For some vacationers, touring West Virginia is limited to a few small towns separated by only a few hours. Others may start at the tip of the state in pretty Morgantown and make the drive all the way to the southern tip of West Virginia where Beckley and the Appalachian Mountains are. For those addicted to fresh air, great scenery and exercise that doesn't seem much like exercise at all, love the area surrounding the Appalachian Mountains. Near Martinsburg, the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers converge and create many breathtaking area vistas that remind visitors just how beautiful West Virginia really is. Rolling hills, sweeping meadows, towering mountains and lush valleys all create a palette of vibrancy and colorful, ideal for West Virginia train rides.
One of the most beautiful train rides in the entire nation is the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad, one of the West Virginia train tours full of history and natural wonder. During any of the West Virginia train trips offered, guests will enjoy three full hours of narrated tours while gliding along the tracks in a tranquil and untouched mountain valley. During any one of these wonderful West Virginia train rides guests are afforded picturesque views of towering hardwoods, local wild flowers and vibrant evergreens in a lavish countryside terrain. Below the train the southern part of the Potomac River runs wild and is so clear riders can often see fish in the shady areas. The other highlight during these West Virginia train tours is “The Trough” a slender mountain valley, is often a highlight for many on the West Virginia tours.
From the late 1800s to the 1950s a West Virginia steam train was responsible for hauling a long line of cars through the state mountains to the coal mines with heavy clouds of smoke trailing behind it. Once diesel engine trains were invented they were the ones used to haul coal loads and the West Virginia steam train wasn't used any longer. If you're hankering for a ride on a West Virginia steam train, the Cass Scenic Railroad is perfect for you. Cass Scenic Railroad State park offers West Virginia train tours filled with rich history, exquisite views of the wilderness that envelopes the area and a close up look at the historic train itself.
Many of the cars used with West Virginia train rides back in the day have been restored and renovated into comfortable and modern passenger areas. When arriving in Cass you'll notice the West Virginia cabins for rent that were once company houses. They add a certain quaint charm and ambience to the town. Once this West Virginia train trips departing you'll pass by the water tower that fills the trains tanks. Careening along the first bend by Leatherbark Creek the pressure builds as the train moves on full steam. The train journeys up the mountain and tackles two separate switchbacks as the stack huffs, the gears clank and the trains whistle blows. After the switchbacks the train glides effortlessly through colorful fields of wild flowers and native trees and into Whittaker Station.
West Virginia train tours, from two hours through to two days, can be enjoyed on the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad. These trains slice through Monongahela National Forest, departing from a variety of cities and towns on route. These rare trains, including a West Virginia steam train, carry passengers through narrow passageways along sheer bluff walls and impressive mountains with powerful scenery. These awesome West Virginia train trips pass three coursing rivers, through the imposing tunnel through Cheat Mountain and reach elevations up to 4,000 feet, making the trip one of the best experiences during West Virginia vacations. Four train choices are available, each with different itineraries, including the Durbin Rocket, the New Tygart Flyer, the Mountain Explorer and the Cheat Mountain Salamander.
If you're choosing between things to do on your holiday and are the type who really enjoy soaking up sublime scenery than a train right is ideal. Those on a strict time lines can opt for ride aboard for a couple of hours and those with more time should consider an overnight trip. West Virginia train rides remain one of the best ways to see the state's untouched scenery, in areas where no car or other mode of road transportation could ever reach.