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Snowshoe & Area Attractions

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Snowshoe Mountain Resort has a long ski and snowboard season thanks to lake effect snow storms, high elevation, cold temps and an annual snowfall that averages 180 inches per year.

Elk River Inn & Cabins has provided affordable lodging since the very first season Snowshoe opened in 1974, and we're conveniently located only 11 miles from the top of Snowshoe's ski area. It usually takes about 15 minutes on the well maintained state roads. We are the perfect place to stay and play at Snowshoe while saving money on lodging and ski equipment rentals if needed. Not to mention the best winter breakfast in the region.

Snowshoe today is open year round with numerous outdoor activities that we benefit from. Restaurants and bars provide additional opportunities for our guests. In the summer months, Snowshoe offers a downhill mountain program, golf, lake activities, razor tours and much more. More information.

The Cass & Durbin Scenic Railroads

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Cass Scenic Railroad is home to the world’s largest collection of geared Shay steam locomotives. These Titans of Timber sliced into the mountains in the early 20th century transporting newly cut timber back to the sawmill in downtown Cass. Today, these impressive steam locomotives pull visitors on restored cars to several destinations along the same track used over one hundred years ago!

In century-old Durbin, the Durbin Rocket Excursion Train is powered by the unique Heisler No. 6 locomotive – a coal-fired steam engine with ties to West Virginia’s historic rail and logging industry.

The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad (DGVR) operates all tourism trains in Pocahontas County, showing you West Virginia’s high mountain country while tracing remnants of old timber communities on its preserved railroad tracks.

An assortment of special events and excursions is available. Visit MountainRailWV.com for information and to purchase tickets.

Motorcycle Touring

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Pocahontas County is a motorcycle mecca, with easy access to routes expanding into Virginia and into our neighboring West Virginia counties. From Seneca Rocks, to Goshen Pass, we're central to it all.

From the Highland Scenic Highway to scenic US Route 219 on your way in, Pocahontas County's roads are in impeccable condition and provide road thrills all their own. History, hospitality and uniqueness all aid in making Pocahontas County an epic destination. Stay in an old company house and ride the scenic train at Cass Railroad State Park, or cruise by the world's largest steerable telescope at Green Bank Observatory. More information.

Pearl S. Buck Birthplace

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Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck won the hearts of Americans with her famous novel, The Good Earth, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. The book was a best seller in 1931 as well as a major MGM film in 1937.

Today, the birthplace of Pearl S. Buck in Hillsboro, West Virginia stands in loving memory of the woman who helped shape the 20th century through her writing, her efforts, and her example. Built in 1875, the house serves as a museum with original family furniture and other personal belongings. Knowledgeable guides will meet you and give you a thorough tour. This homestead is about 40 minutes south of Elk River Inn & Cabins. More information here.

Family Biking the Greenbrier River Trail

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Take your family on a bicycle ride - forget the city, the traffic and the rush. Relax, enjoy the scenery and the wildlife here in Pocahontas County along one of West Virginia’s most successful rail-to-trail conversions.

Beginner and intermediate mountain bikers will appreciate the packed gravel surfaces on the majority of the Trail. More advanced bikers will find greater challenges on the adjoining mountain trails and abandoned logging roads that characterize the national forest bordering the Trail. Amenities along the Trail include potable water and primitive camp sites. Rest room facilities are located every 8 to 10 miles.

The Greenbrier River Trail is accessible from Elk River Inn & Cabins by bike or a 20-30 minute shuttle ride. Contact us for information.

Cranberry Glades Visitors Center

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Cranberry Glades Botanical Area is one of the most unique areas in West Virginia. Located high in the Appalachian Mountains, Cranberry Glades is the largest concentration of bogs in the state and is home to a large variety of unique and rare plant and animal species many of which are normally only found in northern tundra environments.

Visitors can easily experience Cranberry Glades by walking the half-mile Boardwalk, and by visiting the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center, which offers interpretative displays in addition to hosting various events, demonstrations, and guest speakers throughout the year.

Whether you are looking at an individual fuchsia-colored Wild Orchid or taking in the beauty of the bog plains, there is a special tranquility found only here.

The Glade’s fascinating sphagnum bogs are similar to that found in “Muskegs” of the Artic Tundra. When you first enter the area, you will notice Red Spruce, hemlock and Yellow Birch trees.

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Along the left side of the Boardwalk, you may see a tree that has fallen over. The shallow roots so necessary for survival here do not adequately anchor trees against strong winds. Thus, the very adaptation which allows these trees to live here can also cause their death.

Carnivorous or insect-eating plants also make their home in the bogs. Keep a watchful eye as you walk through the area and you might spy some of these wild animals: American Black Bear, WV Northern Flying Squirrel, Red-tailed Hawk, American Bald Eagle, Red Fox, coyote, White-tailed Deer, Cooper Hawk, and Eastern Screech-Owl.

As you walk along the Boardwalk, you might see some of these plants: Bishop’s Cap, Jewelweed, False Hellebore, Indian Pipe, Turtlehead, Wild Raisin, Sundew, Grass Pink Orchid, and the Pitcher Plant.

The Boardwalk and Nature Center also provide easy access to the Cranberry Backcountry & Wilderness areas. The Cranberry is also a wonderful area to bike, nordic ski and snowshoe.

The Cranberry Glades Boardwalk is open year-round, and the Nature Center is open April-October. This attraction is a 35 minute drive from Elk River Inn & Cabins. More information.

Falls of Hills Creek

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The Falls of Hills Creek is the glittering jewel in the crown of the Monongahela National Forest — a series of three waterfalls cascading 25, 45, and 63 feet (the second highest waterfall in West Virginia).

The 114 acre area sits off Highway 39, just 5 miles west of the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center, and is marked with a Monongahela National Forest Recreation sign. Turn down the gravel road and park in the small lot where rest rooms are also available.

The handicap accessible boardwalk is 1,700 feet long and allows all to view the first waterfall. The rhododendrons and laurel flourish under the shade canopy. The first fall drops 25 feet, crashing to the rocks below.

Continue on to the second waterfall along a dirt path and set of wooden steps. At 45 feet tall and much wider than the first fall, you begin to appreciate the natural beauty of Hills Creek as the creek cascades and rolls over moss covered boulders. For wildflower enthusiasts, the forest carpet is alive with over 40 species of blooms, mostly in the spring through early summer.

The dirt walkway, interspersed with rocks and small boulders, continues onward to the third and final waterfall that drops 63 feet. From this point on it is for the strong of spirit and body. The trip from the parking lot to the lower falls is over three quarter mile. Toward the end, the dirt path will turn to metal steps down a set of switchbacks to the overlook. The awesome view of the 63 foot fall is worth every step of the way. From the top fall to the lowest fall, Hills Creek drops 220 feet.

Two viewing decks provide great positioning for taking photographs or simply relaxing and enjoying. The gorge and towering trees allow only limited light into the lowest of the falls area.

The Falls of Hills Creek is a spectacle to see in the winter as well. Bundle up and take the hike carefully, where you will see the frozen falls in all their beauty.

Falls of Hills Creek is a 45 minute drive from Elk River Inn & Cabins. More information.