Scenic Drives, West Virginia Edition
If you're anything like me, sometimes the mood hits and you just want to get in the car and go. I love those kinds of adventures, an epic playlist serving as the soundtrack to this adventure is a must.
For me, the road is just another way for me to experience the freedom in life I so desperately crave. These adventures are where I get refreshed and renewed, they captivate my curiosity and propel me forward with enthusiasm and genuine happiness. This is why I am so quick to suggest a road trip or scenic drive to anyone looking for a little adventure.
So, with all that being said, let me introduce you to an absolutely stunning scenic drive that I think will leave you feeling all sorts of ways. I present to you the Highland Scenic Highway of West Va.
Truthfully, I found West Virginia incredibly beautiful at almost every turn, but there is absolute magic in the Monongahela National Forest of WV that you must go and experience for yourself. I can't stress this enough, you definitely need to go there.
Located in Pocahontas County, WV, Route 150 is a 22.5 miles long north-south state highway. The road is intended to meander the mountain ridges that reach elevations up to 4,545 ft. It is important to note the roadway is not maintained in the winter months but is also not technically closed. It is a higher elevation and they do get plenty of snow. The road is oftentimes traveled by snowmobiles during the winter, so use caution.
Our first view along this route was at night and I could tell then it would be incredible in the morning.
The route has several pull-off points, all of which are accompanied by pretty incredible mountain views, which include the Allegany mountain range. I will also add no two stoping points are alike. Hiking trails are abundant off the route and vary in difficulty and distance. I would advise you to check out map kiosks located near the parking areas before venturing out on a hike to know exactly what you're getting into.
Some pull-off locations offer picnic tables or benches. Big Spruce Overlook has an educational/informative boardwalk that sheds light on the unfortunate consequences of irresponsible timber practices which ultimately led to a destructive forest fire that obliterated an area, leaving it barren for decades.
While the boardwalk is a short walk and not difficult at all, there is also access to the Black Mountain Trail and the Williams River Overlook. The Black Mountain Trail is a bit rugged and steep, not a leisurely stroll in the least, it is not rated (E) for everyone.
If hiking is your jam, the trails are plentiful here off the highway and vary in difficulty and distance. I would suggest reading the trail sign kiosks before departing and making sure you do have the essentials for adventure. The weather is known to change rapidly here. We experienced the craziest weather here, we barely missed being pummeled by one of the craziest storms we've ever encountered as we fled the trail here.
For food and lodging, head on up to Snowshoe. To learn more about Snowshow click the link below.
Other notable sites along the route include the Cranberry Glades Nature Preserve/ Botanical Are, which I highly recommend. Click the link here to learn more. https://www.averagelycurious.com/post/cranberry-glades-botanical-area-w-va
The Cranberry Nature Center is worth the stop, here you can get lots of information, and do a small hike around the facility. There is also access to the Pocohauntus Trail, picnic shelters, etc. Inside is a great place to pick up small snacks and gifts and learn more about the animals in the area.
Happy adventures my friends, don't forget to buckle up and make sure whoever is driving has a good taste in music.
As always, keep it safe, keep it cool, and stay curious.