- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2005)
- Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
- Length180 miles
Travel along this historic 180-mile highway that goes right across West Virginia to the Ohio River. Outdoor recreation is a must for visitors who take the trip along this Byway with plenty of opportunities.
Story of the Byway
There is such rich history woven into the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike that makes it a must visit for any family. In addition to the history, the scenery and nature that can be appreciated along the way is second to none and is truly wonderful. Covering 180 miles in total, the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike was designated as a National Scenic Byway in 2005 for its beautiful intrinsic qualities that it is able to showcase. With plenty of recreational activities available as well, the whole family can have a great time in a trip through this Byway and the great state of West Virginia.
While this Byway is very popular for its historic and cultural qualities, the natural and scenic views that visitors can witness are truly wonderful. The eastern section of the Byway runs directly through Monongahela National Forest which leads to endless possibilities for anyone who visits. As a whole, the Forest has 921,000 acres of protected land full of different activities that are available for visitors. There are hiking trails throughout this forest in addition to the many different walking areas that are provided. Wildlife Management Areas where visitors can experience the beautiful mountain ranges of West Virginia can also be found throughout the length of the Byway. The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike traverses through some of the most popular destinations for outdoor recreation in the whole country. Along the road visitors can mountain bike, hike, camp, fish, and much more!
The Civil War sites are what highlight the historical and cultural significance of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. Located throughout the entirety of the Byway, visitors have the chance to witness some of the most important areas and locations during the Civil War in West Virginia. The biggest location that has history from the Civil War along this Byway is Rich Mountain Battlefield. This site was recognized as nationally significant, as it was the site of the Union’s victory in 1861 that led to the control of northwestern Virginia, which then led to the creation of the state of West Virginia two years later. This can be found right along the Byway in Beverly, and visitors will not regret visiting this historic site. In addition to Civil War history, there are many historic districts that can be found along the Byway that can teach visitors about early colonization and the roots of the area. There are constantly small festivals in these local towns and farmers markets galore, which can really tie together a trip to experience the local culture firsthand.
There is no shortage of fun or entertainment along the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. The 180 miles that this route covers provides endless opportunity for visitors to experience this state to its fullest. Since this route is lengthy, it might take a couple of days to experience most of what this Byway has to offer, which is perfect because there are plenty of different lodging opportunities for visitors as well. All in all, this Byway can create a great experience for just about anybody with its wide variety of activities!
The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike goes from Stauton, Virginia all the way to the Ohio River at the West Virginia Border. Visitors can travel this route along US 250, US 33, and WV 47.
Points of Interest
Audra State Park
Audra State Park is 355 acres of beautiful land in Barbour County. Recreational activities can be found here that are fun for the whole family.
Blennerhassett State Park
Found on a small island in the Ohio River, people can visit a beautiful Palladian Mansion and museum. The beautiful views and history of the area will fascinate you!
This lake located in the heart of Mononagahela National Forest offers an escape from all stress with its pristine waters.
From Staunton to Parkersburg
Beginning in Staunton, the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike begins on US 250 and heads northwest toward the Virginia-West Virginia border. Along this road for the first part of your journey you have the opportunity to witness the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley firsthand with wonderful scenic views. Once you eventually reach West Virginia, you are immediately finding yourself in the heart of the Alleghany Mountains with plenty of opportunity to experience them.
There are camp sites and hiking trails galore along this portion of the Byway, and it is most definitely worth it. Once you decide to continue your journey along route 250 northwest, you will eventually reach the towns of Bartow and Durbin. Both towns are great potential stopping points after you experienced the beauty of the Alleghany Mountains.
The next stop on your journey can be the wonderful town of Beverly. This town was one of the first settlements west of the Alleghany Mountains and played a key role in the Civil War, as both sides had presences here at some point during the War. There are also plenty of places to stop here as well for outdoor recreation or relaxation.
After traveling from Beverly along the Byway for a good while, you will reach Upshur County which has so many opportunities for enjoyment. Jackson’s Mill is located here which was the boyhood home of “Stonewall” Jackson. There are also plenty of parks and outdoor recreation activities available for those interested.
You can then continue into Ritchie County, which is home to both the Ritchie Mines and Hughes River Wildlife Management Area. It is also home to North Bend State Park which has amazing views of nature. After that, you can round your trip up in Parkersburg, which has plenty of shops, food, and lodging options!
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