CASS, W.Va. (WFXR) – Imagine yourself in the mountains. It’s a perfect summer afternoon and you are relaxing outside. Now imagine it all aboard a scenic train enjoying the sights and sounds of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
This is exactly what you can do at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park in Pocahontas County. It’s a small town with a big history that started with a tree – a red spruce to be more precise.
This type of tree was an important aspect of forestry for East West Virginia and West Virginia.
It was because of this tree that a railroad was built in 1900 down the mountain to Covington in Alleghany County and what is now known as the Westrock Paper Mill.
At the Covington plant, the trees were turned into paper.
Trees were cut from Cass until 1960.
Fast forward decades and the current big draw of Cass is a scenic railroad that transports guests up the mountain.
Cass offers several different train trips.
“We have around 50,000 visitors who come to take the train every year. We have two different train routes. The most popular is the Bald Knob ride which lasts four and a half hours. He travels 11 miles on the trail to a lookout. We have another route which is at Whittaker Station. It’s a two and a half hour ride that climbs halfway up the mountain and back.
Marshall Markley, Superintendent of Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Customers also appreciate these train journeys. Many of them say this is an opportunity not to be missed.
“I love the story and what they do with it. It’s really great to keep the story alive, not just for us, but for the memories and for the younger generation to learn. “
Kermit Orndorff, Visitor
Yes, the Cass Scenic Railroad is not just for sightseeing, there is a lot of history to learn. But you can’t leave without taking a souvenir.
This is why the Cass Company Store is a place to visit. It’s full of merchandise and fun items to buy. Inside there is a restaurant and soda fountain as well as a newly installed miniature train that was just built last year during the pandemic.
There are plenty of other things to do in Cass.
The Greenbrier River Trail stretches 79 miles from Cass to Caldwell, which offers plenty of room for biking, hiking, walking, and horseback riding. You can also go kayaking and canoeing on the Greenbrier River, which is also great for fishing.
Back at the railroad, next to The Company Store, you’ll find a historic museum steeped in history. An exhibition of wooden stamps, produced by the students of WVU, will be on site until October.
Next to this is the historic Cass Theater which houses a 20-minute film about Cass’s history as well as a scaled-down replica of the town.
This year, another big draw coming to the area is the Greenbrier River Trail Marathon and the inaugural half-marathon which takes place on October 3, 2021. The Greenbrier River Trail Marathon takes place between Cass and Marlinton with a 1.5% drop over the 26.2-mile run. The Half Marathon is a 13.1 mile round trip, both of which take place on the Greenbrier River Trail. Registration is open for this event by clicking here.
This destination offers a wide range of fun things to do in the small town of Cass, West Virginia. They really have something for the whole family!
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