A mini West Virginia vacation

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By: Andrew Carrera

Looking to get away for a couple of days and enjoy nature’s beauty?  As you might imagine, the state of West Virginia has what you’re looking for.

For spring break, my mother and I decided to head to Seneca Rocks and Spruce Knob in the eastern part of the Mountain State.  We commenced our trip one morning, singing along to “Country Roads” as we crossed the state line on I-79.  

From Morgantown, we took U.S. 119-S to Grafton and then Phillipi, where we got on U.S. 250-S.  From there, we continued on U.S. 250-S until we hit U.S. 33-E, a windy, hilly road that takes you to Seneca Rocks.  

The trail at Seneca Rocks is 1.5 miles each way and goes gradually up (or down, depending on which way you’re going).  The path is nice and smooth, and the trail is not as difficult as it might look at first.  It took us a little over 30 minutes to walk up and a little under 30 to walk down.  Once you reach the top, there is a viewing platform where you get a gorgeous outlook of the mountains to the west.

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After walking at Seneca Rocks, we continued on U.S. 33-E toward Spruce Knob, which is the highest point in West Virginia, as well as the highest point of the Allegheny Mountains and Appalachian Plateaus.  To get to Spruce Knob, you have to take a right off U.S. 33-E and drive uphill on a narrow road.  Once you get to Spruce Knob, you can walk on a short trail to the Summit Observation Tower, where you can get a great view of the surrounding landscape.

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We spent the night in Elkins, a small town about 36 miles west of Seneca Rocks via U.S. 33.  Before heading back toward home, the next morning we took a walk around Davis and Elkins College, a small, pretty campus up the hill from the town of Elkins.

After departing Elkins, we got on U.S. 33-W toward I-79.  About halfway between Elkins and Weston (where U.S. 33 junctions I-79), we stopped in the town of Buchanan and walked around West Virginia Wesleyan College, another small, pretty campus.

After the stop in Buchanan, it was back to I-79.  The next stop was Prickett’s Fort, located just north of Fairmont (take exit 139 off I-79).  Prickett’s Fort was built to protect European settlers from Native American attacks back in Colonial America.

After stopping at Prickett’s Fort, it was on to Morgantown for lunch.  But before eating, I thought I would test my conditioning by running up and down “law school hill,” which is very close to Mountaineer Field.  I am proud to say I made it up and down in less than a minute.

RELATED: Explore Morgantown

After displaying my superb conditioning, it was off to Cici’s Pizza for a late lunch before heading home (sadly, Morgantown is the closest Cici’s to Pittsburgh anymore).  I made sure to take advantage of the buffet, stuffing myself with pizza and cinnamon breadsticks (at least I had some salad, too).

There are many great places to explore in West Virginia.  It’s nearly impossible to see everything in one trip.  No matter how much you see, you always want to come back for more.



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