The winding mountain passes and back country roads make West Virginia a perfect location to plan a scenic road trip. Whether you plan to tour through West Virginia on a motorcycle, car, or RV, you can spend days exploring the beautiful countryside as well as taking in some really neat cultural and historical sites. We spent some time based out of Snowshoe, WV and Pocahontas County and have put together this road trip planner for West Virginia scenic drives that is sure to satisfy your wanderlust.
If you are planning on taking some scenic drives through West Virginia, I highly recommend basing your trip in or around the mountain town of Snowshoe, WV. While it’s most popular for it’s skiing and other winter activities, Snowshoe and the surrounding area in Pocahontas County is host to quite a few summer activities as well as lots of concerts and festivals. You should also check out our list of Road Trip Essentials to make sure you have all the gear you need for a great road trip.
West Virginia Scenic Drive #1 – The Highland Scenic Highway
Total Distance: 150 Miles
Key Stops: Highland Scenic Highway, Cranberry Glades, Falls of Hills Creek
Main Routes: HWY 150, HWY 55, HWY 15
Covering about 150 miles of road, the Highland Scenic Highway road trip will take you along the entire scenic route while also hooking you back into the Snowshoe area without covering any of the same ground twice. This route features a beautiful mix of terrain and is a great way to enjoy the area year round. Simply follow Highway 219 South out of Snowshoe, and then head West when you see the entrance to Highway 150.
Continue along the Highway and take in some fantastic views.
Make sure to plan a stop at the Cranberry Glades as well as checking out the Falls of Hills Creek. The road leads you into a gentle valley that’s a true pleasure to cruise through.
Once hitting Richwood, head North towards Craigsville, and then continue to Webster Springs. From there pick up WV 15 to Highway 219 South and back to Snowshoe. I recommend you pack a lunch for this trip and enjoy it while on the Highland Scenic Highway at one of the rest areas. If not, you can find places to eat in one of the small towns you pass through.
West Virginia Scenic Drive 2 – The High Road via
Total Distance: 176 Miles
Key Stops: Buckhannon, Elkins, Holly River State Park, WV Wildlife Center
Main Routes: HWY 219, HWY 33
This drive takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside you’ll ever see. Winding roads, farmland, and wide open spaces will fill your wind shield as you cruise along. Begin by heading North on Highway 219 until you hit the town of Valley Head. From there cruise out to Webster Springs on HWY 15 and then Head North on HWY 20 to Buckhannon. This is a great place to stop and eat and gas up, if you’re not ready yet, you can continue to Elkins by heading East on HWY 33 and find plenty of grub & gas there.
After Elkins, head South on HWY 219 and return to Snowshoe. Key attractions on the route include Holly River State Park and the WV Wildlife Center. While you’re on HWY 219 make sure to keep your eyes peeled and see how many Mail Pouch Tobacco barns you can spot. :-)
West Virginia Scenic Drive 3 – The Grand Loop
Total Distance: 185 Miles
Key Stops: Cass Scenic Rail Road, Green Bank Telescope, Watoga State Park, Droop Mountain Battlefield
Main Routes: HWY 219, Route 66, HWY 92
By far the most action packed route, this is one scenic drive you’d have to road trip twice in order to take in all the activities listed. If you do it twice, I suggest going in one direction one day and then reversing it the second time around. Begin your trip by heading out of Snowshoe and heading East on WV Route 66. This will take you through some really nice small back roads and right into the first attraction, Cass Scenic Rail Road. While in Cass you can stop and eat, and take in the train station. I highly recommend the train ride as well, but that’ll set you back about 2 hours.
Once you wrap up with Cass you can continue on Route 66 out to HWY 92. If you want to check out the Green Bank Telescope at the NRAO Head North on 92 and you can’t miss it.
If not bear South towards Dunmore, and continue South until you hit the Junction to HWY 39. Here you have a couple of choices. If you spent a lot of time at Cass and NRAO you can cut West on 39 into Marlinton, WV and then back up 219 to return to Snowshoe. If you are making the full drive in one day, head East on HWY 39 towards Warm Springs, VA. From there take 220 South until you hit I-64. You can then take the Interstate through to White Sulfur Springs and into Lewisburg. This is a larger town and has a ton of options for food and fuel.
After leaving Lewisburg, head North on HWY 219. While on HWY 219 keep a look out for Watoga State Park, and Droop Mountain State Park. Watoga is a lovely state park and a nice spot to stretch your legs and explore. You could easily spend half a day there.
Droop Mountain is a key Civil War Site and has some neat historical artifacts. The key attraction though is the lookout tower that gives you spectacular views of the valley.
Hwy 219 Northbound will take you through Marlinton, WV which is a lovely small town with a couple great places to see. If you want some grub, stop in at the Greenbrier Grill, and grab a seat on the deck right on the Greenbrier River . If you love music, take a look at the Pocahontas County Opera House, as they have some truly fantastic local music performances. Marlinton is also home to many of the area’s festivals. If you find yourself planning a fall trip, make sure to check out the Road Kill Cook-off, it’s a must-see. From Marlinton Head North on HWY 219 and return to Snowshoe.
West Virginia Scenic Drive 4 – The Mega Loop: Western West Virginia
Total Distance: 253 Miles
Key Stops: New River Gorge, Beckley, WV
Main Routes: Interstate 64, HWY 55, HWY 219
This last loop is definitely not for the faint of heart, as it takes you on a 250 mile journey that includes a bit over 5 hours of driving. This trip can easily be split in half and be done over 2 days by stopping for a night in the middle. Take HWY 219 South, until you see Highway 55 and head West towards Summersville, WV. Once there you’ll hit HWY 19 and you can take that South until you hit the New River Gorge Bridge. The landscapes on this drive are absolutely incredible, and the bridge itself is a sight to see. It’s also home to the annual Bridge Day Festival.
From here you can continue South to Beckley, WV which is a perfect half way point to stop and eat or spend the night. If you do stay in Beckley, stop in at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine for a cool historical tour.
On your way out of town make sure to stop in at Tamarak, so see some of West Virginia’s best local arts and crafts. There’s also a food court there that features one of the best fried green tomato sandwiches I’ve ever had. From Beckley, you can take I-64 back to Lewisburg, and then head North on HWY 219 and make your way back to Snowshoe, WV.
Now that you know all the cool attractions you can see while visiting Pocahontas County, WV check out their featured events calendar to see when you want to book your scenic drive road trip. If you are looking for more activities in the area, you should also take a look at the Mountain Music Trail.
It features a series of musical performances focusing on the local sound in different bars and restaurants in the area. We had a chance to take in a show at the Fiddlehead located right at the base of Snowshoe mountain and really enjoyed it. The restaurant has great food and it’s a fun locals’ hang out.
With plenty of sightseeing and lots of unique activities, Southern West Virginia is a fantastic place to head out for cruising and riding. Even if you are just planning a road trip passing through the area, taking one of these scenic drives through West Virginia would be well worth the time and effort.
You should also check out our list of Road Trip Essentials to make sure you have all the gear you need for a great road trip.
Where to Stay in the Snowshoe, WV area
10 Snowshoe Drive
Snowshoe, WV 26209
- Located in the Village, Studios and Condos, NOT Pet Friendly
Silver Creek RD
Snowshoe, WV 26209
- Pet Friendly, Located Near the Village, Studios and Condos, Wi-Fi