Spectacular View of Canaan Valley
The third most asked question in the Tucker County information center is …where are the best views? Before I proceed, you are probably asking what are one and two; 1. Do you have maps? 2. Where is Blackwater Falls State Park? There are plenty of views around, in this blog I am going to describe the most spectacular view of Canaan Valley, which is readily accessible on foot.
There is a fine line between views that take a full day to access, and those that are a 10 minute walk. My goal is to spotlight attainable views accessable to the masses, yet some commitment toward an adventure only Mother Nature can provide.
The first step is to make your way up Forest Road 80 via Freeland Rd on Rt 32 in Canaan Valley. Recently resurfaced, FR 80 meanders up Cabin Mountain, ending in a small parking lot at the trail head. Approximately a quarter of a mile from the parking lot is a kiosk for the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge and Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.
From this point, continue up the access trail another ½ mile until you reach several signed trail junctions and another Dolly Sods Wilderness kiosk.
Continue north on Blackbird Knob trail (no.511) for 0.3 miles to the Rocky Ridge trail head (no. 524). Hike Rock Ridge for less than ¼ mi. and you will begin to see side trails, sometimes marked with rock cairns, on your left. The views of Canaan Valley are no more than 250 feet away, up a short rise in the land.
Cresting Cabin Mountain is a magnificent experience, as 25,000 acres of Canaan Valley unfolds beneath you. The view of Canaan Valley, north to south, is an unobstructed one. In the fall, Canaan Valley reminds me of a bag of Skittles, exploded all over the highest valley east of the Mississippi River.
Want to extend the views? Continue north along the ridgeline on Rocky Ridge Trail (no. 524) for another 3 miles. Huge rock outcroppings and dense stands of Red Spruce mesmerize; contemplating the harsh environment thriving in such a rugged landscape. Making a full day or half day on Cabin Mountain is a must on any itinerary while visiting Tucker County, West Virginia.
Now make your way out the front door and head to Tucker County this weekend, and GET TUCKER'D.