It is funny how a place can resonate with you once you arrive to explore it. I had never explored West Virginia, just passed through it. When given the opportunity I jumped at the chance. At a much younger age, I liked the idea of milder winters and rich mountain sky lines. I always thought I would settle down in the Virginia’s and honestly still might! Something about the country feeling of nature untouched lures people. Generations flock to the idea of a self sustained way of life. Riding into West Virginia our Host, Jon sang “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver. At first, I thought it so strange. He told us as we traveled through the “S” curves of the back country roads that the area just compelled him to sing it. We stopped to look at Cooper mountain (captured above) on our way to the Potomac Eagle Scenic train ride in historic Romney, WV. Looking back on my trip, he was right, that song does capture the West Virginia spirit!
“Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze”-“Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver
We started off our adventure on the railroad. This Sunday ride features a chance to see the country side while listening to a narration of natural and historical sites along your journey. It is a three hour tour which can feature meals if you so choose.
I was hosted as part of a FAM tour to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive experience. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.
We sat in the catered lunch section and let me tell you the meal was fantastic! I ordered the prime rib plate and it was one of the most tender, juicy and satisfying meal I’ve had in a long time. If given the opportunity to ride the train again I would spend the extra money and enjoy the meal service because it added to the overall experience of the trip.
I may have purposely forgotten to mention the main draw of this ride. Why so many people flock to enjoy it…that is…. You can watch bald eagles in their natural habitat. Not just once in a while but throughout your entire trip. They live in nests along the waterway and can be easily seen. We saw several on our trip and I was delighted at how close they came to the train.
Several different train packages are offered in different price ranges. Don’t feel bad if the lunch coach is not an option for you. This train ride is worth the views alone and they have snacks you can purchase if you are on a tight budget. I do suggest walking out the panoramic cart once the train stops to enjoy the sights. it really is a MUST SEE part of the trip! This was one of the best areas to watch the eagles and perfect for kids!
After finishing our dessert, Reese’s cheese cake, our trip had come to an end. We got off the train and headed into Historic Romney to explore downtown.
A great place to start is the Taggart Hall Civil War Museum and Visitor’s Center. This will provide you with a historical map of the town along with some history. For instance one of the stops, pictured above, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson headquarter’s.
Another great location to visit is the Central Redoubt which housed the Forts artillery. This location has trenches used in the battles fought on these very grounds.
You can explore Fort Mill ridge by following the trail maps located around the wooded areas. They also have an Indian Burial grounds that might be of interest if you have the time while in Romney.
Not extremely into History? Romney has more to offer than just that. While exploring downtown I found out many of the West Virginia Wineries lean toward Sweet wines! My favorite kind of liquid dessert so I headed into a Free Tasting store and tried a bunch. They will ship to you if you are traveling light! Another great place to stop in and visit is the Hampshire County Co-op & Heritage Marketplace. This is where I started to see the focus on Arts, music and self sustainability. You can find local artisans crafting, playing and selling their goods here. They host gatherings, concerts and lessons. it is such a great place to unwind and enrich yourself in the West Virginia hospitality.
Our first day in the area was a long one. We traveled, explored, hiked and met so many wonderful people. It was time to turn in for the night. I would be remiss if I didn’t capture this “Model T” car for my Mother, who is a huge car enthusiast. It really represents the vintage feeling of this Historic town and Motel in which we stayed.
Our motel was called the Koolwink. I can’t say I was a fan of the clown art they displayed. It did however, seem to fit the theme of the current remake version of Stephen Kings “IT” movie. While I might not enjoy the decor I can look past it since I was there to stay the night not redecorate. The rooms were by far one of the largest I have ever stayed in without being considered a suite.
I won’t lie I got an extremely restful night’s sleep here!
Have you ever been to Romney, West Virginia?
Do you enjoy Historic sites while traveling?