Celebrating Memorial Day in Nature’s Mountain Playground

Mike Moore

Well once again we’ve reached the official jumping-off point of summer – Memorial Day!  That’s right.  Memorial Day is May 29, 2023, and with many folks getting an extra day off for the holiday, the question of what to do on Memorial Day weekend has undoubtedly already been bandied about.  With that extra day thrown into the mix, trips for a long weekend are often at the center of most travel plans.  And with spring making the transition to summer, warm weather activities are sure to be a part of any long weekend getaways.  So, if you’re looking for a great destination for your Memorial Day weekend activities, look no further than Pocahontas County. Because when it comes to West Virginia getaways, Nature’s Mountain Playground has you covered.  Here’s a few suggestions of places to visit and things to do in and among the rugged and scenic mountains of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, this Memorial Day weekend.


Memorial Day weekend camping trips are still one of the best ways to kick off your summer.  And camping trips are our specialty here in Nature’s Mountain playground.  With five state parks, two state forests, and more than one-third of the Monongahela National Forest calling Pocahontas County home, you’re bound to find that perfect camping spot for your Memorial Day getaway.  Be sure to check out Watoga State Park and Seneca State Forest when it comes to camping.  Whether you’re looking to rough it in a tent or relax in a cabin, both destinations fill up fast during the camping season. 


What better way to burn off those extra Memorial Day “cook-out calories” than hitting a hiking trail.  At just under 950 square miles, Pocahontas County has the largest concentration of public lands in West Virginia.  That’s nearly 350,000 acres of either state or federal property with countless trails just waiting to be explored.  The portion of the Monongahela National Forest occupying our county contains an amazing 500 miles of hiking and biking trails.  And that’s just one forest!  Once you factor in our state parks, state forests, the Cranberry Wilderness, and trails off the Highland Scenic Highway, those extra calories won’t stand a chance.


Biking is a great way to celebrate and relax during Memorial Day and biking has exploded in Pocahontas County.  With the popularity of mountain biking growing and the rise of Snowshoe Mountain Resort becoming host to international mountain biking events, Nature’s Mountain Playground is poised to become a world-class mountain biking destination.  And while some of our biking trails are designed for the occasional international, world-class cyclist, don’t let that intimidate you.  We have trails ranging from beginner level to down hill pro-class.  For those of you looking to enjoy a leisurely Memorial Day ride, check out the Greenbrier River Trail; a former rail line converted to a hiking and biking trail.  This 78-mile-long trail maintains a one percent grade which means it’s pretty level riding.  Other bike trails to consider are the ones around the Green Bank Observatory and any of the multiple trails around the county.  Stop by the Visitor Center in Marlinton for a copy of our Biking Trail Map to find that perfect trail.   


For most folks Memorial Day is all about relaxing and easing into summer.  And one of the best ways to kick back and welcome warmer weather is some quality float time on the Greenbrier River or the lakes at Watoga State Park, Seneca State Forest, or Shavers Lake at Snowshoe.  Kayaking or tubing on the Greenbrier River is a great way to take in the scenery and soke up some sun.  Or bring your fishing rod along and work the banks of the river in search of a nice bass.  You’ll also want to check out the fishing at the lake at Seneca State Forest, ride the paddle boats a Watoga Lake, do a little stand-up paddle boarding at Shavers Lake.  Either way you choose to do it, a little time on the water is a great way to enjoy Memorial Day.


Snowshoe Mountain Resort

If you’re looking to welcome summer with a bang, you definitely won’t want to miss the festivals and fun at Snowshoe Mountain Resort.  Snowshoe will host a full weekend of live music, great food, fireworks, and a memorial service.  Things kick-off Friday evening, May 26, at 7:30 with live music in the Village.  Come back Saturday afternoon, at 12:30, as a full day of celebrating gets underway including more live music throughout the day, Taste of the Mountain (a food and drink sampling from 20 different vendors)from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and a fireworks display at 9:00 p.m.  Sunday morning will start off with the Ruff Race (a good-natured hike/run for two and four legged competitors), followed by more live music slated to start at 12:30 p.m.  Monday, May 29, will wrap up the weekend festivities with a remembrance service at 11:45 a.m.  So, if you’re looking for Memorial Day weekend concerts, food, and fun, Snowshoe Mountain Resort is the place to be. Well there you have it.  When it comes to celebrating Memorial Day 2023, Natures Mountain Playground has the weekend covered.  No matter your way of celebrating, whether a quiet getaway in a secluded cabin, or an all-out festival at a premier ski resort, Pocahontas County, West Virginia is the place to be this Memorial Day.  And no matter how you choose to celebrate this Memorial Day, we hope you take a moment to give thanks for those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation.