2023!! A New Year with New Adventures in Nature’s Mountain Playground

Mike Moore

I realize we’re only a few days into the new year, and this may be a bit hasty, but here goes anyway.  How are those new year resolutions working for you?  Still haven’t made it to the gym.  The ten pounds you wanted to lose is now twelve thanks to all the Christmas cookies.  True love and marital bliss still eluding you?  Don’t worry, you still have plenty of time for that one.  Sometimes, in our aspiration to bring about change in our lives, we set lofty goals but fail to figure out a way to make them happen.  At the time (somewhere around 11:45 p.m., December 31st I’m guessing), the resolutions we make sound like a great idea, but the real trick is the follow up.  Less than a week into the new year most of us find ourselves struggling with how we’re going to reach the goal or make the change we promised ourselves (and quite possibly the universe) we would accomplish. 

Perhaps the problem is one of self-imposed time constraints.  We make a resolution on New Year’s Eve and if we haven’t accomplished it by mid-January, we feel defeated and give up.  What if you could alter the time restraints?  What if the goals you set for 2023 were dispersed throughout the year instead of confined to January 1st?  Well, if that sounds like an idea you can get behind, we here at Nature’s Mountain Playground have a question for you.  When was the last time you did something for the first time?  In other words, why not make your New Year’s Resolution to try some new adventures – something you’ve never done before – and spread those adventures out over the coming months of the new year.  With that in mind, and in no particular order, here’s a few adventures to be found throughout the year in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.


Watoga State Park
Thorny Mountain Fire Tower

If your idea of an overnight stay away from home involves a check-in desk, key cards, and elevator rides, why not try something a little more rustic in 2023?  Don’t worry.  You don’t have to pitch a tent and gather firewood on your first outing.  Why not plan a getaway in one of Watoga State Park’s cabins.  And if you’re really feeling adventurous, you can book an overnight stay 65 feet above ground at Seneca State Park’s Thorny Mountain Fire Tower.    

Water Adventure

Watoga Lake

A new adventure on the water doesn’t have to necessarily involve whitewater rapids.  Why not try kayaking on the Greenbrier River or a leisurely canoe outing at Watoga Lake or Seneca Lake.  And with plenty of canoe and kayak rental options around, you’re set for fun on the water. 


Cranberry Glade

Whether you prefer to hike established trails like the Greenbrier River Trail and Cranberry Glade, or you’re looking for back-country hikes off the Highland Scenic Highway or deep in the Monongahela National Forest, you’re bound to find more than one trail to explore. 

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing adventures you’ll find in Nature’s Mountain Playground.  And Pocahontas County is quickly becoming the mountain bike destination.  With bike trails ranging from the relaxed, one percent grade of the Greenbrier River Trail, to the white-knuckle, downhill tracks of the Snowshoe Highlands trails, and just about anything in-between, mountain biking would be a great New Years adventure to try in 2023. 


Some first-time adventures can be intellectual.  If you’re a history buff, you won’t want to pass up the chance to check out one or two of the historical destinations in Nature’s Mountain Playground.  Take a guided tour through the birthplace of West Virginia author Pearl S. Buck, roam the battlefield of Droop Mountain, or visit the historic town of Cass.

Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park

Scenic Trips

Highland Scenic Highway

Scenic trips are about the journey rather than the destination.  Whether you prefer to make that journey by car or motorcycle, on country backroads or scenic highways, Pocahontas County has some of the most picturesque road trips anywhere in West Virginia.  And for those of you who wish to sit back and leave the driving to someone else, you’ll definitely want to check out the scenic train excursions from Cass.  Between the Highland Scenic Highway, miles of country roads, and Cass Scenic Railroad, we’ve got your scenic trips covered.

To Infinity and Beyond

Green Bank Observatory

As stated earlier, some adventures can be of the intellectual nature.  A tour of the Green Bank Observatory is just that.  Learn how one of the world’s largest, steerable radio telescopes works, broaden your understanding of the universe, and maybe learn if the observatory has heard anything from the limitless reaches of space.   

Winter Fun 

Snowshoe Mountain Resort

Wintertime is the perfect time for new adventures in Nature’s Mountain Playground.  With skiing, tubing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, there’s not too many wintertime activities we’ve missed.  And don’t you miss the chance to try a new winter activity in 2023. 

Hunting and Fishing

Williams River

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of hooking a big trout or having a nice buck in your crosshairs.  And when it comes to hunting and fishing opportunities in West Virginia, Nature’s Mountain Playground is an angler’s and hunter’s paradise.  With more than one-third of the Monongahela National Forest calling Pocahontas County home, the hunting and fishing adventures are just about endless. 

Photographic Getaways


Nowadays if you travel with your phone, you’re most likely traveling with a pretty decent camera built into that phone.  Regardless of whether you shoot digital or film, what better way to see the rugged beauty and breath-taking scenery of Pocahontas County than a photography excursion?  Visit our parks, forests, and towns and bring back some of the best souvenirs money can’t buy – pictures/memories of the people you met, the places you saw, and the adventures you had in Nature’s Mountain Playground. 

So, we’ll ask one more time.  When was the last time you did something for the first time?  If you find yourself struggling for an answer, maybe it’s time to plan some first-time adventures right here in Pocahontas County.  And no pressure, with this New Year’s Resolution, you’ve got all year to make it happen.