CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice held an event today in the shadow of the famous Philippi Covered Bridge, the only covered bridge located on a federal highway in the US, to commemorate the newest route of the West Virginia Mountain Rides program, Birdeye Bend.
Birdeye Bend, a scenic loop that leads travelers throughout the northern region of the state, marks the fourth route of the West Virginia Mountain Rides program, a collaborative partnership between the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the West Virginia Department of Tourism to designate and promote the Mountain State’s most scenic country roads.
“The Mountain Rides program is such an important part of tourism in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “These routes give folks the opportunity to experience our beautiful country roads for themselves. None of it would be possible without the hard work of both the Department of Transportation and Department of Tourism.”
Birdeye Bend takes travelers on a 173-mile journey throughout Mountaineer Country and can be completed in just over a 4-hour round trip via car or motorcycle. This scenic loop both begins and ends in Morgantown but is dotted with charming mountain towns along the way.
The towns of Clarksburg, Elkins, Kingwood, Parsons, Philippi, and Fairmont all make for heavenly places to stop and explore. Stroll crowd-free streets lined with quaint shops, dine on authentic Appalachian cuisine, take in sweeping vista views and meet wonderful locals, all of which will make you feel right at home.
Gov. Justice was joined for today’s ceremony by Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby and West Virginia Department of Transportation Spokesperson Randy Damron.
“We’re thrilled to be adding yet another route to our Mountain Rides program just in time for summer travels and adventures,” Ruby said. “Take this road trip to witness Almost Heaven’s natural beauty come alive with sunny skies, lush green landscapes and flowing falls. My continued thanks goes to Governor Justice for his partnership on this project as well as the Department of Transportation for their on-going work to ensure that our roads are in tip-top condition.”
“I want to once again thank Governor Justice for his vision of the Roads To Prosperity program,” Damron said. “Because of this initiative, we’ve had the opportunity to upgrade our road system to the point where we can now attract motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts to drive along our incredible, winding roads. Our DOH teams have been working hard on these roads for years to ensure they’re as close to flawless as they can be so that motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts have a safe and enjoyable ride.”
At the conclusion of today’s event, Gov. Justice participated in a ceremonial firing of a replica Civil War cannon, commemorating Philippi’s historical significance during the 1860s. Every year on June 3rd, the town holds an event to commemorate the first land battle of the Civil War, fought in Philippi.
Birdeye Bend is the fourth official route of the West Virginia Mountain Rides program to be unveiled so far. Plan your road trip along Birdeye Bend and the other Mountain Rides, Seneca Skyway, Capitol Circle, and Cranberry Corridor.