Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort offers a number of fine dining options.
There aren’t many places where you can enjoy world-class skiing, friendly Southern culture, breathtaking natural phenomena, highly advanced space technology and an annual roadkill cook-off. But then again, most places aren’t like Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Refreshingly devoid of urban sprawl, the county prides itself on its recreation, history and culture, and invites visitors to explore for themselves. Natural Attractions
With 62 percent of the county’s land in state or federal hands and 800-plus miles of hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails, the opportunities for adventure are endless. Anglers and hunters alike will be in their element; eight well-stocked rivers start here, and 350,000-plus acres of public land allow game ample room to roam. Every winter, Pocahontas County welcomes thousands of snow-hungry visitors to its popular Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, the largest winter resort in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. During the summer months, the resort turns into a mountain biker’s paradise, with one of the most extensive trail systems in the East.
Local attraction Beartown State Park features a number of unusual rock formations that appear to have grown out of the earth.
The area also celebrates its local flavor with a number of cultural and historical attractions. Visitors to the well-preserved Droop Mountain Battlefield can absorb the local significance of the Civil War as they traverse the park’s hiking trails or climb the observation tower overlooking the stunning Greenbrier River Valley. The Pocahontas County Opera House, which celebrated its 100th year in 2010, frequently hosts bluegrass bands, dance and theater performance groups, family movie nights and other community activities. Each summer, the opera house also hosts a series of creative workshops known as the Allegheny Echoes, which help keep West Virginia’s unique brand of music and art alive and thriving. And with tongue firmly in cheek, the wildly popular annual Roadkill Cook-off pokes fun at the state’s hillbilly reputation while serving up one-of-a-kind local cuisine each September. Only a four-and-a-half hour drive from Washington, D.C., Pocahontas County offers an easily accessible escape from the ordinary. Peace & Quiet
Need a break from your BlackBerry? Pocahontas County’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope require quiet air to study distant celestial phenomena, so 13,000 square miles in the area have been designated a National Radio Quiet Zone. As a result, cell-phone service is spotty or unavailable in many areas, giving you a respite from the constant buzz. Vital Stats
Household median income: $30,757
Average house value: $95,100
For more information: Pocahontas County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-336-7009; pocahontascountywv.com