Small Town Scenic Loop
US33E, RT32, US219S, , WV 26241
West Virginia is filled with rural, charming towns with small specialty shops owned by locals. The Small Town Scenic Loop is one of the best ways to discover the authentic beauty of Randolph County and the surrounding area in an afternoon. Even though the ride is shorter, you can still experience several mountains and many fun turns on this route.
From Elkins take Route 33 east towards Harman. In Harman take a left onto Route 32 to explore Canaan Valley (800-622-4121) in Tucker County. Stop by Canaan Valley Resort and ride the ski lift to the top of the valley from spring through fall to experience the mountain scenery that surrounds our part of the state.
Continue to the small, mountain town of Davis, and stretch your legs while browsing through the variety of shops and art galleries or grab a local craft beer at Stumptown Ales. For information about this part of the area, stop by the Tucker County Visitors Center. Nearby, the Blackwater Falls State Park (304-259-5216), home of the iconic 57-foot falls, is a must-stop. The falls, along with a few of the park’s other features like Elakala Falls, Lindy Point and Pendleton Point overlooks, are some of West Virginia’s most photographed spots.
Just a little further down the road is the historic town of Thomas. To get to Front Street in Thomas, you have make a loop because it’s a one way street. Thomas is home to several art galleries, antique and home décor shops, and the well-known TipTop coffee shop and Purple Fiddle. For its population being so small, only 554 people, the town is thriving.
After experiencing Thomas and all of its wonderful-ness, turn left onto the upper road you came in on to reach Route 219. Turn left and travel across the bridge and follow 219. The road meanders along a high ridge on Backbone Mountain overlooking the mountains and valleys of Tucker County. There is a scenic overlook to pull off and take in the views. It’s beautiful four seasons, but the foliage in the fall is spectacular.
Halfway down the mountain, the Olson Observation Tower will be on your left on Forest Road 18. If you have time and aren’t afraid of heights, you can climb up the 133 steps for panoramic views of West Virginia and Maryland.
As you make your way off the mountain and into the valley, the one stoplight, river town of Parsons, will greet you. At the stoplight, make a left to follow US219 back to Elkins. This part of the loop provides you with picturesque views of rolling hills and farmland, a nice and easy finish to your trip as you make it back to your home base of Elkins.
Download the Small Towns Scenic Loop brochure and #RideRandy.