Birdeye BendMountaineer Country awaits you! Explore the beauty of the northern part of the state on this roadtrip, taking Route 7 Morgantown through Elkins, Clarksburg and looping back to Morgantown on Route 20.
Birdeye Bend stretches 173.4 miles across Mountaineer Country. Enjoy sweeping views on this 4-hour and 19-minute round-trip drive.
Depending on your cell phone carrier, you might encounter spotty service on this scenic trek. Don’t forget to download this region for offline use on your smartphone before exploring our country roads.
Birdeye Bend is accessible for both cars and motorcycles.
Ready to hit the road? Use the button below to view the detailed directions and to send this itinerary directly to Google Maps on your smartphone.
Kick off your drive on Route 7 in Morgantown, home of Mountaineer Country, at the Coopers Rock State Forest overlook before heading to Kingwood on curve-hugging, two-lane roads. Walk through trails of beautiful flora and fauna at the West Virginia Botanical Garden or the West Virginia University Core Arboretum. To help fuel your trip, grab a burrito with a twist at Black Bear Burritos and a signature maple latte from The Grind on your way out. Traveling south through the Potomac Highlands, make sure to grab your camera for some breathtaking views. If you need to rest your head, Modern Homestead Guest House in Reedsville has five immaculate guest suites available.
Travel back to quiet, simpler times in the heart of Preston County at your next stop in Kingwood. Pass by long stretches of farmland and spend some time at the historic McGrew House. Once you’ve taken in the local views and worked up an appetite, try some delicious Appalachian buckwheat cakes, which can be found at nearly every diner, including the Down Home Diner. Monroe’s, a town favorite, offers delicious steak and seafood options for those looking for a more hardy meal. For the car enthusiast at heart, Westbrook’s restored Esso station hosts a collection of relics from the booming age of American motor transportation that you won’t want to miss. If you’re up for a detour before heading towards Parsons, take a walk through the towering hemlock trees at Cathedral State Park.
Lovers of American history should be sure to make a stop in Rowlesburg on their way to Parsons. This southern Preston County town is home to several historic must-see exhibits within its Szilagyi Center, including a Railroad Heritage Museum and The Greatest Generation World War II Museum. If you pass through on the weekend, a stop by Cannon Hill Park will surely give you your fill of scenic views and Civil War history. Those hoping to split their Birdeye Bend adventure into a multi-day trek can enjoy a lovely night’s rest at the River House Lodge, a beautifully restored Victorian mansion.
Home of the Tucker County Seat and hosting three sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, there are stories waiting at every corner in Parsons. If you are a fan of historic architecture, the beautiful Tucker County Courthouse, Tucker County Bank and the Western Maryland Depot are sights to behold. While you’re here, find your new favorite brew at Stumptown Ales or Mountain State Brewing Co. Don’t forget to stop at Mountain State Honey Co. on your way out for some delicious locally sourced honey and treats. If you’re driving through in August, the annual Pickin’ in Parsons Bluegrass Festival is a five-day outdoor music event filled with food and craft vendors from all over the state. Looking for a bit of adventure? As you head into Parsons on Route 72, stop by Blackwater Outdoor Adventures for a relaxing tubing trip or white water rafting down the Cheat River.
Once you reach your halfway point in Elkins, it’s the perfect time to take a pit stop and stretch your legs. Take a walk through town and have your pick of local eateries, ranging from upscale cuisine at The Fork’s Inn, casual American fare at C.J. Maggies and Latin American fusion at El Gran Sabor. After you’ve refueled, hike along the many trails and scenic overlooks Elkins has to offer, such as the Fox Forest Wildlife Management Area trails maintained by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, or climb the Bickle Knob Observation Tower for a complete panoramic view of Randolph County. Before you hit the road, take a scenic ride by rail on the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad to see remote parts of the state hidden in the wilderness. This charming area is worth the drive.
Heading North on 250, you’ll make your way up to the small town of Philippi. The site of the first land battle of the Civil War, the town contains many historical remnants, such as the stately 23-room Adaland Mansion. The famed Philippi Covered Bridge, the only two-lane covered bridge in the federal highway system, leads into a beautiful downtown full of locally owned businesses. Stop into the local favorite, Molly’s Hand Dipped Ice Cream, for a delicious sweet treat before heading into Clarksburg. Find plenty of fishing spots at the 3,030-acre Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area for a small fee. If you’re visiting this quaint town in August, make sure to visit the annual Lurch Fest — a day filled with live music, craft beer, food and craft venders all celebrating Philippi native Ted Cassidy, best known for his role as Lurch in the 1960’s tv show, The Addams Family.
Your next stop is Clarksburg heading north on Route 20. Pay your respects at Veteran’s Memorial Park or take a stroll through Clarksburg’s Downtown Historic District where you can see the infamous Waldomore mansion that houses a variety of important local cultural and historical items. If you’re a fan of the arts, catch a show at the over 100-year-old Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center, or park yourself at the nearby Sunset Drive-In Theater. Artisanal treasures are plentiful at West Virginia Heritage Crafts, the state’s oldest artisan co-op offering everything from quilts to delicious jellies. Take a quick peek at the Civilian Conservation Corps museum next door before hitting the road.
On the final leg of the trip back towards Morgantown, pass through the city of Fairmont and prioritize out-of-this-world milkshakes at The Poky Dot or brush up on your history at Prickett’s Fort State Park. If you’re hungry for more, stop at Muriale’s Italian Kitchen for some classic Italian specialties before returning to the road. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the series of four cascading falls created by the dark rushing waters of the Tygart Valley River at Valley Falls State Park— where miles of hiking, biking and fishing spots surround the area. Once back in Morgantown, explore the town that Southern Living has dubbed “one of the South’s best small towns.” If you’re looking for a place to stay, Hotel Morgan offers the perfect balance of new and nostalgic.