Scenic TrainsEveryone loves a train ride, and West Virginia has quite a few of them—each one offering spectacular scenery and a comfortable place to relax while you take in the peaceful mountain views
Plan your scenic train ride around several other activities in the area to make the most of your Almost Heaven getaway. Here are a few trip suggestions:
The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad offers several tourist train rides, including dinner trains and holiday-themed trips. For some jaw-dropping scenery, board the vintage New Tygart Flyer, which departs from Elkins and climbs through unspoiled mountain wilderness along the cascading waters of Shavers Fork. The ride features mountain grades, an S-curve tunnel and a high bridge crossing.
The 46-mile round trip leads to the spectacular High Falls of Cheat and includes an all-you-can-eat cold sandwich buffet. The cars have comfortable seating and are climate-controlled, but you can upgrade to the Parlor Car for more leg room and adult beverages. Elkins has been identified as one of the 100 best small art towns in the United States and it is a West Virginia Certified Arts Community. With art, fine dining and beautiful scenery the Elkins Welcome Depot can become the hub of all of your rail adventures.
The steam engines of Cass Scenic Railroad State Park once hauled lumber off the mountain to the mill in Cass. Those days are long gone, but the antique Shay locomotives remain, this time hauling passengers up Cheat Mountain to the 4,842-foot high overlook at Bald Knob, where on a clear day you can see into two states. The 4.5-hour round trip also includes a box lunch and a stop at the old Whittaker Station logging camp.
The Potomac Eagle Scenic Excursion Train is best known as the bald eagle train, and with good reason: The train travels through a nesting area for the American bald eagle, and passengers on nearly every trip report numerous eagle sightings. The 3-hour Trough Trip boards in Romney and travels through the Trough of the South Branch Potomac River to Sycamore Creek and back. The 8-hour Petersburg trip include the Trough and includes a layover at the South Side Depot, where passengers can disbark and enjoy the shops and restaurants.
Ride a vintage locomotive for the year’s most magical Christmas tradition!
Starting in late November, the romantic age of steam travel whisks you to enchanted destinations around the state. Durbin & Greenbrier’s Christmas adventure captures every beloved detail. Wear pajamas, get your ticket punched by the conductor and watch elves jig down the aisle! Listen to a live reading of “The Polar Express” while you family sips hot cocoa, too. Best of all, you’ll receive a silver bell from Santa.
Although not a recreational scenic train ride, you can still hop on the Cardinal Amtrak and catch some scenics views if you’re just passing by. You’ll see gently rolling horse country, the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, and the wild white-water rivers of West Virginia as they can only be seen by train.
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