Non-Caving Activities

— SOUTH of Convention —

FALLS OF HILLS CREEK [25]

The three Falls of Hills Creek are located about five miles west of the Cranberry Nature Center on State Route 39 (the turnoff is well marked). The first waterfall drops 20 feet, the second 45 feet, and the third 63 feet, making the lower waterfall one of the highest in the state. There is a walkway to the first fall that is paved and handicapped accessible, and there is a path (three-quarters of a mile long) and stairs leading to the third falls. This area—because of the falls and the surrounding gorge—is one of the most scenic and photographed in West Virginia. Hills Creek, below the three waterfalls, sinks on Droop Mountain north of the Friars Hole Cave System, and then reappears at both Locust Spring in Pocahontas County and the Spring Creek Cenotes in Greenbrier County.

GPS: 38.17859, -80.33903 (Parking area)

SNOWSHOE [26]

Snowshoe is located about one hour south of Dailey on U.S. 219. The resort itself is on the top of Cheat Mountain, and the turn-off is well marked. In winter, Snowshoe has 251 acres of skiable terrain with 1,500 feet of vertical and 57 trails. There are snowmobile, ATV, and snow cat tours, as well as a tube park. In summer, Snowshoe has ATV and Segway tours, horseback riding, hiking, lift rides, fly fishing, “shooting clays,” and a zip line (in the heart of Snowshoe Village). There is also the Split Rock Pool, the Gary Player Signature Raven Golf Course, and 40 mountain bike trails. Many restaurants and shops within the village are open year-round.

GPS: 38.41465, -80.03290 (Visitor Center at base of mountain)

CRANBERRY GLADES [27]

Together, the Cranberry Glades Wilderness and the Cranberry Glades Backcountry total about 52,000 acres. The two areas are located on the headwaters of the Cranberry River, about one hour south of Elkins on U.S. 219 and the West Virginia Scenic Highway. The Cranberry is one of the two major backpacking and day-hiking areas within West Virginia, and one of the largest wildernesses east of the Mississippi. It includes the entire drainage of the Middle Fork of the Williams River and the North Fork of the Cranberry River, with elevations that vary between 2,400 and 4,600 feet. There are about 75 miles of trails, with excellent fishing along both rivers. In addition, a part of the Backcountry is a black bear preserve. The trails are not marked or blazed within the Wilderness, and signs are only found at trail junctions. The Cranberry is located on the Lobelia, Fork Mountain, Webster Springs Southeast, Webster Springs Southwest, Woodrow, and Hillsboro USGS 7.5-minute topographical maps.

The Cranberry Mountain Visitor Center is located at the junction of State Route 39 and the Highland Scenic Highway, and is open from 9AM to 5 PM between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There is also a 750-acre botanical area located about one mile west of the Center. This contains a half-mile long boardwalk and several large high-altitude bogs that are more typical of Canada than of West Virginia.

38.19784, -80.27516 (Parking lot)

HIGHLAND SCENIC HIGHWAY [28]

The Highland Scenic Highway is located about one hour south of Dailey. The northern terminus is on U.S. 219 at the top of Elk Mountain, which is about 10 miles south of the turnoff for Snowshoe. The highway leads southwest, and its southern terminus is at the Cranberry Mountain Visitors Center on State Route 39. It is 23 miles long, and provides fine views and access to Stony Creek, Tea Creek, Laurel Creek, Williams River, Cranberry River, and Swago Creek.

GPS: 38.30668, -80.09437 (Northern terminus)
38.18392, -80.25361 (Southern terminus)