West Virginia Off The Beaten Path

  • Qunicy Hill overlook during an October sunset
    Qunicy Hill overlook during an October...
    by kevanrijn
  • Uh Oh....
    Uh Oh....
    by Ewingjr98
  • Erksine Covered Bridge
    Erksine Covered Bridge
    by Ewingjr98

West Virginia Off The Beaten Path

  • Cranberry Glades Botanical Area

    Located within the Monongahela National Forest in east-central West Virginia, Cranberry Glades Botanical Area is comprised of five open bogs nestled in a natural bowl in the mountains at an elevation of about 3,400 feet (1,036 meters). Totaling 750 acres (304 hectares), Cranberry Glades Botanical Area contains the largest area of bogs in the state....

  • The Palace of Gold

    It was a surreal experience seeing the Palace of Gold for the first time. It is located four miles (six kilometers) off a main state route on a narrow, twisting country road with typical farms and rural homes, but as I turned a corner I saw a magnificent palace that should belong in India rather than in the hills of West Virginia.The Palace of Gold...

  • The Anna Jarvis House

    Built in 1854, the Anna Jarvis House was the birthplace of Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother's Day, and also served as the field headquarters of General George McClelland during his 1861 western Virginia campaign during the American Civil War. His troops were encamped across the road in what is now known as the Ocean Pearl Felton Historic Park....

  • The Adaland Mansion

    Located a few miles northwest of Philippi in Barbour County, the Adaland Mansion is a former farmhouse that has been restored with strict attention to authenticity. The building features homemade bricks and walnut woodwork. The grounds contain extensive flower gardens, an herb garden, and a barn dating from the 1850s that has displays of antique...

  • The Hamilton Round Barn

    Located in the small town of Mannington in Marion County, the Hamilton Round Barn is only one of five round and polygonal barns in West Virginia. It was built between 1911 and 1912, and served as a dairy barn on the Hamilton farm, which was the first farm in the county to use electric milking machines. The barn accommodated from 20 to 25 cows on...

  • The Barrackville Covered Bridge

    Located in the small town of Barrackville in Marion County, the Barrackville Covered Bridge is a 146-foot (45-meter) single-span modified Burr truss bridge that crosses Buffalo Creek just north of the town. The bridge was built in 1853 by local bridge builder Lemuel Chenoweth. Siding was added 20 years after its completion.The bridge was saved from...

  • Pricketts Fort State Park

    Located near Fairmont in northern West Virginia, Pricketts Fort State Park was established in 1975 to preserve the site of an eighteenth-century fort that had been built to protect nearby settlers from attacks by American Indians.The 22-acre (nine-hectare) park features a visitors' center with a museum shop, an outdoor 400-seat amphitheater, a...

  • The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

    Originally called the Weston State Hospital, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was built to house and treat the mentally ill from throughout the region. The building was designed by architect Richard Andrews, who followed the Kirkbride plan for mental institutions. This plan called for long wings in staggered formation which assured an abundant...

  • The Dolly Sods Wilderness

    Located in the Allegheny Mountains of Grant, Randolph, and Tucker counties in eastern West Virginia, the Dolly Sods Wilderness consists of a high-altitude plateau characterized by ecosystems more commonly found farther north in Canada. The plateau is the largest of its kind east of the Rocky Mountains. Elevations within the wilderness area range...

  • The Cranesville Swamp Preserve

    The 1,174-acre (475-hectare) Cranesville Swamp Preserve is mostly located in eastern Preston County in northeastern West Virginia. However, a small portion of the bog and preserve is also situated in Garrett County, Maryland. (The "swamp" is technically a bog). The land was purchased by the Nature Conservancy in 1960 to protect the bog's unique...

  • The Old Stone Tavern

    The historic stone building that houses the Old Stone Tavern was built between 1825 and 1827. The building was designed by Henry Grimes and was constructed of rubble stone. The ground floor consists of one large open room. There are three rooms on the second floor with an attic above. It originally served as a private residence, but in 1841 it was...

  • Our Lady of the Pines

    With exterior dimensions of 12 by 24 feet (four by seven meters) and two pews with seating for only 12 parishioners, Our Lady of the Pines bills itself as the "Smallest Church in 48 States." This slogan for the tiny Roman Catholic church was coined in 1958, the year in which the church was consecrated. At that time, there were 48 states, so it is...

  • Cathedral State Park

    Located about one mile (1.6 kilometers) east of the tiny village of Aurora in eastern Preston County, 133-acre (54-hectare) Cathedral State Park protects the only remaining stand of virgin timber left in West Virginia. Although West Virginia is covered by extensive second-growth forest (more than any other state east of the Mississippi River), to...

  • Isn't This A Beautiful Spot?

    Those of us who know something of the history of this country will recognize that The Potomac River, The Shenandoah River and The Blue Ridge Mountains have historical connections to our development. We may have a vague sense of their importance, but until they are seen, the majesty is not known. Just outside of the town area at Harpers Ferry all...

  • Rural West Virginia -- don't be...

    Driving on the dirt roads of rural West Virginia, and all I can think about is the movie "Deliverance" or perhaps the much worse movie about the hillbilly mutants that set traps on a seldom used road so out of towners get trapped... then eaten. Is it called "The Hills Have Eyes?" Maybe it's "Resurrection County" or "Wrong Turn." If rural West...

  • Erskine Covered Bridge - on PA-WV border

    Erskine covered bridge in Washington County was built in 1845 by William Gordon. The red, box-like bridge is just 39 feet long and about 12 feet wide, and it rattles like a baby's toy as you drive across! The bridge, spanning Middle Wheeling Creek, was just refurbished in 2006.It stands just one tenths of a mile from the West Virginia border, so it...

  • The West Virginia State Penitentiary

    The West Virginia State Penitentiary has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was named "One of the Best 500 Places to Visit in the United States" by US News & World Report in 1996.The West Virginia State Penitentiary was modeled after Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, but is only one-half the size of...

  • Nancy Hanks Memorial

    "God bless my mother. All that I am or ever hope to be I owe to her."-- Abraham LincolnNancy Hanks was born on February 5, 1784, in Hampshire County, Virginia in a log cabin along Mike's Run at the foot of New Creek Mountain in what is now Mineral County, West Virginia. Nancy grew up to marry Thomas Lincoln. One of Nancy and Thomas's sons, Abraham...

  • Grave Creek Mound

    Grave Creek Mound is the largest conical burial mound constructed by the prehistoric American Indians of the late Adena Period. The Adena People were part of the group of prehistoric cultures known as "mound builders," named for their practice of building burial mounds. Consisting of several different cultures spanning 20,000 years, the mound...

  • Radio Observatory

    We visited the Radio Observatory literally in the middle of nowhere in West Virginia. You can go on a free tour of the place and learn a lot about radio transmissions and outer space. We enjoyed the tour , even without finding out there really are aliens. The entire area is in something called " The Quiet Zone" where no cell phones work, and people...

  • Virginia's Chapel

    Virginia's Chapel is a small chapel that was built in 1853 by the Tompkins family as a gift for their daughter, Virginia. It was used by both sides in the Civil War, and changed hand a few times over the years. It was restored in the 1980s and is now open to the public. Virginia's Chapel is located on Route 60 in the town of Cedar Grove, West...

  • The Entire State is Off the Beaten Path

    The entire state of West Virginia is off the beaten path. Despite its physical beauty, West Virginia is not a place that Americans typcally go out of their way to visit. One reason is that they usually associate the state with poverty, coal mining, and uneducated hillbilles. Yes, it is a poor state, and yes, there are some very ugly coal strip...

  • Try Ramps--this one is off the map--

    not just off the beaten path! I'd bet good money that unless you were born and raised in West Virginia (or at least somewhere in the mountains of Appalachia), you have never heard of ramps (except as something connected with highways or skateboarding). If you are truly brave and adventureous, and you happen to be in West Virginia at the right time...

  • Bluestone National Scenic River

    A ten-mile segment of the Bluestone River in southern West Virginia was designated a National Scenic River by the National Park Service in 1988. This river was the first of three rivers in West Virginia to enter the Wild and Scenic River System, which protects free-flowing rivers throughout the United States. The Bluestone begins on East River...

  • Cass Scenic Railroad

    Cass is a small town, located in the eastern portion of West Virginia. It thrived on the native timer as an industry, using a steam-powered engine pulling cars that brought the timber from the mountain, where it could be shipped onto other destinations by rail.Not much is in Cass, but if it is scenery that makes your vacation complete, this part of...

  • The YMCA Camp at Leadmine.

    Leadmine is a beautiful place to drive through, and walk through. Its definitly off the beatan path, as almost everything else is in West Virginia, but is well worth visiting. Leadmine I believe is in preston county, or just outside of it, in north eastern West Virginia.



  • For the truly adventurous go...

    For the truly adventurous go for a stealth mission to walk the catwalk underneath the New River Gorge Bridge. It's the tallest bridge in the East and I think the 2nd tallest in the country next to the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. I'll put it this way, one weekend in October is set aside by the National Park Service for BASE jumping from the...

  • Shepardstown----A small town...

    Shepardstown----A small town that hosted Middle East Peace talks in Jan.2000. The Marriott hotel is not the fanciest you'll ever stay at but a nice place. Downtown there are some great restaurants and some a few nice bars.

  • Get to meet the people some...

    Get to meet the people some people think these 'Hillbillys' are dumb and ignorant. But, just because of their southern accent, it doesn't mean that they don't have any smarts! I love the people and I DO love the State!

  • 'Rails to trails' is a trail...

    'Rails to trails' is a trail that goes thruogh West Virginia that you can walk or ride your bicycle on. It's all gravel so the ride isn't too smooth. The cool part is - it's where old railroad tracks used to be so it takes you right through the middle of the woods, over bridges, through tunnels (sometimes you can't see the other end when you start...

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West Virginia Off The Beaten Path

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