New River-Greenbrier Valley Region
Mining, Boating, Caving and Trailing
Travel 1500 feet underground at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and become a miner for a day. Above ground, check out life in the historic coal town’s school, church and houses. Visit the Youth Museum where kid-friendly exhibits take place year-round. The museum is made up of four railroad boxcars and includes a planetarium where kids can search the universe. Admission covers both exhibits. Learn more about the inhabitants and places of West Virginia while playing some golf at Mountain State Miniature Golf. Each hole has a local point of interest of West Virginia and a sign explaining it, along with weird but true facts about the state. Dine at one of Beckley’s restaurants such as Pasquale’s, Young Cows or The Char for dinner.
Get lost in an area of mystery and captivating views in Fayette County. Your first stop is one that will leave you a little mystified. At Mystery Hole you will see some of the strangest happenings. Here, the laws of gravity are not followed and once you visit, you will never be the same. The attraction is open from April to October and offers 15-20 minute tours. Next, travel to Hawks Nest State Park where you can spend the rest of the day being an outdoor explorer. Ride the aerial tram and come to a stop at the shore of the second oldest river in the world, New River. Take a jet boat ride upstream and see the famous New River Gorge Bridge from underneath its 876 feet height. Jet boat rides are 25-30 minutes long. If you’re up for it, when you step off the boat, take a 1 mile scenic hike to Mill Creek Falls. Then head back to the park and tour the Canyon Rim Visitor Center, which includes exhibits on the area’s history, more views of the gorge and bridge from the observation decks and scheduled children’s activities.
The last stop on your road trip is Greenbrier County at Lost World Caverns or Organ Cave. In Lost World Caverns you’ll see such formations as a snowy chandelier, a bridal veil and war club. Above ground, dinosaurs are waiting in the site’s museum. At Organ Cave, explore the 29th largest cave in the world. Get the whole experience with bat sightings and civil war history. Head to downtown Lewisburg for shopping and lunch at one of a number of original and well-known restaurants. After your appetite has been filled, choose between hiking, biking or horseback riding on the Greenbrier River Trail. It’s a path about 79 miles long that stretches from Caldwell to the town of Cass in Pocahontas County. People traveling its trail can stop for leisure at a number of bed and breakfasts, small towns and swimming holes. It’s mostly flat and winds its way through the Monongahela National Forest and other state parks. Finish off your day with a star-studded WV Sky Tour 20 miles north of Lewisburg. Families can schedule an outing with amateur astronomer David Buhrman and travel to his favorite “dark site,” which offers a clear view of the night sky. Explore the galaxy with telescopes and TV monitors. Daytime tours to watch the sun are also available.