Travel day to West Virginia and your first stop at The Potomac Eagle. The historic Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad is one of America's most beautiful train rides. For three hours enjoy a narrated excursion through a tranquil and pristine mountain valley. View historic farms and lush mountain greenery. Around every curve you are rewarded with the splendor of native wildflowers, evergreens, and mixed hardwoods in an unspoiled countryside environment. Experience "The Trough," a spectacular narrow mountain valley. Below you runs the South Branch of the Potomac River, where the water is so clear that you can see fish as they lie resting in the shade. Above you the high mountain walls and thick forest help keep a secret few have discovered.
You have entered a sacred place, the eastern home of our magnificent national symbol, the American Bald Eagle. These majestic birds soar high above in their natural habitat, undisturbed by the low rumblings of the occasional train and the passengers who have come for a sighting. Don't be surprised to see these superb flyers swooping overhead in pursuit of prey or gliding gently across the blue mountain skies as if to flaunt their supremacy of the air. Bring your cameras for a great family outing. History and scenic beauty combine for an awesome travel experience.
Next stop is at Blackwater Falls State Park. Plunging from a height of five stories, the Blackwater River cuts a deep canyon that dominates this beautiful, densely wooded park. A guided tour of the area explains the geological and historical significance of the Blackwater River. Relax at Canaan Valley Resort State Park. Following dinner, local entertainment will delight everyone as you share the photos and stories of the day.
After a scenic ride you will have a quick stop at Harper’s General Store to stretch and refresh. Next up is Seneca Rocks - this must-see, 900-foot tall strata of Tuscarora sandstone dates to the Silurian Age. Part of the Monongahela National Forest and known for their scenic beauty, the rocks are considered by many climbers to be the best in the East, but you need not be a seasoned hiker to hike the gentle “Granny Trail.” The visitors center at the base features interactive learning exhibits.
Listen to outer space in the hills of West Virginia you say? Why not! Explore the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Jutting prominently from the landscape, the huge radio telescopes of this observatory appear strangely out of place in the quiet countryside as they listen for signs of life in outer space. The largest fully steerable radio telescope in the world is located here.
Be forever wild at Snowshoe Mountain. This four-season resort boasts West Virginia’s largest developed skiing and snowboarding operation with a large number of slopes and trails. Mountain bikers have their choice of numerous dedicated mountain bike trails.
Enjoy Cass Scenic Railroad State Park dinner train this evening. Antique lumber trains powered by massive Shay steam locomotives carry passengers past panoramic mountain views to the summit of Bald Knob, the state’s third highest peak. The turn-of-the-century town is one of the best preserved lumber company towns in the U.S., complete with an old General Store and neighboring specialty shops.
Overnight at Snowshoe Mountain and get ready for the trip home with happy memories and future plans.