walking down this road and you’ll eventually come out to an old rail trail along the Gauley River. Take a left at this fork and you’ll encounter Koontz Tunnel, a nearly 3/4 mile tunnel going under the mountain – bring a headlamp or a flashlight as it gets very dark here!

Koontz Tunnel is over 3,000 feet long as it cuts from one side of the Gauley River to the other under a mountain.

Once beyond Koontz Tunnel (38.219347, -81.035247), you’ll encounter a couple of fantastic railroad trestle bridges. The first is a pedestrian bridge (38.223888, -81.045897) that crosses the Gauley River and the second is an actual railroad bridge (38.226212, -81.046928) that crosses Peters Creek. Keep in mind, it’s illegal to walk on railroad tracks – we did walk along the tracks on the Peters Creek bridge but encourage you to be vigilant in listening for trains. Outside of the Peters Creek bridge, there is plenty of space to walk around the tracks.

The pedestrian trestle bridge looking back from Koontz Tunnel as you cross the Gauley River into Nicholas County.

Once you cross the second trestle bridge, you’re very close to Peters Creek! Just keep following the railroad tracks (at a safe distance) and you’ll hear Peters Creek Waterfall emerge on the left! It’s loud and runs well even during dry periods of weather so you should be able to hear it!

It’s a steep scramble down to Peters Creek – a rope will come in handy – and thankfully there was one!

It’s a steep scramble down to creek level but there was a very sturdy nylon rope that Matt and I both utilized to get down the bank. Again, it’s a bit of an adventure in itself to get down there, but well worth it!

Peters Creek would be a fantastic adventure to take someone for a true West Virginia hike. It’s not an overly difficult trek, but it requires a sense of adventure and appreciation for this rugged region – I highly recommend you check it out!

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