Summertime in the mountains doesn’t get any better than in Randolph County. As the Basecamp of the Monongahela National Forest and a biking epicenter, there are endless ways to spend the long summer days losing track of time on our trails and in our rivers. Spend a day discovering our small towns as you take a scenic driving tour around our county, or experience our heritage firsthand with a train ride into our mountains. Wind down for the evening at an outdoor concert or on the patio of a local restaurant, as you enjoy the live music, the refreshing evening breeze, and a great view. All the possibilities can be overwhelming when planning a trip, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together an itinerary with various kinds of activities to help you plan your trip to Randolph County, West Virginia.
After checking in at your accommodation, make the Elkins Depot Welcome Center your first stop. Speak with one of our knowledgeable volunteers about any special events or activities taking place during your stay and browse through information on local and regional attractions. GPS isn’t always reliable in the mountains, but the Welcome Center has various maps to select from to easily get you around our county.
After traveling all day, you are probably ready to get outside and stretch your legs. Bickle Knob Observation Tower, a short drive from Elkins, offers a stunning panoramic view of the mountains and valleys. If you brought your bike, the Allegheny Highlands Rail Trail starts at the Welcome Center and extends 26 miles. Make your way back to Elkins and relax in Big Timber Brewing’s tap room with a locally crafted beverage before choosing any of our local eateries for dinner. Get a good night’s sleep to be ready for Day 2 of adventure!
If your accommodation doesn’t offer breakfast, head into downtown Elkins for a generous breakfast from Scottie’s, a lighter breakfast from Side Tracks Café, or a donut and coffee from Byrd’s House of Donuts. There are also several coffeehouses to start your day with a cup of joe or tea. All of these options are located within a few minutes from the Elkins Depot so you will have plenty of time to catch you 11 o’clock New Tygart Flyer train excursion (advance reservations highly recommended). Spend the afternoon in a climate-controlled car riding the rails through the lush green Monongahela National Forest up to the High Falls of the Cheat. No need to worry about lunch, it is served on the train.
Once you return to the depot, take a stroll next door and visit the West Virginia Railroad Museum and the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center to learn more about our forest and railroad heritage you just experienced firsthand. Spend the rest of the day walking Downtown Elkins, browsing the specialty stores and the public art or see a Branson-style evening show at the Gandy Dancer Dinner Theatre.
Set out on scenic driving tour of our small towns. Information on routes can be picked up at the Welcome Center. Helvetia is hidden in a high mountain valley and celebrates its Swiss and German roots with various events throughout the year. Harman is home to one of the few functioning gristmills in the state and a farm-to-bottle distillery, Still Hollow Spirits. Don’t miss the historic town of Beverly and nearby Rich Mountain Battlefield. Visit the Beverly Heritage Center to learn more about the role the town played in the first campaign of the Civil War, as well as other significant local history. Philippi, in neighboring Barbour County, is home to the well-known Philippi Mummies and the oldest, longest covered bridge in WV. Davis and Thomas, located to the north in Tucker County, have downtown art galleries and various niche shops. A day spent exploring our mountain towns also makes for a good rainy-day alternative.
Wrap up your trip by recharging in nature before returning to your regular scheduled programming of work, running kids to activities, and the general busyness of life. Rent an innertube and float down the Shavers Fork River, hike the trails or have a picnic at Kumbrabow State Forest, mountain bike the newly constructed Mower Tract Basin trails, catch fish at Spruce Knob Lake, or hang a hammock at Stuart Recreation Area. End the day at Bickle Knob or Spruce Knob both of which offer great vantage points for a stunning cotton candy sunset.
We have the amenities and activities to keep you as busy (or not!) as you’d like. With a diverse range of interests, from outdoor recreation to history, you can tailor the Randolph County experience to you. We invite you to cool off in our mountains and make Randolph County your destination of choice this summer.
- Check our calendar of events at ElkinsRandolphWV.com to plan your trip around events happening in our county
- Follow Elkins Depot Welcome Center on Facebook or Instagram for weekly posts about what’s happening every weekend
- Make the Elkins Depot Welcome Center your first stop so you can pick up area information and maps
- Book your train tickets in advance at mountainrail.com or calling 304-636-9477
- Remember to Recreate Randolph Responsibly to take care of our area for the continued enjoyment of all (pick up info on how at the Welcome Center)