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West Virginia Trip Ideas

Clarksville...
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West Virginia Trip Ideas

I am planning on taking a week long road trip to West Virginia from the Baltimore-DC area of Maryland. I was thinking on splitting the week up between the New River Gorge/Fayetteville area and the Seneca Rocks/Davis area. Also, I want to see Spruce Knob, Smoke Hole, Dolly Sods, Blackwater Falls, and maybe the Cranberry Glades. I am most interested in hiking and siteseeing rather than water/river activities. Any suggestions? This is just a idea. Also, to get to Fayetteville is it better to take I-70 to I-68 to I-79 in Morgantown or take I-81 to I-64 West. Which way is more scenic?

Thanks-

AKJ
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1. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

Here's a link to pictures and information on most of those places. Including the one you forgot. Cass.

www.alandsuejohnson.com/w_va_places.htm

Also look at the link there for the 3 day road trip. It describes a very scenic way to get into that area. Basically its Rt 33 from Harrisonburg into WV. You can also take Rt 55 into Wardensville and head in that way. Both of those are more scenic than the interstates. You only have to spend a short time on I81.

charleston, wv
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2. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

I would think the 70-68-79 route to Fayetteville would be bit more scenic and faster than 81-64. Rt 19 south to Fayetteville has a reputation as a speed trap. Not as bad as the stories make it to be but do watch your speed. Several bad accidents through the years and they do patrol it.

In the Fayetteville area you should stop at the north end of the bridge and visit the Information Center, Nice walkway (stairs.....lots of stairs) down below the bridge. Several overlooks. You can drive down the road into the gorge and really get under the bridge.

A few miles west of Rt 19 on Rt 60 is Hawks Nest. Nice overlook there. Not much of a hike. There is a tram at the lodge that runs you to the bottom of the gorge.

If in Fayetteville for dinner I recommend Dirty Ernie's Rib Pit. They don't open until 4:00.

If you're in the area long enough you might run on into Beckley to Tamarrack on I-77. Maybe Grandview State Park at night for an outdoor drama. Maybe even an hour east on Rt 60 to Lewisburg for shopping and cavern tour.

For the rest of your drive you could run back up Rt 19 to Summersville and across Rt 39 towards Richwood. Past Richwood is National Forest.

Before Cranberry is a short hiking trail to the right. "Something Falls". Mind just went blank. Maybe half mile trail down over hill to series of maybe three waterfalls.

Above Cranberry is Rt 150 to the left. Scenic Highway. Several pull off areas with overlooks. One to the right has maybe half mile or so boardwalk path with information stops that tell story of the area.

Rt 150 drops you down on Rt 219. North to Slatyfork. Right on Rt 66. Across Snowshoe Mountian and down into Cass to see the railroad. Over to Rts 92 and 250. Zig zag your way up to Rt 50. Green Bank, Senca Rocks, Blackwater Falls, Helvitia, Spruce Knob, Davis.....

Rt 50 over to VA-MD.

Great drive in a convertable.........

West Virginia
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3. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

As to which way to travel, not sure which is more scenic but...

everyone talks about how I-81 can be a nightmare to travel. We know several people who live in the southern WV area (Charleston and surrounding counties) and are working in the Charles Town area for a couple years. They used to travel I-64 and I-81 every weekend. They all now take I-79 and I-68. I-79 is a joy to travel. EHowever, if you take I-68 to I-79 (then probably take the Beckley exit to head to Fayetteville), you are passing the exit to Canaan Valley and close areas. I'd probably take a real hard look at the route suggested by the other poster.

There are tons of trails to hike in the Canaan Valley and surrounding areas. They offer a wide variety of terrain, sites to see, etc. Personally, I'd spend more hiking time in this area than Fayetteville.

Check out http://www.wvhighlands.org/ for info and hiking maps.

A free map of Dolly Sods hiking trails can be printed off. wvhighlands.org/Maps/usfs_mnf/dolly_sods.pdf

Also see www.wvhighlands.org/Pages/Maps_USFS_MNF.html

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge would be a good place to stop by to get info on hiking, etc. It's located in Canaan Valley. Coming from Davis, it is right pass Canaan Valley Stores/Big John's Restaurant. It's closed on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday (see their website for hours). Their website is:

http://www.fws.gov/canaanvalley/

A map of some trails is at www.fws.gov/canaanvalley/CVNWR-trails.htm

There is a little store in Davis, sort of a general store, right beside Siriani's Pizza. They have trail maps of Dolly Sods and other areas

(or at least they did have them).

www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.asp… offers trails maps but I think there is a charge. There is a review free to read at www.trails.com/trail_reviews.asp…

For info on Dolly Sods, goto fs.fed.us/r9/…dolly_sods_wilderness.htm.

Scroll down on this page and it gives info on the different trails.

Dolly Sods offers a lot of different sites to see and a great variety in trails. A "must see" is at the end of the gravel road through the Sods.

A lot of people also like to hike to the waterfalls. They are not huge waterfalls but it is a neat area to play in the water, etc.

Info on the entire Monongahela National Forest

is at http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/mnf/index.shtml

fs.fed.us/r9/…special_places_index.shtml is also a good site.

Other sites to check out about the area:

http://www.canaanvalley.org/

http://www.canaanresort.com/

http://www.purplefiddle.com/

Not sure whenyou are going but don't forget -- take a jacket (especially for the evening). I was in Canaan Valley all week and it dipped into the 40's a couple nights. Even on days with temps in the 70's the air had a chill to it.

Clarksville...
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4. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

Thanks- I am going next summer. I have traveled I-81 down to Knoxville,TN last year and wasn't too bad except the trucks try to run you off the road. A lot of truck traffic, but no backups or slow moving traffic like the Washington Beltway or I-95 south of DC. I have been to the Davis,WV area a long time ago. I saw Blackwater Falls and hiked to the top of Seneca Rocks. But, I want to do it all again because it was a long time ago. I didin't check out Dolly Sods, Smoke Hole, or Spruce Knob, and I have never been to Fayetteville or anywhere that far south into West Virginia. I know there is not much as far as hiking at Fayetteville, but it seems like there is a lot of sightseeing to do. Where is sandstone falls? Any other suggestions as to other places to see?

Thanks-

Any Beach
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5. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

There actually IS a lot of hiking in Fayetteville. It is the New River Gorge area - you can hike all along the gorge....beautiful area.

Sandstone Falls is just outside of Hinton, just off I-64. Might be just over an hour from Fayetteville.

here is a good link for hiking in Fayetteville area:

newriverwv.com/Recreation_Hiking_Trails.php

West Virginia
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6. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

The Fayetteville area is gorgeous.

Hope I did not mislead you, there is hiking there. I just meant there is a lot more hiking places around Canaan and surrounding areas.

You are going to have a wonderful time in both areas.

charleston, wv
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7. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

Check with the whitewater outfiters. Along with the the rafting trips they offer horse back rides and mountain biking.

Clarksville...
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8. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

How would you reccomend to split up a week between the two areas? Also, what towns should I look for accomadations? Fayetteville for New River Gorge? Davis for Seneca Rocks-Smoke Hole-Dolly Sods-Blackwater Falls-Spruce Knob area? Nobody has mentioned Spruce Knob or Smoke Hole. Can somebody tell me where they are? Also, I hear a lot about backpacking at Dolly Sods. Is there any day-hiking there?

Thanks-

West Virginia
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9. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

For lodging in Canaan Valley, goto www.canaanvalley.org/listings.cfm…

(or http://www.canaanvalley.org/ then click on lodging then click on Canaan Valley or Davis).

www.canaanvalley.org also offers a lot of info on activities in the area.

Not sure what you will be looking for in terms of lodging but there is only 1 motel and I don't know anyone who has stayed there. Most people, if not renting a cabin or condo, stay at

Canaan Valley Resort State Park http://www.canaanresort.com/

or Blackwater Falls State Park http://www.blackwaterfalls.com/

Smoke Hole Caverns are close to Seneca Rocks. Have been over there fishing and at the gift/snack shop but have not done the caverns. It's about an hour from the Valley - sort of on the other side of Dolly Sods. http://www.smokehole.com/

Other caverns are Seneca Caverns in Riverton, Wv. Have not done them either. http://www.senecacaverns.com/

Spruce Knob is OK. It's West Virginia's highest peak. We did not spend much time there so it is probably better than I remember.

Goto www.fs.fed.us/r9/mnf/sp/spruce_knob.html or randolphcountywv.com/MajorAttractions/Spruce…

It's in Randolph County and you get to it on the way to Canaan.

West Virginia
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10. Re: West Virginia Trip Ideas

There is a lot of day hiking at Dolly Sods and other trails around the greater area of Canaan Valley.

I can't remember where we stayed in Fayetteville. I'm not the expert on that area so hopefully someone else can better guide you.