Driving through WV for the Holidays? Take the Scenic RouteDecember 19, 2014
The Mountain State is known for its scenery and small-town charm. If you’re driving through, get off the beaten path to see why.
Uncover all the heritage and picturesque beauty in these hills by taking the scenic route. Here are just a few back ways to explore:
Get a peek at WV’s industrial past and an eyeful of its renowned beauty. Curve through the jagged mountain hills, and stop to look out over the swooping vistas or at the tumbling waterfalls. Delve into WV’s story with museums and historic homes, or celebrate its vibrant entrepreneurship by exploring the local artisan shops and mom & pop restaurants.
Lower Greenbrier River Byway
Swoop along the banks of the Greenbrier River, and gaze out over the untouched countryside. You’ll pass several places to stop and explore: Alderson, with its restored C&O Railroad depot; Graham House, a lavish log cabin from 1722 with an incredible history; the site of steel driver John Henry’s famed contest against a steam-powered drill; and the quaint historic town of Hinton.
Coal Heritage Trail
Stretching more than 150 miles, the Coal Heritage Trail covers the coalfields, taking travelers past the relics of this industry’s heyday and reminders of its deep roots in our heritage today. Discover Bramwell, the town that once housed more millionaires per capita than anywhere in the country, or stop and take a photo of the historic Whipple Company Store, now a museum of coal boom culture.
Paint Creek Scenic Trail Byway
All along the Paint Creek Trail are interpretive kiosks, delving into the rich history of the area and providing context for your travels. Discover jaw-dropping creek bed scenes, tucked-away rail bridges and fishing piers, or stop to read tales about historic rebellion and triumph along the trail.
Wind over the sweeping farmlands of rural Monroe County, an agricultural community seemingly untouched by industry, with pristine country fields as far as you can see. Several creeks trickle through the lush landscapes, all the way to the rocky Appalachian Mountain ridges. Take a detour to trace the Rural Heritage Quilt Trail, discovering old mills, historic churches and beautiful bridge along the way.
A quick half-hour ride down the Lowell Backway will take you past two historic springs and a lot of gorgeous farmland. There’s also an old Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, dotted with generations-old log cabins.
The WV Department of Commerce has a map of more back routes across the state. Plan your journey along the trails less traveled to add a little something more interesting to your trip.
What’s your favorite scenic route through Southern WV?