Mountain Music Trail


We love our “mountain music”!

If you’re traveling through West Virginia along Route 219, you’re tracing the Mountain Music Trail. Stop off for an exploration of old-time Appalachian sound.

The trail runs from the remote towns in the Northern counties down to our Southern hills, where you can foray into a bygone era.

“I guess we as a culture are more rooted, more connected to our heritage, than most any other region in the country,” said Ned Savage, an Americorps VISTA volunteer for the Mountain Music Trail “Appalachian bands are building on that foundation, and creating some really beautiful music in all sorts of genres, a lot of it harkening to country music to varying degrees and in surprising ways.”

And enjoying the trail is more than just a stroll through a museum or catching a concert. You experience mountain music firsthand.

“At the American Heritage Music Hall in Ronceverte, don’t expect to go and not dance,” Savage said. “A succession of old ladies all but dragged me out on the dance floor. They will not take ‘no’ for an answer. And I’m glad they didn’t! I ended up having a blast, despite the fact that I’m a totally incompetent dancer.”

The mountainous terrain separates the various communities along the Trail, so each small town has its own distinct feel. Here’s what you can discover in our neck of the woods:

The Wild Bean in Lewisburg
Lewisburg is probably the most lively town along the Mountain Music Trail,” Savage said. “The downtown is always bustling with folks ducking in and out of the many cafes, shops, and galleries. But the town does maintain a sense of connectedness to the past, tangible in the beautiful architecture downtown.”

The Wild Bean is embedded in the center of the downtown scene, a quirky community cafe and hangout that encourages live music and local sound. Guests can curl up with a cup of coffee or a locally-sourced meal as they enjoy the entertainment.


Carnegie Hall, A Mountain Music Trail Partner

Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg
Also along the downtown streets of Lewisburg is the historic Carnegie Hall, one of only 4 operating Carnegie Halls left in the world.

“If I were putting together a trip, I would try to plan it around a performance at Carnegie Hall,” Savage said. “Not all their programming is traditional, but that building and auditorium are just so beautiful. In my mind, it’s really a highlight.”

In addition to their regular season of performers, the Carnegie Hall offers casual lunchtime shows, and “pay what you can concerts,” making music more accessible to the community. They also host several old-time square dances each year, where you can try out the traditions for yourself.

The American Heritage Music Hall in Ronceverte
Informal “jam and dance” nights every Friday, as well as a live band every 4th Saturday of the month, all center around homegrown country and Southern sound.

It’s not the music itself that’s most memorable here, but the experience, and the people.

“The folks at the American Heritage Music Hall will immediately make you feel at home,” Savage said. “Charlie and the men and women who come out for the informal weekly pot-luck/dance/jam are what makes this region so wonderful. Just some of the friendliest folks anywhere.”

Unofficial Stops in Monroe County
“The pace of life in Monroe County is so refreshing,” Savage said. “To most visitors, it feels like they’ve stepped through a time machine in bygone era. Everyone will proudly tell you there’s no traffic light or chain restaurant anywhere in the county. Not only do folks not miss the development that seemingly passed them by, they actively resist the influences which have changed most communities over the years, not always for the better.”

The small town, old-time values shine bright in the musical tradition across the county, too.

“Go check out the weekly morning jam in Union or Greenville, and leave with a new appreciation for traditional music, plus some new friends,” Savage said.

These off-the-beaten-path stops aren’t listed on the Trail, but their events show up on their calendar:

  • Pickin’ circle before lunch every Tuesday in Greenville, at the renovated “Time Out” building (now home to the Council on Aging)
  • Potluck dance every 4th Saturday (in the same Greenville location)
  • Friday morning jams at the Senior Center in Union
  • Concert series every other Saturday in Union during the summer in the field behind the library

Which Mountain Music Trail stop do you want to explore?