Some of the more underrated attractions across the country are National Scenic Byways. These roads meander through various parts of the US and while are typically the slower and smaller road less traveled, they are without a doubt worth the detour.
These scenic byways are picked because they feature special qualities such as running through unique natural beauty or because they wander past former historic sites. One of the most underrated National Scenic Byways in the US is the Midland Trail.
The Midland Trail, also known as US Route 60 is located in West Virginia and runs through spots like Sam Black Church, White Sulphur Springs and Charleston. The trail runs across the entire width of the southern part of the state, is over 100 miles long and showcases some of the most beautiful and interesting parts of West Virginia.
Traveling from West to East, the Midland Trail will showcase the industrial past of the state, featuring old mines, salt works and locks found along the Great Kanawha River Valley. In this region be sure to stop by the Belle, where you will be able to enjoy much of the preserved Pioneer history of this region.
About halfway through the trail. you’ll enter Charleston, the capital of West Virginia, home to the University of Charleston and a bustling population. Stop in Charleston and explore this interesting and growing city, it gives you a nice break from hours on the road.
Past Charleston, comes the area of The Midland Trail referred to as the recreation center. This is the region where you will cross over some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain in the state.
Cruise the winding trail to find an incredible number of hiking and mountain biking trails, quiet spots for fly fishing, and rapids for rafting, kayaking and canoeing. Around the Gauley Bridge area you can see spectacular views from the bride and hike along a number of different waterfalls, especially the Kanawha and Cathedral Falls.
As you continue driving East, the terrain will take a dramatic turn and it won’t be long before the road meanders along the rolling hills and farmlands of the Pastoral East. In this area, you’ll find not only plenty of bucolic beauty, but also more history. It’s here where you can tour a number of civil war sites and the famous White Sulphur Springs region of West Virginia.
The White Sulphur Springs area is home to the world famous Greenbrier resort, and the area itself has been a destination for over a century because the hot springs were thought to have a number of healing powers and attracted the rich from all over the country who were looking for cures. The resort is also home to a cold war era bunker that is available for tours as well.
Either way, you can learn quite a bit from taking some time out of your vacation to explore The Midland Trail on US 60 through West Virginia, you won’t regret it!