a VirtualTourist member from Liverpool asked on Sep 10, 2005
We plan to drive through the Potomac Highlands in West Virginia during the first week of August next year. I'll be travelling with two teenagers. Although I'm originally from America, I've never been to West Virginia. My children have been raised in Britain. The kids love America and like things that are quintessentially American. (probably so they can impress their friends back in the UK) I love the scenery but I'm also looking for activies for the kids. Any suggestions? We would also love to see some live music on the way. Can anyone recommend a good place to stop? Any recommended routes or places to avoid? Thanks for your help.
Ok, maybe i can help.
If you go thru northern West Virgina stop at Harper's Ferry. Its very historic and actually the first shots of what would eventually become the civil war there fired there when John Brown and his gang tried to raid a Union arms depot. Also, there is the Cheat River in northern part of West Virginia. Its a nice white water rafting experince and first timers shouldn't have a problem. I have been on that river. Also Shenenoah National Park is in northern Virginia and Skyline Drive thru the park is about 70/80 miles long so should take you only about 2 hours to drive thru..its very scenic with many overlooks. And there are several water falls only a short hike off the hi-way. The northern entrance to the park is in Front Royal, which is my wife's home town, so I been there many times. Watch for deer and bears!!!
Of course there are many sites of historic battles of the civil war in the Maryland/Pa area.
Senca Rocks is very nice. You can take a walk up the mountain and enjoy a spectacular few from the top. There is also a great visitor's center there. Be sure to take a light jacket as it may actually be cool at the top of the mountain. I recommend staying in the town of Petersburg. Smoke Hole Caverns is also in the same area. You will pass it as you leave Petersburg going toward Seneca Rocks. Again, take a light jacket.
Harper's Ferry was mentioned and triggered a desire in me to go back. I've only been there once.
How could I forget Blackwater Falls? It is beautiful and the walk to the overlook doesn't take very long and is excellently maintained.
Lived in WV for about 20 years. The Potomac Highlands region is full of natural wonders. Canaan Valley, Dolly Sodds, Blackwater Falls, Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob & Lake (Highest elevation in the state), Seneca Caverns, Smoke Hole Caverns, and much more. All of these are relatively to each other as well.
Three scenic railroad trips you can take; 1) Cass Railroad 2) The Potomac Eagle out of Romney, WV, and The Cheat Mountain Salamander near Durbin WV. Fishing camping and hiking are big here. Horseback riding is available near Seneca Rocks at Yokums Stables. They take guided trips up to the top of Seneca Rocks (which has an incredible view from the top).
Whitewater rafting might be an option for the teens as well. I believe there are several outfitters in the area.
Hope this helps. I lived in WV for about 25 years and I go back as often as possible.