Road trip! - WV Dopers: Whatcha got?

After visiting our daughter at Pitt I’m planning on dropping down into WV… mainly because I’ve never been there before.

My original plan was to stay in the north and then head thru Maryland to Baltimore pretty much avoiding DC.

Got any travel tips? My interests are antiques, history and vintage baseball collectibles.


I’ll give you a tip for when you get to Baltimore - Babe Ruth’s house. North of Baltimore on the I-95 corridor is Havre de Grace, which is a small town lousy with antiques. Just head in from 95 toward the downtown waterfront area. We used to live there, now we’re in Baltimore.

Have a nice trip! West Virginia is beautiful.

Oglebay Park Mansion:
Harpers Ferry:
Cass Scenic Railroad:

Fort McHenry is worth the visit in Baltimore.
There’s lots of antiques in Ellicott City as well.

Fenton Glass Factory

They just announced that they will be closing, so go while you still can. There are lots of antique shops in the town as well.

Thanks for the info!

I meant to add that I may vary my original plan and travel only as far east as the Shenendoah Valley and then south and west to see more of that part of VA and WV.

Got anything else for the southern part?

If possible, check out Seneca Rocks, WV. Beautiful place. Just a bit south of there is the Green Bank National Radio Telescope, the world’s largest fully steerable single aperture antenna. And just west of there is the Cass Scenic Railroad, home of a large collection of still-working Shay steam locomotives. You will have then recreated my trip to West Virginia :smiley:

Prickett’s Fort just outside of Fairmont is pretty neat, and worth a couple of hours. My grandmother lives literally over the hill from the place, and I last visited there in July.

From the same parking lot you can enter the Mon River Trail if you’re in the mood for a pretty hike. Basically they’ve converted former railroad beds along the river into hiking/biking trails - it goes north for much farther than you’d probably want to walk. :wink:

Farther east (and perhaps more south than you want to go), I’ll ditto Seneca Rocks - although Chief Seneca fell over in 1987. Nearby are Smoke Hole Caverns. Blackwater Falls is nice, too.

A ‘hell yes!’ to hit Oglebay Park, Fenton Glass and Green Bank.

If you’re a geek and/or into astronomy at all, go to Green Bank. They have tours, it’s very neat.

Cass Scenic Road starts at the old company store of a mining company in the town of Cass. The town of Cass is full of little houses with white picket fences where the miners and their famalies lived. I think you can stay in them for a weekend or week or whatever. The train ride itself is pretty nice, it’s an actual steam locomotive with smoke and cinders and all, and it goes way up in the mountains. You often see bald eagles up there. I definitely recommend it, I think you can pick a long or short ride, the long one is several hours.

Beartown State Park is full of really impressive rock formations, in the woods on the side of a mountain are huge irregularly shaped rocks that seem to be the result of a collapsed cave system. There are boardwalks that go over, through, and under the rocks. Very cool, pictures don’t do it justice because the formations are everywhere and so big.

Cranberry Glades is an arctic-like boggy area up in the mountains of West Virginia. Lots of unusual plants and animals.

If you do end up heading into the southern part, drop by and see the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville. While you’re there you can zip into Fayetteville proper and see the late 19th Century courthouse (still in active use). During the Civil War, Fayetteville was the first place where it was documented that a commanding officer ordered his troops to use indirect fire (that is, firing without a clear target just hoping to hit an enemy soldier).

One of my favorite places to visit in that area is Thurmond - an old railroad town in the New River Gorge. In its heyday, it was a bustling railroad town, and quite a vice-filled place. It’s a ghost town now, mostly. Fewer than ten people still live there, but there’s a railroad station run by the National Park Service that serves mostly as a historic site, with interesting displays on life in railroad and coal towns. As a history buff, you’d probably love it. (The 1987 movie Matewan featuring James Earl Jones and Chris Cooper was filmed mostly in Thurmond - if you haven’t seen it, I recommend it heartily.) Stop in Fayetteville and ask for directions. It’s about 30 minutes down a nice windy road.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, plan to go Whitewater rafting down the New or Gauley River.

Oh, and back in Fayetteville, as for historic-type lodging, there’s always the White Horse Bed and Breakfast.

The capitol building in Charleston is beautiful. And the cultural center used to be worth a visit – I went there many many times through my childhood and teen years. Looking at their web site, it looks like they still might be worth a visit for a history buff.

More info than you were probably looking for, but I have some pride in my home state - and especially the southern part of it.

If you do any of these things, let me know how you liked it! No pressure. :slight_smile:

Harper’s Ferry is one of our major historical sites.

As for antique stores, there seem to be an abnormally large number of them, at least by my way of thinking. Three or four here in the Fairmont area alone.

As for Baseball memorabilia, there’s a store in Morgantown that deals in things like that…

I’ll second Blackwater Falls. The view from up on Spruce Knob is also spectacular, although I don’t know if the road to the top of it is open. It isn’t quite West Virginia, but Deep Creek Lake in Maryland is another nice place to visit.

If I’m ever in the area, I want to see the bunker at the Greenbrier Hotel. It’s the formerly TOP-SECRET mini-Congressional chambers and sleeping quarters built for Congress during the early Cold War in case of missile attack on D.C… (The UFO from Roswell is housed at a Howard Johnson’s in Schenectady, but that’s because Greenbrier got second choice.)