Summer is Here!  Get Out and Make the Most of It in Pocahontas County


Michael Moore 

Well, the summer season is finally upon us and here in Nature’s Mountain Playground that translates to outdoor adventures and family getaways.  Summer is that time of year that brings to mind summer camp, lake adventures, camping, cookouts, lazy float trips down spring-fed mountain rivers, star gazing, and just about any other excuse we can find to get outside and enjoy sunny days and warm nights.  So, if you’re looking to round out your summer activities list for 2023 allow us to offer a suggestion or two.  Here’s a few “must-do” warm weather ideas for summer adventures in Nature’s Mountain Playground. 

Family Water Fun

When it comes to a little family time in and around the water, Snowshoe Mountain Resort in the summer has got you covered.  For a fun day out on the water you’ll definitely want to visit Snowshoe’s Shavers Lake.  Grab enough sunscreen and beach towels for the whole family and make a day of it.  Enjoy the beachfront setting and 200-foot-long dock giving you and the kids access to the expanded swimming area.  And to take the adventure and fun of your family outing to the next level, Shavers Lake also makes available canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddles boards, as well as water inflatables for children and teens.  So, whether you’re in search of summer activities for preschoolers or summer activities for teens, a day at Shavers Lake has something for every member of your family.


If you’re wanting to combine a summer lake experience with a little rustic outdoor camping, then you’ll want to consider a stay at either Watoga State Park or Seneca State Forest.  Both destinations offer rustic cabins, RV lots, and tent sites.  Add to that the four-acre lake at Seneca, the eleven-acre lake at Watoga, as well as quick access to the Greenbrier River (anyone up for a lazy float trip?), and you’ve got the makings of a family summer getaway that just might turn into a family tradition. 

Rolling Fairways   

Summer is the perfect time to hit the links.  And whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the game, you’ll love the courses in Nature’s Mountain Playground.  Tee off at Snowshoe’s Raven Golf Club and experience a world-class, 18-hole championship course designed by Gary Player or opt for the leisurely nine-hole course of The Pocahontas County Country Club.  Both courses are open to the public and offer a combination of scenic beauty and just enough of a challenge to bring you back for another round or two. 

Scenic Drives and Epic Rides 

Whether you choose to get around on four wheels or two, Nature’s Mountain Playground offers some of the best summer scenic drives in the state.  Hit the Highland Scenic Highway and picture the Allegheny Highlands from a whole new perspective as you climb in elevation from 2,000 feet to over 4,500 feet in elevation.  With four scenic overlooks to easily accommodate your car or motorcycle, you’ll want to slow down, pull over, turn off the motor, and take a moment or two in a relaxed, tranquil state of mind to enjoy the beauty of the panoramic views each of these overlooks offer.

Hiking and Biking

If slowing down and taking in the beautiful scenery of Pocahontas County sounds like your kind of summer outing, then lace up those hiking boots, air up those bike tires and join us on any of the over 500 miles of hiking and biking trails throughout the county.  With five state parks, two state forest, and more than one-third of the Monongahela National Forest residing in Pocahontas County, you’re bound to find more than a few trails to explore this summer. 

Train Rides

For many of our summer guests a visit to Nature’s Mountain Playground has to include a trip to Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.  Founded in 1901, the town of Cass has changed very little in the last 122 years.  Originally built by the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, Cass was not only home to many of the men that logged the surrounding mountains, but to the old Shay steam locomotives that carried timber off those mountains as well.  Today you can book excursions out of Cass, riding on the original track from 1901, as period-correct Shay engines carry you to the heights of Bald Knob and back; along the same route the old trains travelled over 100 years ago. 

Science and Discovery

The warmer nights of summer make it an ideal time to get out under the stars and see far beyond our daily view of the world around us.  If science and the universe fascinate you then you’ll want to plan a visit this summer to the Green Bank Observatory.  The Green Bank Observatory is home to the world’s largest steerable radio telescope and it’s right here in Pocahontas County!  Come tour the facility, take a behind-the-gate bus ride to the 485-foot-tall telescope (and others along the way), and learn about the equipment and discoveries made at the observatory from the 1930s to today.

Summer is all about getting outside and getting out of your daily routine.  Whether you’re looking for quality family time at the pool or a secluded campsite tucked away in a shady spot in the woods, summer is the perfect time to slow down and reconnect with friends and family.  Summer is that time of year for scenic road trips, cookouts and picnics, historic train rides, gazing at the stars above, exploring new trails, and making few long, straight shots down the middle of the fairway.  However you choose to enjoy your summer this year, we hope you’ll get out and make the most of it and make plans to spend a little of it here with us in Nature’s Mountain playground.