April 1, 2020 by Ed Fischer

1. Blackwater Falls - Blackwater Falls State Park is one of nature's crowning achievements and West Virginia's most visited park. While its 2,358 acres of rugged natural beauty and towering hardwoods certainly don't lack standout, jaw-dropping, Instagram-worthy features, the iconic Falls themselves are indisputably the park's crown jewel.
There's just something thrilling about seeing, hearing and feeling the tannin-stained Blackwater River crash six stories over the falls into the natural pool 62 feet below. The falls provide an entirely different perspective each season—autumn frames the cascade with fiery color, while the cold of winter often leaves it eerily suspended in time. A boardwalk makes it easy to get quite close, though other trails provide different viewpoints with varying difficulty
While the famous Blackwater Falls are certainly aesthetically pleasing and a must-see experience, Blackwater Falls State Park has much to offer outside of Blackwater Falls. A true four-season destination, Blackwater Falls State Park has something to offer for everyone, all year round.

2. Dolly Sods Wilderness Area- The Dolly Sods Wilderness is located on top of the Allegheny Plateau of West Virginia and is part of the Monongahela National Forest. A backpacking trip in this area will expose you to a very diverse and unique landscape with sphagnum bogs, grassy meadows lined by spruce trees, wind-carved boulders, and beautiful mountain vistas. If you haven't hiked this amazing place yet, I suggest putting this one on your list.
The name Dolly Sods derives from an 18th century German family named the Dahles, who settled nearby and used the open mountaintop meadows called "Sods" for grazing their sheep. Long after the Dahles moved on from this area the locals Americanized the name by changing the spelling to "Dolly", and thus this region became known as Dolly Sods.
Before the early settlers, this area was teeming with life. There were dense forests filled with massive red spruce and hemlock trees. Also, there was a healthy population of animals like elk, bear, foxes, deer, bobcats, and mountain lions.
Unfortunately, the Dolly Sods didn't stay this way. In the late 19th and early 20th century this place was decimated by heavy logging and forest fires. This left an almost destroyed ecosystem. If that wasn't enough, during World War II the military used this place for artillery and mortar training. Still today at some of the trailheads the Army Corp of Engineers displays signs warning hikers to stay on the trail because there may be unexploded ordnance in the area.
Thankfully, in the 1970's, The Nature Conservancy environmental organization stepped in and began purchasing the land to preserve the area. Then, they donated it to the National Forest Service and today it's classified as a federal designated wilderness area. With the Dolly Sods now being protected, the region is once again flourishing.

3. Canaan Valley Golf and Skiing- Practice your swing while surrounded by breathtaking views of the West Virginia countryside. Our 18-hole, par 72 golf course features 65 sand bunkers and eight water hazards, providing the perfect amount of challenge for experienced and novice golfers alike. Join us on the championship green from April through early November.
Designed by Geoffrey Cornish, our course has been ranked #11 in the state and received a four-star rating in Golf Digest Magazine.
Canaan Valley Resort is the perfect getaway for skiers and outdoor enthusiasts. Located on a mountain within Canaan Valley State Park in West Virginia, we receive around 180 inches of snowfall annually. Skiers and snowboarders can choose from Canaan Valley Resort's 47 trails, ranging from beginner to advanced. Purchase your season pass and get discounted access to the best slopes in the area.
Whether you're hitting the slopes for the first time, or you're hitting them for the 100th, our resort caters to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. And don't forget about our 1,200-foot snow tubing park. It's a family favorite!

4. Purple Fiddle- It was in June of 2001 that the Purple Fiddler became reality as the DePollo Store on Front Street in historic Thomas was converted into a community gathering space featuring Appalachian-based acoustic music and a varied and healthy deli menu. Today it is a smoke-free, mostly acoustic music venue where families can also enjoy tasting their favorite crafted beverage in a responsible and non-threating environment.
Since opening 17 years ago they have featured consistent high-quality professional entertainment every weekend on Friday and Saturday night at 8:30 PM. Sure, there has been some wicked weather up there at 3,000 feet, resulting in last minute cancellations, but somehow, they are blessed by amazing and responsive musical creatives who have always responded to their call at the eleventh hour.

5.Hellbender Burritos - If you're looking for authentic Mexican food, you've come to the wrong place. But, if you're looking for unique, West Virginia inspired, meal-sized burritos filled with homemade ingredients, Hellbender Burritos is for you. Barbeque Burrito? Frito Pie Burrito? Buffalo Burrito? Yes, yes and YES! Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike will find a menu full of choices.
Their draft beer is a rotating selection of high-quality beers, usually featuring West Virginia breweries. We also have a great selection of bottled beer, and we proudly pour Bota Box wines. Our beverage menu also includes Saranac bottled sodas, La Croix sparkling water, and fresh-squeezed lemonade.
Stop in and enjoy a seat in our light-filled front room or step down into our cozy bar area. There's something for everyone at Hellbender Burritos.