Taking the backroads around Monroe…

Travel along the quaint winding courses of Indian, Second, Rich, Cove, Potts, and Hans Creeks; the gently rolling plateaus of karst farmland; and the picturesque valleys nestled along the lofty ridges of the Appalachian Mountains. Along the way you will you can visit sites on the Civil War Trail or the Rural Heritage Quilt Trail.

Rural Heritage Quilt Trail

You are invited to take a trip back in time as you slow down and enjoy Monroe County’s scenic countryside. For your pleasure we have displayed the artistry of the traditional quilt on a backdrop of historic barns and buildings, schools, and local businesses. Take your time, pack a lunch or better yet stop at a local country store or diner to enjoy some local flavors. You will find a variety of historic sites and other places to entertain you along the way. Smartphone users, download I-treks to view quilt squares on featured routes. http://i-treks.com/routes/. Please note: the map that is on the Rural Heritage Quilt Trail website does not stand alone. When traveling around the county looking for the quilts, the map should be accompanied by the directions from the “Quilt Blocks” section of the website. http://www.ruralheritagequilttrail.com

The Springs Trail

More than a humdred years ago, in what is today one of the most pristine rural areas in West Virginia, visitors came by the thousands to visit the many natural springs in Monroe, Greenbrier, and Summers Counties. Where the healing waters flowed, grand resort hotels flourished. Some of them, such as the Greenbrier and Salt Sulphur Springs, continue to operate today. Others are abondoned now, their vast edifices and cool spring houses still whispering of past grandeur. Of some, only memories remain. The Springs Trail is a driving tour of these historic springs. Brochure available.

Farm Heritage Road

A West Virginia Scenic Byway (part of the National Scenic Byway System), this road offers a picture of life in rural, agricultural communities which in many ways, retains the character imparted upon it by previous generations. The route encompasses three distinct geographical settings: the quaint winding course of Indian Creek; the gently rolling plateaus of karst farmland; and finally, the picturesque Sweet Spring Valley, nestled alongside the lofty ridge of Peters Mountain in the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region. The push of industry and commercialism has largely by-passed the area, therefore, many old homes, farms, and public buildings remain from throughout the county’s 200 year history. Two lane paved road.

Mountain’s Shadow Trail

A West Virginia Scenic Backway, this road carries on the same theme and general character as the Farm Heritage Road, though in a slightly more rugged fashion. The farms carved out of these mountain valleys reflect the handiwork of settlers who, by choice or economic necessity, created an existence for themselves in somewhat isolated areas. The variety of the backway is bound together by the tangible presence of Peters Mountain, the 40 mile ridge of which is undoubtedly the county’s most notable geographic feature. Although wildlife is abundant throughout the area, it is perhaps even more easily seen along these less traveled roads. One lane paved and narrow gravel.

Bozoo Road

Scenic, rolling farmland en route to the Shanklin’s Ferry Wildlife Management Area. Two lane paved, one lane paved, and gravel.

Cove Creek Road

An interesting, and fairly short trip through a secluded valley. One lane paved.

Gates Road

This drive offers nice views of the range of Little Mountain and the lofty ridge of Peters Mountain beyond. One lane paved, gravel, and two lane paved.

Hillsdale Road

Attractive rolling farm country. Nice views of the Pickaway plains and Swopes Knobs. One lane paved.

Knobs Roads

This road offers spectacular views to the north and east as you descend the mountain toward Sinks Grove. Once off the mountain, the route offers a chance to admire the farmland around Pickaway, a WV Rural Historic District. Or, a leg may be added which follows the gravel road descending to the Second Creek Fly Fishing area. Steep one lane paved, reasonably wide gravel, normal one lane paved, and two lane paved.

Neff Orchard Road

Cattle and sheep farms and a modern working orchard. A place to rest your eyes wherever you look. Investigate branch roads: Moore Road and Rogers’ Mill Road where there is catch and release stocked trout fishing on Second Creek. One lane paved and narrow gravel.

Salt Sulphur Turnpike

The old turnpike came into being in the years between 1835 and 1860 as a stagecoach road which connected Christiansburg and the resorts in Montgomery County, Virginia, with Salt Sulphur Springs. The Mountain Lake Hotel, which was featured in the film Dirty Dancing, originally developed as a stagecoach stop along this route. The present condition of the peters Mountain section of this old road is probably not that different than it was in the days when it was traveled by stage. Road is presently suitable for high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

Turkey Creek Road

The route is mostly wooded as it passes through the range of Little Mountain, then the countryside opens up a bit as one enters the rolling hill country near Willow Bend and Union. The stream crossed twice by the road is the upper portion of Turkey Creek; one of the few streams in the state where native Rainbow Trout are known to spawn. Road is narrow gravel, and one and two lane paved. Backing up to a wide spot may be occasionally required to allow passage of oncoming traffic on one portion of the road. Use caution in bad weather.

Pyne’s Mountain Road

There are very few homes along this road, but it is a lovely woodland drive, particularly in autumn. After crossing the mountain, return to Union on Willow Bend Road, passing by scenic, open farmland. Narrow gravel and one and two lane paved. Some portions of the gravel road may require backing up to allow passage of oncoming traffic. Use caution in bad weather.

Potts Valley Roads

This road crosses Peters Mountain; passing by the parking lot for the Allegheny Trail and the Hanging Rock Observatory, then descends into Potts Valley. Views are extensive to the north and south on either side of the mountaintop, particularly after foliage has been shed in the fall. One lane paved and two lane paved. Use caution in winter weather. Conditions at the mountaintop are sometimes quite different than in the valleys below.

Wayside to Lindside

This road winds around the southern end of Swope’s Knobs offering nice views back toward Greenville. Route passes through the Laurel Creek covered bridge and to the community of Lillydale. One lane paved, and narrow gravel. Use caution in bad weathr. May occasionally need to back up to permit passage of oncoming traffic.

Wolf Creek Backway

A West Virginia Scenic Backway, this road winds into karst topography with 18th century settlements — Wolf Creek, Pickaway and Sinks Grove — and great farm scenery. Alderson, at the spot where the backway joins the Lower Greenbrier River Byway, showcases its history with an arched bridge, old depot and several unique shops. Two lane paved.

Backroads of Monroe

Great Eastern Divide

PO Box 341, Union, WV 24983
304.772.3003 x15.   866.677.3003 x15

Monroe is the only West Virginia county which straddles the eastern divide. Rain falling in Sweet Springs Valley east of the divide will eventually empty into the Chesapeake Bay by way of the James River. Rain falling west of the divide finds its way to the Greenbrier and New Rivers and will reach the Gulf of Mexico through the courses of the Kanawha, Ohio, and Mississippi. Although Peters Mountain still looms high over the valley at the location of the divide, the valley floor here is in excess of 2600 feet above sea level.

Laurel Creek

PO Box 341, Union, WV 24983
304.772.3003 x15.  866.677.3003 x15
info@travelmonroe.com

Still in use on Laurel Creek Road, between Lillydale and Greenville, the bridge has the distinction of being the smallest remaining covered bridge in the state of West Virginia.

Alderson Depot

City Hall, Box 179, Alderson, WV 24910
304.445.2916
Visit Site

Historic C & O Depot (circa 1896). A fully restored, inside and out, 1896 depot that is one of a kind on the C&O/CSX system. Still an operating depot for Amtrak.

Indian Creek

PO Box 341, Union, WV 24983
304.772.3003 x15.   866.677.3003 x15

The Indian Creek Covered bridge was built by two teenagers in the early 1900s along the route which would later become US 219. The road closely followed an old Indian path known as the Seneca Trail, or alternately, The Warrior’s Path. Present day US 219 doesn’t vary too greatly from the course of the footpath used by tribes of the Iroquois Nation.

Laurel Creek Bridge
Alderson
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