This guide is intended to help travelers unfamiliar with the routes from the DC area to Elkins, WV. There are numerous shops, wineries, breweries, local eateries, hiking & biking trails, scenic overlooks, and countless other points of interest all along the way. By no means are we trying to list them all or making any form of judgement by listing them or not. A direct trip will be approx. 200 miles and take about 4 hours – however, should you find yourself with some time to spare, below are mentioned some of the more known stops along the way.
As this guide most likely applies to those flying in, we begin at Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Leaving Dulles head South on Rt28
You will soon pass by:
- Smithsonian Air & Space Museum’s Udvar – Hazy Center https://airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center
Continue South on Rt28 to I-66 West
Traveling I-66 West you pass by:
- Delaplane, VA where there are several wineries just off the highway including:
- Front Royal, VA where you can find:
Continue West on I-66 to I-81 South to Strasburg, VA to Rt 48/55 West to Wardensville, WV.
Wardensville, WV has:
- Lost River Trading Post … Craft Gallery / bakery / coffee shop
- Star Mercantile … Gift/Antique shop and eatery
Continue West on Rt 48/55 (Corridor H) to Moorefield, WV
From Moorefield, WV there are 3 primary routes to choose from:
1) Moorefield – Seneca Rocks – Harman – Elkins
2) Moorefield – Davis & Thomas – Harman – Elkins
3) Moorefield – Davis & Thomas – Parsons – Elkins
Moorefield – Seneca Rocks
Travel Rt220 South to Petersburg, WV then Rt28 South on to Seneca Rocks, WV. You pass along the South Branch of the Potomac River with several cabin rental companies and excellent trout fishing. On the way you pass by:
- Smoke Hole Caverns & Cabins … Commercial Cave
- Dolly Sods Wilderness Area – Eastern Access
Seneca Rocks – Harman
Travel Rt33 West to Harman crossing the Eastern Continental Divide and entering Randolph County, WV – home to the 2020 NSS Convention. This part of the drive takes you through the heart of Eastern WV.
Harman – Elkins
Travel Rt33 West into Elkins. Turn South on Rt219/250. In 2 miles turn right at the last traffic light onto Kennedy Dr and straight on to Elkins High School – Convention Headquarters. On the way you pass by:
- Still Hollow Spirits
Alpine Lodge in Alpena, WV where you can stop for a quick meal. This historic lodge has been a stop for cavers for decades… Not the least because it is directly across the road from Alpena cave! (An easy but very wet cave).
Also, along the way are a few local camping & hiking areas:
- Otter Creek Wilderness Area
- Bickle Knob Observation Tower
- Bear Heaven Recreation Area & Campground; a quiet spot with beautiful rocks to scramble on and get a clear view west to Elkins.
Moorefield – Davis & Thomas
Travel Rt48 West (Corridor H) to Davis & Thomas with spectacular scenery as you cut across the mountains toward Mount Storm lake. Pull off at the Scenic Overlook for a view back over the valley.
Davis & Thomas – Harman
Travel Rt32 South to Harman through a hidden Jewel of WV.
- Canaan Valley has miles of hiking & biking trails, restaurants, golfing, and beautiful scenery.
- Dolly Sods Wilderness Area – Western Access
Harman – Elkins
See Route #1
Moorefield – Davis & Thomas
See Route #2
Davis & Thomas – Parsons
Travel Rt219 South to Parsons.
- There is also a connection via the Blackwater Canyon and a small bit of the Allegheny Highland Trails.
On the way you pass by the
- Olson Observation Tower
Parsons – Elkins
Travel Rt219 South to Kerens where Corridor H resumes towards Elkins. Just North of Elkins turn off Corridor H and continue following Rt219/250 South for 5 miles to and through Elkins. Turn right at the last traffic light onto Kennedy Dr and straight on to Elkins High School – Convention Headquarters. On the way you are paralleled by:
- Allegheny Highland Trails.
Seneca Rocks, WV
In this area you can find:
- Seneca Rocks themselves
- Camping is available at Yokum’s across from the Rocks.
- Seneca Shadows campground.
There are 2 restaurants/stores in Seneca Rocks
- Harper’s and Yokum’s
And 2 rock climbing schools
Nearby Seneca Rocks:
- Try your hand at Via Ferrata … The “Iron Way” … at Nelson Rocks
- Seneca Caverns … Commercial Cave
- Spruce Knob Observation Tower … drive to the highest point in West Virginia
Davis & Thomas, WV
Corridor H brings you to the intersection where you can choose to go south to Davis, WV or West to Thomas, WV. In this area you can find:
Among the numerous good restaurants, brewpubs and craft shops!!…
- Try a Burrito at Hellbenders:
Stop in and get lunch or sit for dinner at a Caver owned Restaurant & Deli:
- Big Belly Deli and Muttley’s Steak house
- Have a Local WV beer at Stump Town Ales or Mountain State Brewing
- Sit in on some live Appalachian-based acoustic music at the Purple Fiddle
- Take a rest with kids and scramble / rock climb at Tucker Boulder Park.
Or if you desire to get out and see the scenery, head just out of town to Blackwater Falls State Park! Here you can camp, hike or just watch the amazing tannin colored waters of the Blackwater River flowing over the falls and down Blackwater Canyon. The short hike will take you down along the river and up to the lookout below the falls. The parking area has a shop with snacks and souvenirs of the park. There are also numerous other hiking trails and a few other falls within the park.
- Black Water Falls State Park