DAVIS - Situated in one of the most scenic and tranquil settings in the Mid-Atlantic, with unlimited recreation and family-focused activities, Canaan Valley Resort is a four-season destination.
Fifteen miles long by 3 miles wide, Canaan Valley in Tucker County is the highest mountain valley east of the Rocky Mountains with a base elevation of 3,100 feet. Canaan Valley Resort is nestled on a plateau overlooking the valley, offering sweeping views of the surrounding peaks.
Bill Smith, executive director of the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said visitors to Canaan Valley are looking for great outdoor scenery and recreational activities.
Photo submitted by the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Canaan Valley Resort offers hiking and fishing opportunities to visitors.
"People come here during the summer for the cooler temperatures and lower humidity," Smith said.
The area encompasses much state and federal forest lands, green spaces and trails as well as a resort, golf course and other amenities that attract 800,000 to 1 million visitors a year.
The park offers 18 miles of marked trails through woodlands, meadows, hills and streams, many of which are linked with hundreds of miles of marked trails in the 1 million acre Monongahela National Forest.
Most trails are open to mountain-bikers as well. Whether visitors come in spring, summer or fall, they can hike, fish, bird watch, sight wildlife, discover plants and gaze at the stars.
The resort sees a large number of visitors in July and August from many nearby cities, Smith said.
"It is a lot of people looking to get out of the heat of the city," he said.
The outdoor pool features beautiful scenic mountain vistas, a pool slide and plenty of sun and fun for all ages. Towels, locker room and vending machines are on-site
Canaan Valley Resort's newest outdoor sport activity is trap shooting, one of the three major forms of competitive clay pigeon shooting (shotgun shooting at clay targets). A fee-based activity, each shooter has 25 shots per round with all shooting done under the authority of a range supervisor.
The 18-hole, par 72 golf course is surrounded by picturesque mountain terrain and the breathtaking West Virginia countryside. The course, which was rated four stars by Golf Digest Magazine, is open April through early November and offers groomed fairways and lush greens suited for any golfer.
With 65 sand bunkers and eight water hazards, the Canaan Valley course is a challenge to the experienced golfer and friendly to the novice. The practice facility includes a driving range, putting green, sand bunker and chipping green.
Canaan Valley Resort's conference center is among the premiere facilities in the state.
The resort is especially popular at wintertime for outdoor winter sports, including downhill and cross country skiing. Canaan Valley gets 170-200 inches of natural snowfall a year.
"It is a winter sports destination," Smith said. "There are not too many instances when it is not a good time to visit Canaan Valley."
Nearby Blackwater Falls State Park is named for the falls of the Blackwater River.
Its dark waters plunge five stories then twist and tumble through an eight-mile long gorge.
The "black" water is a result of tannic acid from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles.
"The falls are one of the most photographed sites in West Virginia," Smith said.
Blackwater lodge, cabins and restaurant are open year-round and welcome visitors to enjoy winter sled riding, spring greening, cool summer evenings and autumn foliage.
"Our fall colors rival anything New England has," Smith said.
The state park service recently invested $33 million in upgrading the park along with its 160-room lodge.
"It has really brought the state park back into the limelight and has done a fantastic job in rejuvenating the state park," Smith said.
With the construction of Corridor H, travel to Canaan Valley has become easier with all but about 20 miles to it along four-lane highways.
"It has really made the trip easier," Smith said. "It all makes for a nice weekend trip."