Nature November 01, 2017
These 7 Beautiful Byways In West Virginia Are Perfect For A Scenic Drive
Set amid the majestic Appalachian Mountains, long stretches of beautiful rolling hills, and plenty of lush greenery, West Virginia is definitely one of the most idyllic settings in the country. Not only that, but evidence of West Virginia’s incredible past is prominent almost everywhere you go. One of the best ways of experiencing all of the beauty that our gorgeous state has to offer is by taking advantage of one of our many scenic byways. These byways lead you through some of the most stunning and history-rich parts of the state. There’s really nothing more relaxing than cruising down one of these byways and taking in all of the incredible views. So, gas up your vehicle and set off on one of these amazing roads for a truly unforgettable adventure.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Midland Trail
The Midland Trail will take you across some of the most rugged of West Virginia's terrain. Following US Route 60, the trail stretches from border to border beginning at Kenova and going all the way to White Sulphur Springs. The road stretches and curves for approximately 180 miles and is full of scenic vistas and interesting things to do. One of the highlights of this trail is the sight of the epic New River Gorge Bridge, a 3,000 foot long steel arch bridge.
2. Little Kanawha Byway
Following the winding Little Kanawha River, this byway takes you through expansive farmlands and charming farm towns. This 77 miles road will take about 2 to 3 hours to complete, starting at Mineral Wells and ending in Central West Virginia. Be sure to stop at the Burnsville Lake Wildlife Management Area, which is one of the most majestic wildlife areas in the country.
3. Northwestern Turnpike
The Northwestern Turnpike is one of the most historic roads in West Virginia. It follows Route 50 from Capon Bridge to Parkersburg, and had a major role in West Virginia's history as one of the main roads to cross the Appalachians. A popular stop on this byway are the peaceful and gorgeous Grafton national cemeteries.
4. Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike
This 73 mile byway starts in Buckhannon and ends in Bartow, and passes by countless history markers from the Civil War era. You'll pass by Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park where you can get a real glimpse of life on a colonial plantation. Or you can simply explore the vast and gorgeous grounds.
5. Highland Scenic Byway
The Highland Scenic Byway is truly one of the most gorgeous drives in the entire state. This 43 mile highway will lead you straight through the incredible Monongahela National Forest. The byway begins in Richwood and ends seven miles north of Marlinton, gaining an elevation up to 4,500 feet above sea level. You won't be able to resist stopping at one of the many scenic overlooks, which offers up heart-stopping views of the Allegheny Mountains.
6. Coal Heritage Trail
Coal mining plays a prominent role in West Virginia's history, and this scenic byway takes you through the remnants of this past. Starting in Bluefield and taking you all the way to Ansted 99 miles away, you'll be able to experience both the amazing recreational and natural attractions this highway has to offer including old coal mines and long abandoned railroad structures. You'll even get to see firsthand the remains of historic coal camps including old houses, stores, and company offices. Another highlight of this byway is the beautifully tranquil New River Gorge National River.
7. Lower Greenbrier River Byway
If you're looking for a relatively short drive that still packs in a ton of charm, then look to the Lower Greenbrier River Byway. This 27 mile long drive follows the incredibly serene Lower Greenbrier River with a backdrop of beautiful countrysides. The quaint town of Alderson is a popular stop on this highway which contains several historical markers such as the restored Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Depot.
What do you think? What’s your favorite scenic drive to take in West Virginia? If you thought these drives looked peaceful, then check out this
Drive Down West Virginia’s Loneliest Road!