The Appalachian hill country around Marion County, West Va., is full of outdoor recreation opportunities and cultural heritage. Take a trip to check it out!

Outdoor Adventure

Paddles to the water and tires to the trails! Adventure flows through this mountain terrain.

Valley Falls State Park’s waterfall challenges kayakers to take the plunge. And the less daring visitors can enjoy the action with a picnic on the rocks that jut into the raging rapids. Or, cast a line in and see what you catch.

Plenty of trails snake through the forest from the park and beyond. The forest is full of discovery¬†—¬†from natural wonders to hidden geocaches.

For families, there’s plenty to enjoy beyond hiking and biking. Toss a round of disc golf, splash around at the water park, or take a boat for a whirl on the lake. Even Fido has his own place to play at the dog park.

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Historic Exploration

Take your bike back through time, to the industrial rail boom and coal mines. Cycle along McTrail or Mon River rail trails, retracing the old steam engine paths along the banks, over historic bridges and through gaping tunnels.

Or, pedal to charming historic covered bridges, preserved in their rustic beauty along the countryside. You can even keep on till your feet carry you back to the 18th Century at Prickett’s Fort living history museum, just at the tip of one of the trails.

For a low-key wind down, play your way through mining history at Coal Country Mini Golf, and stop into the on-site coal museum to learn more.

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Charming Culture

And after a day of exploring, head to town for some old-fashioned fun and kindness from the tight, small-town community.

Refuel from your journeying with a classic mountain meal, or enjoy one of the authentic Italian restaurants or 50s-style diners and hot dog joints. Taste the state secret, the pepperoni roll, in all its gooey, savory deliciousness, fresh from the oven where the treat was first baked.

Once you’ve taken in the tastes, listen to the sounds of the traditional roots music around town. From the WV Country Music Hall of Fame to the weekly hoedowns and outdoor entertainment to the many music festivals celebrating the area’s greats, dance the afternoon away bluegrass, folk, blues and all the finest Southern styles.

Take note of the perse architecture that dots the town, and take a closer look in the Historical Society Museum. Or stroll the creative shops, picking out primitive decor, crafts and antiques.

And, a great adventure ends with a toast. Raise a glass of farm-fresh wine, whiskey and moonshine at Heston Farms, or of the sweetly harvested honey-brewed mead at Mountain Dragon Mazery.

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