Randolph County, West Virginia is ground zero for outdoor recreation. And you don’t have to drive hundreds of miles to experience it–all you have to do is step out your back door. The Monongahela National Forest is a highland paradise with all the natural beauty West Virginia has to offer. Here you will find some of the highest mountain peaks in the state, peaceful streams teeming with native trout, winding wildlife trails, epic vistas and views, and mountain trails you’ll want to keep exploring. With its headquarters in Elkins, the Mon Forest is an easy day jaunt or weekend adventure that offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature at its finest.
From fly fishing for native trout to outsmarting the elusive muskellunge, fishing in Randolph County isn’t just a sport–it’s an art, science, and way of life. We are at the heart of a merry tangle of rivers, streams, creeks, and brooks. Many say it is the veritable hub of recreational fishing in the state with the Tygart Valley River and Shavers Fork.
The Mon Forest has more than 800 miles of trails. Follow mountain ridge trails through hardwood forests, rest your legs at a scenic overlook, and watch hawks soar overhead. South of Elkins, Kumbrabow State Forest forms the cap of Rich Mountain along the west edge of the Allegheny Mountains. West Virginia’s highest forest at more than 3,900 feet above sea level, you’ll find Mill Creek Falls, one of two waterfalls in Randolph County that are a part of the West Virginia Waterfall Trail.
Go where motor vehicles can’t. Bikes are permitted in many areas of the Mon Forest, behind gates and on mountain trails. The Allegheny Highlands Trail offers 25 miles of rail-trail for bikers, the popular Mower Tract is known for its rugged mountain trails, and our country roads make for excellent gravel riding.
A drive in much of West Virginia is a scenic rollercoaster ride along roads clinging to mountains with swaths of lush trees. U.S. Route 219 has particularly nice views, and just south of the county it connects to a designated National Scenic Byway, the Highland Scenic Highway. Forty-plus miles of scenic highway extends along the Allegheny Highlands and Plateau, rising 2,000 feet in elevation. The highway creates a colorful corridor through the Mon Forest and is beautiful no matter the season.
With elevations reaching more than 4,000 feet, majestic sloping terrain, and an abundance of snow, Randolph County is beautiful when covered in a blanket of snow. Even if you don’t relish the thought of hurling yourself downhill on two thin pieces of carbon fiber composite, you can still enjoy a memorable winter getaway. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are great ways to view the forest at its wintry best. West Virginia’s premier ski resorts, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Timberline Mountain, Canaan Valley Resort State Park, and White Grass are just a hop, skip, and jump away, making Randolph County the perfectly situated base for all your wintertime fun.