Pocahontas County’s Best Scenic Routes & Sunrise Spots

There’s nothing better than early fall mornings and slow starts to your day. Cruising the open road and enjoying life’s small moments, surrounded by a canvas of colorful views and crisp mountain air. This idyllic experience is exactly what you’ll find in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Our area has many routes to choose from and the most serene places along the way to take in the sunrise.

Choose Your Scenic Route

Highland Scenic Highway (Route 150)

It’s impossible to compile a list of the best scenic drives in the region without first highlighting the Highland Scenic Highway. Stretching across 43 miles, from Richwood to U.S. Route 219, just north of Marlinton, this route traverses the Allegheny Highlands, offering spectacular vistas along the way. The elevation climbs from 2,325 feet to over 4,500 feet, making it one of the highest average elevated highways east of the Mississippi. As you drive, discover many roadside overlooks of deep valleys and surrounding mountains, each well worth a stop.

  • Find Your Sunrise Spot:
    • While the entire Highland Scenic Highway is stunning at sunrise, specific overlooks like Little Laurel Overlook and Big Spruce Overlook provide unparalleled early morning views. 
    • For those who love hiking at dawn, the High Rocks Trail along the highway leads to an epic sunrise view of Hillsboro and the Little Levels District. The sunrise here is always a sight to behold. 

Route 219

Running north and south through a significant portion of Pocahontas County, U.S. Route 219 is an essential link to popular destinations like Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Beartown State Park and Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. The route showcases diverse scenery, from vibrant tree-dotted fields framed by majestic mountains to scenic passes and picturesque views of pastureland near Slatyfork.

  • Find Your Sunrise Spot:
    • One of the gems along Route 219 is the TM Cheek Memorial Overlook at Watoga State Park. Offering expansive views of the Greenbrier Valley and Kennison Mountain, it’s an excellent place to sit and appreciate the beauty before you. The overlook also features a hillside picnic area — a perfect spot to start your day. To reach this overlook, follow a winding country road east from the park office, passing through the Buck’s Run cabin area.
    • Add Droop Mountain Battlefield Fire Tower to your sunrise bucket list. After a quick climb to the top, you’ll be rewarded with a dazzling view of the sun rising over the Allegheny Mountains and the Greenbrier Valley.

Route 39

West Virginia State Route 39 meanders through Pocahontas County and into Virginia, guiding you through pristine farmlands, wetlands and low-lying valleys. Starting in Marlinton and heading southeast into Huntersville, you’ll pass through Minnehaha Springs and Frost before reaching the Green Bank Observatory. This winding two-lane road offers a peaceful journey through landscapes that are nothing short of beautiful.

Route 92

Stretching north from Minnehaha Springs to Dunmore, West Virginia State Route 92 offers a quiet excursion through rolling farmland, where charming old barns dot the landscape. With its wide-open expanses and a touch of nostalgia, this route is perfect for a leisurely day trip. It’s an ideal starting point for those new to the concept of savoring the journey itself.

Other Spots To View The Sunrise 

Thorny Mountain Fire Tower

This 65-foot tower, located in Seneca State Forest, offers unobstructed 360-degree views of the forest and the morning skies. A quick climb up 69 rugged steps rewards you with a spectacular sunrise view. What sets Thorny Mountain Fire Tower apart is that you can rent out the cab, which has been transformed into a living space. Imagine awakening to the sunrise amidst nature’s embrace. The tower is available for overnight stays from May to October.

Cheat Mountain Overlook 

Cheat Mountain is renowned for its exceptional height, with four peaks rising above 4,800 feet. Savor a scenic sunrise view from the Cheat Mountain Overlook, accessible via U.S. Route 250.

To help plan your trip to Pocahontas County and explore all of the area’s hidden gems, request a free Adventure Guide