Scenic Vistas. Winding roads. Wilderness Adventures. A guide to the Highland Scenic Highway

In the heart of the Monongahela National Forest lies one of the most beautiful and scenic drives found anywhere on the East Coast. A drive down the Highland Scenic Highway will lead to some of the most incredible adventure the Mountain State has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful scenic drive full of jaw-dropping vistas and rolling hills or looking to adventure through the Potomac Highlands, the Highland Scenic Highway is the perfect place for you. Travel down 43 miles of road through wild forest, over pristine rivers, and along towering spruce and discover your version of Almost Heaven.

Begin your drive in the small town of Richwood and head east down State Road 55 until you reach Summit Lake. Summit lake is a popular lake in the area for fishermen as it is abundant with bass, trout and panfish. The lake is surrounded by a 33-site campground and is neighbored by an access point to the Cranberry Backcountry. The popular Cranberry River is also just a short hike from the lake.

Another stop along the Highland Scenic Highway is the Falls of Hills Creek. The area that the falls call home spans across 114 acres. There are three total waterfalls – one that falls 25 feet, one at 45 feet and third that is 63 feet. At 63 feet, the lowest of the falls is the second-highest waterfall in West Virginia. The falls are popular among photographers from around the country. From the falls, make your way down State Route 55 to the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area. The Cranberry Glades are home to five boreal-type bogs filled with wildlife typically found much further north, and is neighbored by the 50,000-acre Cranberry Wilderness. The Glades span across 750 acres are the southernmost home for many of the species of plants found there. There is a boardwalk that spans half of a mile through the glades and along several of the bogs for visitors to explore. There is also a six-mile trail to explore that lines both the Glades and the Cranberry Wilderness.

The Highland Scenic highway only spans roughly 43 miles, but is home to some of West Virginia’s most beautiful and scenic landscapes. Whether you’re looking to hike, fish, camp or photograph the landscapes, you will find what you’re looking for along the Highland Scenic Highway.

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This post was last updated on March 1, 2022