West Virginia Your Way

Things to do in West Virginia!

City Teen Who Visited Greenville in 2012

(The following post is courtesy of Taya McCormick, at the time a high school sophmore from Virginia Beach who visited Greenville, WV in 2012.  Taya wrote the blog and included a few of the photos you see in the article.  We’re reposting the blog on MonroeCo.WVyourWay.com and once again thank Taya, who is now a member of the United States Navy!)

I took a trip to Greenville, West Virginia after finding my interests on MonoreCo.WVyourWay.com, and I absolutely loved it. Everything about it was beautiful. I read the history behind Cooks Old Mill and walked around and took some pictures of it. It’s a very big building and very old.

The old mill located along Rt. 12 in Greenville.

Right across from the building is a red wood Mill. It is really pretty because there are flowers all around it and its interesting to learn about what happened in our history.  Beside the Old Mill building there is a little creek and the water is quite cold. The creek is cold because the water runs from a cave into the creek. I sat down and enjoyed the beautiful view from the picnic table that is under a tree that gives shade. On the other side of the Old Mill is a little building that looks like a house made out of wood. Inside of the little building are two looms that are made out of wood. They were used to make wool. It was interesting to look at the looms because we don’t have them anymore and we have gotten rid of most of them. I also think it is interesting to know that women used to sit there for hours and do it. I liked looking at them because we get to know more about how the world was back when we didn’t have all the technology that we do now.

Looms inside one of the buildings at the mill.

When I walked around the creek I saw some really pretty flowers that surrounded it. It was nice to look around and see all the wonderful colors of the wild life. I really enjoyed walking around and looking at nature. The thing I enjoyed most was the bridge that covered the creek water. It was beautiful and I could spend the whole day standing there on the bridge. It was so quiet and the sound of the creek was very peaceful.

Footbridge across the creek below the mill.

Beside the bridge there were two porter potties that you can not use but they are there to look at because that’s how it was back then. If you look across the bridge you see a man made waterfall that lets the creek water from the pond into the running creek that runs under the bridge. When you go across the street there is more nature and more of beautiful scenes. I also saw some ducks and little baby ducks. It was a great day and I enjoyed going to the Old Mill. I also went to – and enjoyed the animals that were there. There were some weird kinds of animals that let me take some pictures of them. I also saw a lot of deer which not a big deal because here in West Virginia the state has a lot of deer. I enjoyed driving in the car and looking at the different kind of animals that – have. Now I know why it is named Greenville because it is filled with nature and the beauty of it is nature. I got to see a lot of interesting things when I visited Greenville and I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun and I recommend it for everyone.

Some of the game at Mountain Meadow Hunting Preserve. Go to the Tourism Heading and check the keyword “Hunting,” or under Lodging check “Cabins, Lodges and Wireless Internet.”

August 20, 2012 Posted by | Lodging, Tourism, Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Visiting Sandstone Falls

A trip to Sandstone falls is more than simply watching water cascade over a rock, because this waterfall has an island below it with a boardwalk and plenty of places where a person can wander over the island and climb around the falls.  Also, a trip to the falls takes you through Hinton, which affords places to stop and get a bite to eat with spectacular views of the New River.  The drive to the falls from I-64 is half the fun.

We took exit #139 and turned down Route 20 heading toward Hinton.  Just after you pass the store across the railroad tracks on the right, be sure to look to your left as you cross the bridge which spans a creek, whose name I don’t remember, to see a towering cliff carved from the side of the hill.  Shortly thereafter, you will wind up the mountain which twists its way toward the town of Hinton 12 miles away.  Don’t worry, the road doesn’t snake through the mountain the entire way.

There are places to pull off and view the river, and even the falls, along the way.  I encourage you to stop to view the falls because it will heighten your anticipation of when you can get up close and personal with them.

When you reach Hinton, you could stay at the Guest House on Courthouse Square (Lodging > Bed & Breakfast, Inn and Suites), or choose from restaurants like Kirk’s, or the Dairy Queen, where you can sit and enjoy a spectacular view of the New River as you enjoy your meal.  Kirk’s has an open patio so you can enjoy the breeze and lean over and watch the huge catfish begging like puppies – well, almost. If you prefer to eat inside and still have a great view of the river, Dairy Queen is the place to go.  To visit their listings go to WVyourWay and click the heading “Restaurants.”  Then scroll down and click on the keywords, “Breakfast All Day, Desserts, Family, Fast Food, Homestyle Cooking, Motels or Wireless Internet.”  To get directions, simply add them to your itinerary and they will be provided.

We then drove down to the falls using the road on the west bank of the river, since it’s the only way to reach the falls.  As we strolled along the boardwalk and watched fisherman wade to the edge of the pools of cool water, the area reminded us of a scene from “Swiss Family Robinson.”  More accurately, the “Swiss Family Robinson” attraction at Disney World, but I digress.

Since there were several places to get off the boardwalk, I took a hike over the rocks to see if I could get closer to the falls on the eastern side of the river, which appeared to be bigger, and thus, more spectacular.  However, I discovered other streams of rushing water that seemed to overflow the rocks, which made passage a bit more difficult than I had initially anticipated.  That’s when I prudently decided the adventure part was over and settled into the appreication part of the visit.

We met other couples, and several pets, as we walked the loop around the island.  Some were simply enjoying being outdoors on a pretty day, while others were studying the tiny plant life which was just starting to bloom.

If you’re looking for a nice day trip to enjoy a day, it will be hard to beat Sandstone Falls, which just may be West Virginia’s finest!

April 10, 2012 Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Diving for Weenies!

Bill Johnson standing next to his sign.

“Which eye do I look in?”  That was my first thought as I began talking to Bill Johnson, proprietor of the Johnson Family Campground in Braxton County.  I settled on the left eye finally, but soon thereafter it began to wonder off so I switched to the right eye.  I asked Bill about which eye was the one I should be looking in and he laughed and proceeded to tell me a few stories about his eyes and some of the comments he has heard over the years.  Such as when one of his hunting buddies didn’t think it was fair hunting with him since he could see around trees and look both ways at the same time!

Bill, a Christian man with high morals, tells of his difficulty talking to women wearing low-cut tops.  “They keep pulling up their tops ’cause they don’t know which eye I’m looking out of.”  As I laughed he assured me he was looking into their eyes.

We then took a tour of his campground as he gave me the history of the place.  His Dad bought the property, located on the banks of the Birch River where Long Run empties its waters into the rock strewn river, way back in 1946. 

When I first drove up to Bill’s House, which you come to first, I was first struck by the size of the huge rocks to the left of the house.  Bill pointed out one rock and said, “A 17 year old boy climbed to the top of that rock and it took 4 grown men to get him down!”  The road to the campground goes between those rocks which seems to stand as towering walls protecting the campground.

Rock Walls

Bill and I walked along that road and he showed me his unique picnicking spot on top of one of the rocks.  He also told me about the miles of ATV trails which he could ride for two weeks without crossing the same trail.

As we walked down the road his 40X80 foot pavilion came into sight.  As with many other things at the campground, Bill had built the pavilion using trees he cut as pillars.  He tells me of how they used to have over a thousand people at Gospel sings.  “Once I built the pavilion; though, people quit coming.”  He said they had a sing last year, but it only drew 18 people.

He showed me a sign hanging on the wall near the stage that said Gospel singers had to be fully dressed if they wanted to sing.  I thought that was odd and so asked him about the sign.  He said, “Some people made that sign for me ’cause some of the singers would get up here wearing shorts or bikini’s.  They needed to have more respect for God than that.”

I agreed and we moved on to what I came to realize was the centerpiece attraction of the campground.  In the middle of the river was one of those huge rocks with a deep pool between the rock and the shore.  Shelly, who lives at the campground, told me earlier that Bill, who is 66 years old, dives off that rock and he thinks anyone that won’t dive off the rock like he does, is a “weenie.”  I asked Bill about that and all he would say is he’s been diving off that rock for 60 years and he never jumps.  I took that as confirmation of Shelly’s claim.

No Diving for Weenies!

On the way back he showed me the petrified stump he found and an old millstone that used to grind grain in a nearby mill.  He told me of the bridge over the river seen from his yard that his Dad helped build back in the 20’s, which is now named after his Dad.  He showed me where the horses had cut a trail down the river bank before the bridge was built, and the fording place up the river where wagons used to cross.

If you like talking to men who love their land and care for it like a child, then you need to go camping at the Johnson Family Campground.  You will find it on www.WVyourWay.com listed under the “Lodging” heading and Campgrounds RV’s/tents, or the “Tourism” heading under Fishing and ATV Trails.

As I was about to leave he invited me in the house for a bowl of beans.  I told him how tempting that was, since I could smell them cooking from the kitchen, and asked him if he had a ham bone  in them.  He  replied, “Hickory smoked ham.”  I knew; however, that if I went in for a bowl of beans, I’d still be sitting there listening to Bill tell his intriguing stories.

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Tourism | , , , , , , | 3 Comments