The Allegheny & Blue Ridge Trip

9 Days in the Appalachian Mountains

You don't have to drive far from Washington, D.C. to get away from it all. The mountains of Virginia and West Virginia offer some great byways and parkways, along with countless recreation opportunities. This trip travels south through West Virginia, then returns via the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. It took me 9 days, but you could easily chop out a section and do the rest in a long weekend.

Day 1

From DC into the WV Panhandle

This day begins with my arrival at Dulles Airport, and heads west into the mountains. I made a few stops at interesting places in the West Virginia panhandle and Maryland, before the end of the day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Day 2

Around Pittsburgh, then south

I had some personal business to tend to in the Pittsburgh area, but still did some sightseeing on this day, before heading south in to West Virginia for the night.

Day 3

Northeastern West Virginia, and a bit of Maryland

On this day, I explored some of the small towns and parks in the northeastern part of West Virginia, near the panhandle, and crossed briefly into Maryland.

Day 4

Rock-climbing on the Via Ferrata

I spent most of this day on the Via Ferrata at NRocks - Nelson Rocks Preserve, then visited the highest point in West Virginia before calling it a day.

Day 5

Through rolling hills on the eastern side of West Virginia

This was an enjoyable day of scenic driving, while visiting small towns on the eastern side of West Virginia, on my way to Lewisburg and Beckley for the night.

Day 6

Spending some time around my home town

I spent Day 6 revisiting some places I hadn't seen in a few years, as I drove around my old hometown. Then, I got the heck out of there, and headed south, setting up a couple of excellent scenic driving days.

Day 7

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway

This day was devoted entirely to exploring the Virginia portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, headed northbound from the state line, through Roanoke, to the end of the parkway (and the beginning of Shenandoah National Park.

Day 8

Shenandoah National Park

This day was devoted entirely to driving through, exploring, and hiking in, Shenandoah National Park.

Day 9

Finishing the trip in D.C.