The Perfect Sweater Weather Activities in Almost Heaven

December 12, 2023

As the days get shorter, the sleeves get longer. Almost Heaven is the perfect place to find your stride in the crisp, winter air with many activities at your fingertips. Take a break from the indoors, put on an extra layer and enjoy these activities the next time you are craving an adventure.

History Hunting

National Coal Heritage Area

Much of Almost Heaven’s history can be explored in the National Coal Heritage Area, which is one of only 40 nationally designated heritage areas in the entire United States. This is why many of the original structures, communities and lands associated with West Virginia’s coal mining heritage remain essentially untouched since their heyday. Head to Beckley for the Rahall Company Store and explore the coal museum, gift shop, fudgery and visitor center. A hub for the state’s railroad history, the Matewan Depot Replica Museum is a replica of the train depot that stood across the the railroad tracks from downtown Matewan until the 1960s. For even more railroad history, stop by the Bramwell Train Depot Visitor Center in Mercer County.

ATV Adventures

Hatfield-McCoy Country – Rockhouse Trail

Looking for a playground to unleash your zippy 4-cycle engine? Look no further than Rockhouse Trail, which makes up more than 100 miles of ATV trails in the Hatfield-McCoy Trails Systems. The Rockhouse Trail System offers a wide array of trails at all experience levels. This puts you in direct access to Man and Gilbert, which are ATV-friendly towns in West Virginia. Each town offers food, fuel and lodging – all designed with ATVs in mind. This trail system also connects to the Devil Anse and Buffalo Mountain Trail System.

Strolls with a Chance of Snow

Pocahontas County

Put on some layers, strap on your winter treads and find your favorite beanie for an unforgettable hiking adventure. In Pocahontas County, there are perfect hiking trails for hikers of all experience levels. Consider exploring through Snowshoe Mountain’s many different hiking trails, such as the serene Fingers Trail or the 1.25-mile, family-friendly Lakes Trail. For a Civil War twist, hike on up to eight park trails at Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. Each trail is less than one mile long – all ranging from easy to difficult.

Winter Fishing Spots

Elk River

Fishing in West Virginia is a favorite activity among many outdoor enthusiasts. The upper Elk River is a prime fly-fishing spot with much scenery to enjoy as well. You can also cast a line at two catch & release sections: a two-mile section on Elk River in Randolph County and a four-mile section on the back fork of the Elk River in Webster County. Beginner and experienced anglers can expect musky, walleye and smallmouth bass in the downstream of the Sutton Lake Dam – where these are fish are most commonly found. Trout also make an appearance, but tend to stay behind large rocks as they get comfortable in areas where there is a lot of food.

Kanawha Falls

For an even more scenic fishing experience, make a trip downstream of where the New and Gauley Rivers meet at Kanawha Falls. You will be pleasantly surprised by the size of the fish there! Musky and walleye tend to be the most present. Cast your bait from the shore, or take a boat to deeper waters for an even bigger score.

To obtain a fishing license from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, click here.

Winter Views

East River Mountain Overlook

The trees may be bare, but that only reveals more of Almost Heaven’s hidden natural beauty. For a scenic overlook spot, make your way to East River Mountain Overlook in Mercer County. Your eyes will be filled with the surrounding mountainous landscape from no matter where you are, making this view the perfect backdrop for your #AlmostHeaven swing selfie!

Dolly Sods Wilderness – Scenic Lookout

Located in Grant, Randolph and Tucker Counties, the Dolly Sods Wilderness is home to some of the most scenic overlooks in West Virginia. Leading out to the edge of the Allegheny Plateau, this scenic lookout is an easy 0.2 mile out-and-back walk to a serene lookout spot along FR-75. From here, you will have a beautiful view of North Fork Mountain in the distance.

Still looking for more hidden gems to explore? Continue your quest with the help of our free West Virginia Vacation Guide!

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