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DRIVE TRIP

West Virginia Mountains

344.7 miles: 7 hours, 55 minutes

Aptly nicknamed the Mountain State, West Virginia derives much of its splendor from the Appalachian mountain system in which it lies. On this scenic drive, thick forests, tumbling streams, rushing rivers, rocky gorges and verdant valleys are guaranteed to invigorate your senses and quench your thirst for adventure travel.

1

White Sulphur Springs to Elkins

118.5 miles: 2 hours, 53 minutes

Courtesy of Pocahontas County Convention & Visitors Bureau

As I-64 negotiates Appalachian ridges, the palette of forest greens blurs to a smoky blue in the distance. For almost its entire length to Elkins, US 219 is a scenic byway running through the Monongahela National Forest. The road tunnels through trees that are alive with new growth in spring, lush and green in summer, and resplendently colorful in fall.

Recommended Stops

2

Elkins to Clarksburg

72.3 miles: 1 hours, 58 minutes

West Virginia State Parks

US 250 parallels the Tygart Valley River most of the way; it crosses the river and joins US 119 in the town of Philippi and then continues through rolling countryside to US 50. Clarksburg, the birthplace of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, has a downtown historic district that’s ripe for exploration.

3

Clarksburg to Summersville

96.1 miles: 1 hours, 38 minutes

Getty Images/C Borland-PhotoLink

I-79 is a particularly pretty route in the fall, when the mountains of central West Virginia are ablaze with color. On the segment of US 19 between I-79 and SR 55, the mountainsides are blanketed with trees, and when the highway ascends a ridge the view below is a sea of deep green, perhaps punctuated by a lone white farmhouse or red silo.

4

Summersville to Beckley

57.9 miles: 1 hours, 26 minutes

flickr/Dennis Deitrick

En route to Beckley, US 19 passes by Summersville Lake. The largest in the state, this lake has more than 60 miles of shoreline and more than 28,000 acres of water offering all sorts of recreational opportunities. SR 16 is part of the 187-mile Coal Heritage Trail through southern West Virginia’s smokeless coal region.

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