ARVELLA & JOHN ZIMMERER
P.O. BOX 731
Petersburg, WV 26847
Blackwater Falls State Park
Blackwater Falls State Park is one of the most photographed areas around the state. The falls are part of the Blackwater River which has amber colored water plunging five stories and twisting through an 8 mile long gorge. There are numerous lookout points to view not only the river and the falls, but also the half mile wide canyon.
One of the best-known landmarks in West Virginia, Seneca Rocks is a magnificent formation which rises almost 900 feet above the North Fork of the South Branch River. There is evidence that several Indian tribes inhabited the area including the Algonquin, Tuscarora and Seneca, and the first European settlers, who began to arrive around the mid 1700’s. Seneca Rocks is a very notable scenic attraction and is popular with rock climbers, both expert and beginner.
The Roaring Plains Wilderness offers a different scenic experience. Located on a high plateau, Dolly Sods has a climate and environment characteristic of Canada and northern states. At the highest levels, there are windswept heath barrens, grassy sods, sphagnum bogs and gnarled red spruce and yellow birch. At the lower elevations there are lush forests with an abundance of laurel and rhododendrons. There are hiking trails in the wilderness, however, there is no development of the area with roads and facilities.
Spruce Knob is West Virginia’s highest point towering at 4,861 feet. At the top, there is an observation tower that allows you to view the alpine landscape from one point. The terrain is not particularly steep, and the area offers excellent opportunities to hike and bike. Spruce Knob is also home to a 25 acre lake that is the highest lake in West Virginia. The Seneca Creek Backcountry can also be accessed from Spruce Knob, offering many miles of great hiking trails.
Canaan Valley Resort
Surrounded by the Monongahela National Forest, Canaan Valley is a resort area nestled in a broad valley that offers recreation of all types. Wildlife of many types and particularly white-tailed deer are abundant in the park. Meticulously maintained as a resort area, Canaan Valley offers a large lodge with all the amenities, and a beautiful golf course. Other activities include a large network of trails for hiking and biking. Wintertime offers legendary downhill skiing, cross country skiing, ice skating, tubing, sleighrides and snowboarding. Children's activities include the ski and play program for a fun way to learn to ski
This area consists of steep forested mountain slopes, spectacular rock formations and caves. Listed in National Geographic as one of “America’s Hideaways”, it is an area that offers excellent opportunities for paddling and fishing. The Smoke Hole area also offers opportunities to camp, hike and backpack. The North Fork Mountain trail runs 24 miles, to the east your view is of Smoke Hole, to the west it's Seneca Rocks. The terrain is rugged and steep, and the views are awesome. Because Smoke Hole is cut off from neighboring valleys, an atmosphere of remote isolation permeates the area.
Riding the Rails into History
There’s something about a train ride through the mountains...the tracks carry you away, just for a while, from your everyday life to create lasting memories for all ages. Locally, there are several scenic railroads. The Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad (1-800-22-EAGLE) offers views and wildlife sightings, the flight of a bald eagle, for example, along the shores of the South Branch of the Potomac and through “The Trough”. The CASS Scenic Railroad State Park (304-456-4300) is powered by a steam locomotive and offers a very scenic trip through wilderness with a lot of history, too! The Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad (D&GV RR) (304-456-4935) provides a round trip on a reconstructed stretch of C&O track between Durbin and Cass. Each rail trip provides a different sightseeing experience, but all of them take you into a world of new sights and sounds. Don’t forget your camera on this one!