Capitol CircleImmerse yourself in the exciting adventures of southern West Virginia with this road trip along the Capitol Circle. Taking US Route 60 E you will witness our states beautiful Capitol city as well as culturally rich small towns and untamed mountains.
Capitol Circle will take you on a journey through just over 200 miles of the bustling Metro Valley. Experience the capital city and more on this nearly 6-hour 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.
Capitol Circle 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.
Rev your engines in the capital city of Charleston. Marvel at the murals downtown and explore the shops on beautiful Capitol Street. Make time to stop by Capitol Market, where local vendors sell everything from artisanal cheeses to blooming tulips. Start the day off on the right foot with a delicious brew from Mea Cuppa, located within the Capitol Market – where you can find an organic morning sip without an ounce of “coffee snobbery.” Once you are fueled up, the adventure starts at interstate on-ramp 96 as you pass the State Capitol along the banks of the Kanawha River and head east on US-60 towards Belle. Bonus: Make a quick pit stop before hopping on the interstate to immerse yourself in Mountain State history and culture, by stopping at the nearby West Virginia State Museum.
Hawks Nest State Park
As you approach Gauley Bridge, be sure to keep an eye out for the stunning Cathedral Falls and Kanawha Falls. Check into these roadside beauties with your West Virginia Waterfall Trail virtual passport and start earning prizes. Download your passport today to get started. Once you’ve passed through, be sure to stop in Ansted at the charming Chimney Corner Store & Cafe to grab a burger and a souvenir crafted by local artisans. Getting back on the road at Route 16 South, winding roads will take you to Hawk’s Nest State Park. This 270-acre park is best known for its scenic overlook, which provides sweeping gorge views at the end of a short paved pathway. Add an extra mode of transportation to your road trip with an adventure along the river with New River Jet Boats. Take the shuttle from Hawks Nest down to the river’s edge, where you can experience the gorge from within. After a boat ride to remember, hop back on the road and head towards the Canyon Rim Visitors Center.
After soaking up the view at Canyon Rim Visitors Center, head out for a bit of hiking to explore the nation’s newest national park: New River Gorge National Park & Preserve. No matter the time of year, this park is home to a wide variety of adventures including whitewater rafting, rock climbing and snowshoeing. Explore the town of Fayetteville and grab some of the best coffee and desserts in town at Cathedral Cafe, which was built out of a beautiful old church and a favorite among locals. On your way out, don’t forget to take in the scenic mountain views as you pass over the iconic New River Gorge Bridge.
Once you’ve finished taking in the New River Gorge Bridge, head down Route 19 towards the charming and booming town of Beckley. Although Beckley is surrounded by stunning rural farmland, it is also a commercial hub for shopping in southern West Virginia. The Tamarack Marketplace hosts more than 2,800 artists and artisans from around the state. Or if shopping is not your style, delight in delectable Appalachian-inspired cuisine prepared at the Tamarack’s very own restaurant. For those interested in local history, check out Exhibition Coal Mine where you can take a mine cart ride through what was once an operating coal mine. For outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Glade Creek trail follows an old rail line through a beautiful creek canyon, or enjoy a quick stroll at the Grandview Overlook.
For outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, Pineville provides the perfect combination of adventure and small-town atmosphere. Go for an ATV ride on the famous Hatfield McCoy Trails’ Pinnacle Creek Trailhead, or explore the town’s hidden gem, Castle Rock— a 165-foot sandstone cliff that towers over the town. At the nearby Twin Falls Resort State Park, discover the 25 miles of hiking and biking trails in the park or enjoy the fully functional Pioneer Farm, which offers park visitors a glimpse of what life was like on the frontier. Avid hunters and anglers can find more excitement at the R.D. Bailey Lake and Wildlife Management Area where trout are stocked annually. Before you leave, make sure to visit the beautiful namesake waterfalls at the park and check them off on your West Virginia Waterfall Trail virtual passport for prizes!
If you’re looking for some off-road adventure, make your way to the Hatfield-McCoy Trails that wind through this region, while offering well over 1,000 miles of trails across the state. If you’re looking to check off another state park from your list, visit the nearby Chief Logan State Park. While you’re there, be sure to check out downtown Logan before hitting Route 34 West to Hamlin. Let our country roads take you home on Route 60 as the Midland Trail passes towards Putnam County.
Before heading back to Charleston, make a quick stop in Putnam County to take your choice of the area’s limitless dinner options. If your adventure has you ready for a true comfort meal, Barnyard BBQ is the place to be – serving ribs, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese and more. Hoping for an artisanal slice? Belknap Dough Company serves up craft pizza flavor, fresh from their brick oven. Or check out Thai Valley Kitchen for fresh and authentic Thai flavors. Once you have had your fill, head back to the capital city just in time to catch the sunset over the Kanawha River.