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If you’re an outdoors enthusiast and/or an arts lover, Elkins, West Virginia, makes an ideal road trip (though you might find it hard to tear yourself away after just one day). The county seat of Randolph County in West Virginia’s Mountain Highlands, Elkins sits along the Tygart Valley River at the edge of the Monongahela National Forest.

Elkins, named in honor of former West Virginia Senator Stephen Benton Elkins, is a well-known winter destination for its proximity to three major ski resorts, but the rest of the year offers plenty to do as well with activities like spelunking, hiking, birding, fishing, hunting, and whitewater rafting, and arts and crafts festivals held throughout the year.

Fun Fact

Elkins was once a thriving passenger train stop; in 1930, 18 passenger trains were arriving and leaving Elkins daily. Sadly, all passenger service was discontinued in 1958.

Not to miss

Outdoor adventures

More than 13 percent of all wild caves in West Virginia are located in Randolph County, four of them right in Elkins. Whitewater rafters will want to head to the Tygart River in neighboring Barbour County, with its Class V rapids and the largest drop in the Monongahela River basin that can be rafted or kayaked. With a protected forest nearby, Elkins is a great location for birdwatchers to view such species as red-tailed hawks, indigo buntings, kingfishers, and rose-breasted grosbeaks. The forests are also just the ticket for hiking and mountain biking. If you want a less active pursuit, however, the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad runs four trains in the area that feature scenic views of the area’s mountains and streams.

Davis and Elkins College

100 Campus Dr.

Founded in 1904, Davis and Elkins is home to The Augusta Heritage Center, which offers weeklong workshops in many folk-based activities like bluegrass music, blacksmithing, stained glass window making, and Celtic music.

American Mountain Theater

49 Martin Street


Located in Elkins’ historic downtown rail yard, American Mountain Theater is West Virginia’s first and only “Branson Style” family-friendly music, comedy, and variety show.


A number of artists and craftspeople make their home in Elkins or neighboring areas. Artists at Work is a co-op known for its unique pieces from local. There are also numerous craftsmen who sell their wares directly from their homes (check out to find out more), in addition to Mountain Made Artisan Gallery, located in Thomas, Tucker County, a short drive up U.S. 219 North from Elkins.

Save the date

July 2-July 31

American Mountain Theater

49 Martin Street


Presented Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., American Mountain Theater’s two-hour show is chock-full of entertaining fare, from gospel harmonies to comic impersonations and more.

July 6-July 11

Early Country Music Week at Augusta Heritage Center

100 Campus Drive

Randolph, WV


Explore country music from its roots with jam sessions, public concerts, and dances. Also offered the same week is Cajun/Creole Week, with blues and swing taking center stage July 13-18.

July 12

7:30 p.m.

“Wings of Wonder” - Birds of Prey

Blackwater Falls State Park

1584 Blackwater Lodge Road

Davis, WV


This Birds of Prey Education Program features live birds native to West Virginia. You’ll learn about the habitat, diet, and behavior of each bird presented, the most common causes of injury to each species, and the laws protecting these special birds. No fee to attend. Open to the public.

July 18

11 a.m.

Riverside Blues Train

Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad

315 Railroad Avenue


This 4-hour trip to the High Falls includes live Blues entertainment and a picnic at the falls with extended layover.

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West Virginia Tourism,