Swiss and Cass Ride Preview
Route 15, Route 20, and Route 66 are 3 of
the best roads in West Virginia.
Helvetia is a nice little Swiss village. The
Green Bank Observatory
Cass Scenic Railroad
are great stops. The
Cranberry Mountain Nature Center in Hillsboro and the
Highland Scenic Highway are great ways to end the ride.
This ride starts by following Route 219
north to Valley Head. Turn left on Route 15 which is the first great
riding road of the day. Stay on Route 15 until Webster Springs and
then turn right onto Route 20.
This stretch of Route 20 from Webster
Springs north to French Creek may just be my favorite road in West
Virginia. This is a 2-lanes idyllic joy to ride with perfect curvy
asphalt through a tunnel of trees.
In French Creek, turn right onto Alexander
Road. This is another great ride with terrific asphalt.
Alexander Road becomes County Road 46 and
brings you to a high mountain valley and the little Swiss village of
The town has been preserved and is fun to
walk around in. If you are still here at 11am consider the Swiss
Hutte Restaurant (Review)
Upon leaving Helvetia, Route 46 becomes a
great ride as it descends to Route 219 and the town of Mill Creek.
There is one especially pretty hairpin that will have you craning your
Turn right on Route 219 and ride a short
ways south to Huttonsville. Turn left onto Route 250 and ride the
great curves east to Bartow.
Turn right on Route 28 and ride to the
Green Bank Observatory.
Pull in to the entrance on your right and park at the Green Bank
Science Center. This is the starting point for guided tours of the
Green Bank Observatory telescope ($6) and contains an exhibit hall, a
150-seat auditorium, a gift shop, and a full menu Starlight Café.
Admission to the exhibit hall is free and has interactive, hands-on
exhibits exploring the electromagnetic spectrum, radio science, and
the site history. Plan about 30 minutes for the exhibits.
The Starlight Cafe serves
salads, wraps, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, etc. There is a nice view
of the telescopes and surrounding mountains.
Routes 28 and 66
The telescope tour features science
demonstrations and a short film about the Green Bank Telescope. The
tour continues with a bus excursion through the gates into the RFI-restricted
Zone for an up-close look at the telescopes.
Green Bank Telescope
Bear right on Route 66 to the historic town of Cass.
Cass Town Sign
Park in the lot by the station for the
Cass Scenic Railroad.
Walk across the tracks to the Old Company Store and discover more
about trains at the park’s Cass Historical Museum. Visit and explore
the exhibits for free. While you’re there, take a guided tour of the
locomotive shop. See how engineers repair and maintain the historic
Shay locomotives. There is a restaurant here called The
Last Run Restaurant (review).
Lastly, you can also stroll through the historic logging town of Cass.
Cass Scenic Railroad
Continue on Route 66
and then turn right into
Snowshoe Resort (map).
Good food choices are the
Old Spruce Cafe & Tavern (review)
which are both in the Rimfire Lodge. Those in need of a java fix can
try the Starbucks next door.
Leave Snowshoe and turn right on Route 66 and then left onto Route
219. This next stretch of 219 has some great curves and fun riding.
Gold Wing Riders can consider the obligatory stop at the Dairy Queen.
Ride through Marlinton at follow
Route 39 to the
Cranberry Mountain Nature Center in Hillsboro. The center has some
good nature displays, walking paths, and restrooms.
Route 39 & Highland Scenic Highway
Turn Right on Route 150 and enter the
Highland Scenic Highway (map).
Route 150 and Route 39 to Fenwick make up the Highland Scenic Highway
and offers great views and nice riding.
Highlands Scenic Highway
There are 4 scenic overlooks on Route 150. From the south the first
one is the Williams River Valley Overlook.
Highlands Scenic Overlook #3 - Williams
Next is the Big Spuce Overlook.
Highlands Scenic Overlook #2 - Big
Then the Big Little Laurel Overlook.
Highlands Scenic Overlook #1 - Little
overlook on Route 150 is the Red Lick
Descend down to Route 219.
Turn left and follow Route 219 north to the hotel.