Scenic Trains

Everyone 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 Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad 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 includes the Trough and includes a layover at the South Side Depot, where passengers can disbark and enjoy the shops and restaurants. Major travel publications like Southern Living and Travel + Leisure recognized these train rides for their spectacular scenery all-year-round. Celebrate the holidays in style with a ride on the Potomac Eagle’s North Pole Express, which will leave you feeling more festive than ever.

Fall train rides at Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad earned recognition from Southern Living for having some she south’s best train rides for fall foliage. 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 legroom 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 Cardinal Train is an Amtrak line linking New York with Chicago, and it offers three stations within New River Gorge National Park: Hinton, Prince and Thurmond – all located along the New River. Along the route, you’ll see rolling hills dotted with farms, mountain ranges, the Shenandoah Valley, rushing waters and much more.

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. Major travel publications like Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Thrillist and AARP praised Cass Scenic Railroad for its dramatic mountain vistas. The 4.5-hour round trip includes a box lunch and a stop at the old Whittaker Station logging camp.

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 your 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 scenic 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.

Find a scenic train ride

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