National Plan for Vacation Day 2023: A Year’s Worth of Vacation Ideas in Nature’s Mountain Playground

Mike Moore

Well now that we’ve got the holidays behind us and a bright, shiny new year in front of us, it seems like a good time to consider vacation plans for 2023.  In fact, January 31, 2023, is National Plan for Vacation Day 2023.  What better time to sit down, break out your travel bucket list and start thinking about some of your favorite West Virginia vacation spots?  Whether you’re road trip planning a scenic drive through remote mountains or hoping to book a stay at any number of unique vacation rentals for a few well-timed weekend getaways in West Virginia, we here at Nature’s Mountain Playground have a few thoughts on when to make your next visit to Pocahontas County, West Virginia.  So, to help plan your next trip to Nature’s Mountain Playground, here’s a quick seasonal vacation itinerary; packed full of a year’s worth of suggestions to help you fill out your 2023 travel itinerary planner.      


There’s something magical about winter in the mountains of Pocahontas County.  If you’re looking to hit the slopes for some downhill thrills or possibly a backcountry, snowmobile adventure, you’ll definitely want to kick off your winter vacation by planning some time at Snowshoe Mountain Resort.  Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway at the Corduroy Inn or a weeklong stay at Soaring Eagle, staying at Snowshoe puts you in the heart of some of the best wintertime activities in the Mid-Atlantic.  With lodging options ranging from simple ski in/ski out accommodations all the way up to five-star, luxury housing, Snowshoe as something to fit everyone’s budget.

If a downhill run isn’t your style, but the thought of some quality time out on the snow at a slower pace is more to your liking, you’ll love snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the Greenbrier River Trail or on the Highland Scenic Highway.  Make Marlinton the base of your outings by booking at the Old Clark Inn or Jericho Bed and Breakfast and Pre-Civil War Cabins, and you’ll be within a few minutes of the Greenbrier River Trail and less than 10 miles from the Highland Scenic Highway. 

For those of you with a sweet tooth, be sure to join us in February and again in March for our Maple Days celebrations.  Plan a visit to any one of our “sugar camps” – local farms throughout the county processing maple syrup – and see firsthand how maple syrup is processed and refined into the golden, delicious topping we all love.  Plan to visit any number of our local restaurants during the Maple Days celebrations for a wide selection of maple-themed meals and treats.       

So, whether your wintertime vacation plans include a spacious resort, cozy cabins near Snowshoe West Virginia, or touring a sugar camp, winter vacationing in Nature’s Mountain Playground is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy all that Pocahontas County has to offer. 


As warmer weather moves into the mountains, winter gear is swapped out for the necessities of springtime fun.  Fly rods, running shoes, and hiking boots are the order of the day.  Mountain bikes are dusted off and checked over after their winter hiatus.  In Nature’s Mountain Playground Spring means fishing, hiking, biking, and big events like the Great Greenbrier River Race.        

Make plans to spend your spring vacation with us here in Marlinton for the Great Greenbrier River Race on April 29, 2023.  The River Race is an annual springtime celebration here in Pocahontas County going back almost forty years.  This triathlon brings out some of the best competitors to be found as they run, bike, and kayak for glory.  Come and support these good-natured contests of all ages. 

If you’re anxious to just get out in the warmer weather and celebrate spring, you’ll want to check out other events like many of the guided hikes in Cass along the Greenbrier River Trail or the Folk Arts and Culture Workshop series held by the High Rocks Academy in Hillsboro.  And of course, there are hundreds of trails to hike and explore on your own throughout the county.  Plan a stay in Watoga State Park and spend your day hiking trails and fishing their 11-acre lake or book one of the most unique places to stay in West Virginia – the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower at Seneca State Forest – for a once in a lifetime overnight stay 65 feet above the forest floor.  Whether your springtime visit is in support of an event or you’re simply looking to get out for a solo adventure, a spring vacation in Nature’s Mountain Playground will never disappoint.


Summer in Nature’s Mountain Playground is full of music, heritage, hikes and celebrations.  School is out and it’s time to get the whole family on the road for the classic American summer vacation.  If you’re a fan of bluegrass music be sure to visit us for Allegheny Echoes from June 18 through June 24th.  This week-long summer musical workshop wraps up with a student concert, typically on Friday night, followed the next evening with an instructor’s concert.  Come out and support both beginning musicians and their teachers.  June will also be the month to be here for Cass Days.  A celebration of all things trains and timber, Cass Days recalls the history and heritage of this timber town built in 1901.    

Summer in Pocahontas County is also a great time to get in a few rounds of golf.  If your ideal summer vacation includes drives, putts, and chips, be sure to plan a visit to Snowshoe’s Raven Golf Course this summer.  Add in countless trails to hike and explore throughout the Monongahela National Forest, biking on the Greenbrier River Trail, and a visit to the Green Bank Observatory, and you’ve got the makings of an epic summer vacation.      


We’ll wrap up our year-long vacation itinerary with the fun-filled season of fall.  Fall is the time of year that Nature’s Mountain Playground is the host to hunters, leaf peepers, and international cyclists.  Combine all that with the Autumn Harvest Festival, Roadkill Cook off, and the Cranberry Shindig and you’ve got some of the best fall celebrations in West Virginia.  Join us this fall for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup hosted by Snowshoe Mountain Resort.  This event brings racers and fans from the international community right here to Pocahontas County. 

If a “must-do” portion of your vacation plans include trying new or unusual food, then there’s no way you want to miss the Autumn Harvest Festival and Roadkill Cook Off held in Marlinton in late September.  Sample some of the most delicious and uniquely named dishes Pocahontas County has to offer, meet the chefs and cooks, and cast your vote for the best roadkill dish. 

Early October brings another classic fall celebration – Huntersville Traditions Day.  Join the good folks of Huntersville as they commemorate our Appalachian heritage in a weekend-long event full of good food, displays, and educational opportunities, all centered around the early 19th century history of Huntersville and Pocahontas County. 

With the coming of fall also comes the beauty of fall foliage.  If fall drives are your thing, then you’ll want to plan a trip on the Highland Scenic Highway.  Keep an eye on the weather, time your visit carefully, and try to visit us at the peak of color.  With the scenic drives and miles of back roads throughout the county, you’ll have no trouble finding some of the most vibrant colors fall has to offer anywhere in West Virginia.

Well, the list could go on and on.  When it comes to planning your Pocahontas County vacation, there’s no such thing as a bad time of year to visit.  Whether you’re looking to plan a winter skiing vacation, a family summer escape in a state park, a spring solo trekking adventure in the backcountry, a fall hunting trip with a few festivals thrown in for fun, or you’re searching for some of the best romantic getaways in West Virginia, Pocahontas County has all that and so much more.  So, make this the moment you tell yourself, “I’m going to plan my trip today!”  Grab that vacation trip planner, pick a date (or two), and pencil in Nature’s Mountain Playground.