Sometimes a day is all you need to create some fun memories. How about a float down the river, a scenic drive, a walking tour, an electric mountain bike ride through the woods, or a zipline trip through the trees? Board Amtrak for a scenic ride to the Greenbrier Resort, discover some history at the John Henry Historical Park, or chase some waterfalls.
Wild & Wonderful Waterfalls
Take a trip along Summers County's local waterfalls and experience the beauty of our cascading falls. Start your journey minutes away from the Sandstone Visitor Center with Lick Creek Falls and Claypool Falls, both roadside creek waterfalls offer an off the beaten path feel. Continue your trail along Route 20 to Hinton and take New River Road to Sandstone Falls, a cannot miss stop in the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. Hop back into your car and following Route 20 south, stop at the parking lot for Pipestem Falls to explore this beautiful roadside falls and sit for awhile. If you are up for a hike consider Indian Branch Falls located in Pipestem Resort State Park along the County Line Trail or the waterfalls along Big Branch Trail located along New River Road before Sandstone Falls to complete your trip.
Southern Gateway to the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve
The Southern Gateway to the New River Gorge Park and Preserve has much to offer a national park visitor. Beginning at the Sandstone Visitor Center, day trippers can learn about the natural and historic importance of this section of the park before continuing their day of exploration. From the visitor center, Brooks Overlook is a must stop location to not only get a bird’s eye view of a beautiful section of the New River, but to chance seeing a majestic bald eagle soaring by. As you continue your journey along picturesque Route 20, take the time to stop at Camp Brookside and take in the river with a gentle walk along the camp’s property.
Continue your drive with New River Road, where you will discover two subsistence farmsteads: Trump-Lily and Richmond-Hamilton Farms. Both offer a look at the life and legacy of Summers County’s past. For hikers looking to stretch their legs and experience our trails, Big Branch Trail offers a challenging but rewarding two mile loop past waterfalls and old farmstead ruins to boast a gorge and river view that is a splendid climax before descending back to the roadway. Our final cannot miss spot is Sandstone Falls. Sandstone Falls is the largest waterfall on the New River and spans the river at 1500 feet wide, making it a sight to behold and a wonderful place to enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
Almost Heaven State Parks
With both Bluestone and Pipestem Resort State Parks calling Summers County home, visitors have access to a wide variety activities and amenities to choose from. Work off breakfast by lacing up your hiking shoes and adventuring on one of the 27 trails offered by the parks with some favorites including Pipestem’s rugged County Line Trail which includes Indian Branch Falls 1.2 miles into the hike, Bluestone’s Rhododendron Trail which features seasonal waterfalls and a chance to see WV’s state flower in bloom, and the Bluestone Turnpike Trail an almost 10 mile long trail which connects the two parks. Spend the day in the air or on the water by booking a zip lining trip with Pipestem Peaks or make some waves by taking advantage of boat rentals at the Bluestone Marina. Wind down your day near the water with a picnic or with a relaxing session at Pipestem’s Mountain Serenity Spa. Then, finish your evening with a picture at an Almost Heaven Swing enjoying a picturesque view of Summers County, WV.
Hinton National Historic District Walking Tour
Summers County’s county seat, Hinton allows visitors to experience a taste of small town hospitality. Request our Hinton Historic District walking tour brochure here to insure that you do not miss what this national historic district has to offer. As you are experiencing the streets of Hinton, take the time to go into the restaurants and shops that call the district home. Grab a coffee from the Otter Cafe as you shop Otter & Oak. Find an old treasure at Grandma’s House Antiques or create something new with a terrarium at Botany Tropicals. Explore what The 211 Gallery and Hinton Outfitters have to offer. If you start to feel hungry, stay in the historic district with Lucky Rivers Cafe and Catering and The Market on Courthouse Square
African American Heritage Auto Tour
Created by the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve and partners, the African American Heritage Tour is a
self-guided driving tour that leads you through four counties (Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, & Summers) throughout southern West Virginia. Along the tour you'll discover the stories of the many black coal miners, railroad workers, and other community members that helped shape this region.
Local stops include the John Henry Historical Park, the Hinton Depot, and the Second Baptist Church in Hinton.
Pick up an audio CD at the Sandstone Visitor Center or download the app.
Get on the Water
Spend your day on the water in Summers County. We are home to three fabulous rivers; the Greenbrier, the Bluestone, and the mighty New, and West Virginia's third largest lake, Bluestone Lake. For a guided adventure adventure check with Cantrell's or Pipestem Adventures. Rent a kayak from C.A.N. Outdoors and go it alone. Our rivers are perfect for the novice. Wanna go tubing? Berry's Campground and Otter & Oak both offer river tube rentals.
Summers County is home to many public river access points, request a visitor guide for more information.