US33E, WV28S, US250N, , WV 26241
In West Virginia, taking the road less traveled is a wonderful way to explore the state. Some of West Virginia’s scenic byways have historic significance, while others provide access to natural attractions and outdoor recreation. This motorcycle tour will wind in and out of Civil War history, follow the original Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, provide the opportunity to see some of the best known attractions in West Virginia. Copperhead’s Coil takes you through three different counties in the Potomac Highlands Region: Randolph, Pocahontas, and Pendleton.
Leaving Elkins on Rte. 219S, you will pass through the town of Beverly. Beverly was one of the first settlements west of the Alleghenies and dates back to the era of the American Revolutionary Way. Over a dozen pre-Civil War buildings still survive and some are open to the public as museums, shops, or dining establishments. Just five miles west of the town is the Rich Mountain Battlefield Civil War site. You can learn more of this battle and history of Randolph County at the Beverly Heritage Center.
Continuing further on 219 S you will follow the Tygart River Valley once you reach Huttonsville. From here you have options. You can continue straight on US 250 twisting up Cheat Mountain. This is an shorter alternative route which will take you past Mower Tract, Cheat Summit Fort, Gaudineer Scenic Area towards Durbin. Or, you can turn right to stay on US 219 S towards Snowshoe.
Rte. 219 S will take you past Kumbrabow State Forest, West Virginia’s highest forest at 3,930 feet, towards Snowshoe. Make a short detour to the top of Snowshoe Mountain Resort where the view is breathtaking. Resume your ride on Rte. 66 E to the town of Cass, a quaint coal and timber town where you can experience one of the last coal operated scenic trains.
From Cass you will travel north on Rte. 28 to Green Bank. Green Bank is a national radio quiet zone and home to the largest fully steerable telescope in the world. The Green Bank Science Center is a stop well worth your time.
Continue to the town of Bartow. At this point in your ride, you have another option, you can either take Rte. 250 back to Elkins or continue on Rte. 28 N past Bartow and pick up Rte. 33 at Judy Gap. This will take you near the attractions Spruce Knob, Seneca Caverns, and Seneca Rocks. All three are worth the stop while visiting the area.
Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia, is about 12 miles from Judy Gap via Forest Rd. 112. Here, you can take a 1/2 mile walking trail to the observation tower that provides a photo-worthy shot of the valley below.
Seneca Caverns is an underground cavern located on your way towards Seneca Rocks from Spruce Knob. The bizarre-looking formations of minerals look like a scene from a lost world of an old science fiction movie.
Seneca Rocks, about 7 miles away from the caverns, is one of the best known landmarks in the state of West Virginia. Seneca Rocks Discovery Center is a great place to start your visit. The center, located at the base of the rocks, has a majestic view of the vertical wall or hike to the top to the observation deck.
Now its time to head back to base camp. Follow Rte. 33 W towards Harman and continue to Elkins to finish the trip. Also once you pass Harman, there is a spectacular overlook on your left after you make the climb called Rich Mountain.
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