The are few places in the eastern United States that offer pristine wilderness, sensational dining, great shopping, a flourishing art and music scene and lodging possibilities that range from dispersed backcountry camping to luxury resort suites.
Tucker County, a 421-square-mile region mostly located in northcentral West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest, manages to do exactly this.
From the sublime beauty of Blackwater Falls State Park to the stark, windswept wilderness of the Dolly Sods and the picturesque forests in the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Tucker County offers a vast and varied landscape for nature lovers to explore.
Photo courtsey of Timberline Resort
High-altitude mountain biking trails descending 1,000 feet from the apex of Herz Mountain are an increasingly popular attraction at Timberline Four Seasons Resort. The resort’s mountain biking trails have recently undergone major expansion.
The hard-core adrenaline junky will have no problem getting a rush, either. Tucker County offers tons of technical single-track trail, rugged mountain ascents and high-speed downhill runs.
Timberline Resort offers miles of bike trails that traverse varied terrain suitable for beginners to experts, as well as chairlift rides to the top of the mountain.
Canaan Valley Resort State Park also is well-known for its extensive and well-maintained network of trails.
Canaan Valley Resort has an 18-hole, par-72 golf course, with a marvelous view of the valley's rugged mountains.
Tucker County also offers a fantastic collection of restaurants, shops and art galleries.
The Golden Anchor, in Canaan Valley, offers fine seafood cuisine, perfect for an elegant evening.
Burrito aficionados and the generally very hungry are sure to find satisfaction in Davis at Hellbender, which produces tastes as big as its portions.
At TipTop, a coffee shop in Thomas, even the most experienced gourmands will be titilated by their world-class coffee, mostly locally sourced food and out-of-the-ordinary beers and liquors.
The Purple Fiddle, also located in Thomas, offers visitors healthy food, homemade ice cream and an impressive beer selection, as well as frequent live music.
With plenty of other excellent restaurants, like Sirianni's Pizza Cafe, recognized by USA Today as one of the top 51 pizzarias in the country, and Flying Pigs, recognized among the "Top 101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia," Tucker County can likely satisfy anyone's hunger.
The county also features plenty of shopping opportunities, whether visitors are into recreational browsing or they are looking for the perfect painting for their foyer. They should be able to find what they are looking for in Tucker's shops, which offer everything from fine antiques and sophisticated modern art to boutique clothing and country crafts.
A wide variety of lodging opportunities also are available in Tucker County. Camping is available at campsites in wilderness and forest areas and established campgrounds in the Blackwater Falls and the Canaan Valley Resort state parks.
Canaan Valley Resort also offers cabin and cottage rentals and rooms in the resort lodge.
More information about visiting Tucker County is available by calling the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-782-2775 or www.canaanvalley.org.