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Great Family Weekend Getaway

  • By:Ellen Stone
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Warmer weather is finally here and that means it is a great time to plan a spring family getaway! The one place that has remained in my mind after our visit was Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia.  Cass was founded in 1901 as company town for the workers of West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company. On first arrival you will notice the Greenbrier river running along the town.  We visited Cass during the summer and between mountains and the river it surprisingly cool!

The town has upfitted some of the original mill workers homes as guest accommodations (we stayed in the Piney Williams home).  The town also boasts a General Store, restaurant, museum and gift shop.  You can also take the walking trail by the river which will lead you by some of the decommissioned steam engines.  Being able to see the engines close up was a great experience my nephews loved that you could actually climb on to them.

We took one of the train tours to Whittaker Station, the actual location of the logging camp.   It was a two-hour round trip, with a layover at the logging camp.  The views from Whittaker and along the train ride were absolutely stunning.  I highly recommend taking one of the many train tours(During the winter they do a polar express ride!), some are a little pricey but well worth it!

We also decided to visit the Greenbank Observatory.  If you’ve ever wanted to see one of the worlds largest radio telescopes this is the place for you! There is a science center to explore as well as a tour to see the telescope up close.  Green Bank is a national radio quiet zone, so no cell phones are allowed to be on during the tour, the signals can disturb the telescopes communications (No digital pictures, but you can use disposable cameras).  The observatory’s website has tons of great information to plan a trip: https://www. greenbankobservatory.org.

To view a picture of the telescope click here:  Green Bank Photo.

A few other things to do nearby are:

 

  • Visit Snowshoe mountain, a ski resort with tons of family fun year-round!
  • Hike, bike or fish down the Greenbrier River Trail
  • Visit the Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park

Cass was truly a beautiful mountain getaway!  There was variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy.  I can’t wait to go back and explore more of this hidden gem!

 

Resources: West Virginia State Parks, Snowshoe Mountain

Posted in: Staff Blogs

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