Elkins

Authentic by nature. With a history steeped in logging and rail, Elkins embodies the spirit of the rugged eastern frontier. This mountain town on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest is a mecca for sportsmen and other outdoor enthusiasts who come to the area to fish, hunt, bike and hike. Elkins also is a cultural hub, serving as home to several theaters, art galleries, and even a school devoted to the preservation of traditional music and dance.

Dining

Dining options are as varied as lodging, ranging from the upscale cuisine of The Forks Inn to the casual American fare of C.J. Maggie’s and even the Latin American fusion of El Gran Sabor. Pay homage to Elkins’ lumberjack history with a cold brew at Big Timber Brewing Company. If you are looking for delicious home-cooked Italian comfort food served with sincere friendliness in comfortable surroundings, visit Mama Mia’s Pie and Pasta. 

Entertainment

Trains have long been a form a transportation but now these excursions have become more of a leisure activity. The Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad has delighted guests for over 20 years. Explore some of the most rugged corners of the Appalachian Mountains in a steam-powered locomotive. A variety of trips ranging from two-hour jaunts to four-hour dinner expresses will be perfect for a family outing. The Randolph County Community Arts Center hosts art exhibits, classes, concerts and other special events. The Augusta Heritage Center at Davis & Elkins College preserves traditional Appalachian music, dance, craft and folklore. And Gandy Dancer Theatre hosts Branson-style variety shows with dinner.

Shopping

Elkins has its fair share of eclectic shops and storefronts, too. Artists At Work showcases the work of more than 20 of the region’s premier makers of fine art and fine craft. The Elkins Farmers Market brings a diverse collection of the freshest produce, meats, eggs, baked goods, crafts and more to the Elkins community. Hiawatha’s offers handcrafted Native Americans items like quivers, arrows, peace pipes, and pottery, along with Native American music, dolls, moccasins and western boots.

Recreation

The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad is the home of Mountain Rail Adventures which offers scenic train rides and special event trains aboard the New Tygart Flyer, Cheat Mountain Salamander and Durbin Rocket.

Hike or bike along the Allegheny Highlands Trail, a 24.5-mile trail that follows the original route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway and passes through several small towns and farmlands. Elkins is situated at the entrance of the Monongahela National Forest, with nearly a million acres to explore. Nearby Kumbrabow State Forest also offers numerous hiking trails and scenic overlooks. 

History

The West Virginia Railroad Museum, located in the historic Darden Mill, pays respect to the state’s railroad history. The Darden Mill was an operating grain mill from 1902 – 1943. This educational museum preserves the history through a collection of artifacts, photographs and memorabilia. To experience true Swiss culture, take a short drive to the town of Helvetia, where the mountains perfectly preserved the culture of the Swiss immigrants who called it home. 

Stay

Here travelers can find a low-cost bunk (and a beverage) at Brewstel Brew Shop & Hostel or bask in the refined Victorian elegance of Graceland Inn. The Graceland Inn is a National Historic Landmark built in 1892 by renowned architectural firm Baldwin and Pennington. The Forks Inn, atop Kelly Mountain, offers guest rooms with scenic views. Rooms include flat screen TV’s, a mini fridge, microwave and coffee maker and WiFi. If you wish to be closer to nature, there are also endless camping opportunities in various state and national parks and forests. 

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