Just around 40 miles east of Huntington, Charleston, West Virginia’s state capitol, is filled with interesting and exciting cultural activities. The Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences has many learning exhibits geared towards children as well as a theater, planetarium, art gallery, and a café. In downtown Charleston, the brand new Appalachian Power Baseball Park is stunning crowds with its intimate layout that makes visitors feel like they are right in the middle of the game. Once an old train depot, Capitol Market now offers visitors a chance to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. During the holiday season, the marketplace is overrun with Christmas trees and wreaths available for sale. Of course no trip is complete without seeing the stunning State Capitol. This marble-laden work of art is complete with an amazing gold-leaf dome making it one of the most beautiful state capitols in the nation.
All throughout West Virginia’s Midland Trail there are places to stop and enjoy a piece of our state and nation’s history. In St. Albans, visitors can take a stroll on the Historic St. Albans Sidewalk Tour and see the over 140-year-old St. Mark’s Episcopal Church as well as the Gothic Revival-styled Turner/Callihan House. In Institute, West Virginia State University was first started as an institution for the education of African-Americans in 1890. Booker T. Washington’s boyhood home can be seen in Malden as well as West Virginia’s oldest African-American Baptist church. Further east at Glen Ferris, the Glen Ferris Inn was once used as a stopover for future President Andrew Jackson and John Tyler on their way to Washington, DC.
Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park is a living monument to the more than 500 mills that thrived in West Virginia at the turn of the century. Lewisburg was the site of a Civil War battle on May 23, 1862, and is encompassed by a 235-acre historic district in the heart of the city. White Sulphur Springs is home to Oakhurst Links, which dates back to 1884 and is the oldest organized golf club in the United States. Also in White Sulphur Springs is The Greenbrier, a luxurious world-famous resort that represents two centuries of history with classic architecture, exquisite design, a carefully sculpted landscape, plush amenities and impeccable service.
Opportunities for Recreation
Not far from Glen Ferris, Gauley Bridge’s Cathedral Falls Park gives visitors a chance to see a wonderful little waterfall near the site where the New and Gauley Rivers merge to form the Kanawha River. Moving eastward, Hawks Nest State Park is close to both the New and Gauley River making it the place to stay after a day of rock climbing, whitewater rafting, or horseback riding. Hawk’s Nest is also within a few miles of the New River Gorge Bridge – the longest single span bridge in the Western Hemisphere. In Caldwell, hikers and bikers love the Greenbrier River Trail. This rail-trail was once part of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, but now its tunnels and bridges are open to hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The easy grades on this 77-mile trail are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.. The great thing about the Midland Trail is that motorists can really get a feel for all that West Virginia has to offer. There are so many historical sites, recreational activities, and picturesque views along the way, every member of the family can find something to enjoy. While this old buffalo path may have become paved and more travel-worthy, its fascinating journey through a countryside filled with stories will always remain intact.