Tygart Valley Area
ALLEGHENY HIGHLANDS TRAIL
The Allegheny Highlands Trail is an old West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railroad that connected Parsons and Elkins. The trail is 25.5 miles long, has a gravel and pavement surface, crosses U.S. 219 twice, and goes over Pheasant Mountain at the Randolph-Tucker County line. This is the closest rail trail to Old Timers, and it requires about three hours to bike. The ride requires a car shuttle, and be aware that, because Leading Creek (in Randolph County) is at a higher elevation than the Dry Fork (in Tucker County), riding north to south involves a lot more uphill than downhill when crossing Pheasant Mountain. The southern trail head is located about a mile north of the western U.S. Routes 219 and 33 intersection, on the east side of 219. The northern trail head is located about 100 yards south of the stoplight in Parsons, south of the McDonalds, on the east side of Route 219.
39.09537, -79.68007 (Northern end)
38.93886, -79.85367 (Southern end)
Beverly is not only the historical county seat of Randolph County, but is also the oldest West Virginia town west of the Allegheny Mountains. Its main street was at one time the Parkersburg-Staunton Turnpike, a 19th Century stagecoach road that was the major highway through central Virginia. In the winter of 1865, one of the last large successful Confederate raids of the American Civil War was to Beverly, when two veteran Union Cavalry regiments were captured virtually intact. These solders were marched, some in their underwear and barefoot, to prisoner-of-war camps in eastern Virginia. Beverly was also the home to Stonewall Jackson’s sister, who was a staunch supporter of the Union. The Randolph County Historical Museum and the Beverly Heritage Center are located in downtown Beverly at the corner of U.S. 219 and Main Street.
38.84089, -79.87529 (Downtown)
CHEAT MOUNTAIN SALAMANDER
This is a diesel-powered train that departs form Elkins. The train travels east and under Cheat Mountain in an S-shaped tunnel, and then turns north and goes up the Shavers Fork. There are 6.5- and 9-hour-long rides, and the longer one leaves Elkins at 9 AM and is 128 miles long. It stops at both the High Falls of the Cheat and the ghost town of Spruce (where there is nothing left but foundations). There are many chances to see wildlife, including bald eagles and black bears. The cost is $75 for kids and $85 for adults and reservations are required. Call 877-686-7245 or visit mountainrailwv. com for more information.
38.92510, -79.85082 (Train station)
Elkins is the county seat of Randolph County. It has many shops and restaurants, is the headquarters of the Monongahela National Forest (where you can purchase maps and pick up pamphlets on various outdoor things to do), and is the home to Davis and Elkins College, a small liberal arts college.
38.91725, -79.84314 (U.S. 219/U.S. 33 junction)
38.92861, -79.84413 (Forest Service office)