Washington & Greene Counties Covered Bridge Festival

Wow hard to believe that the week is already coming to a close, just like the summer.  With my new job and everything else in life, I haven’t nearly gotten to do what I had planned to do this summer.  I had wanted to go do some more sight seeing and grab some photos of places in the state.  But as all best-laid plans, these fell through.  However, I am looking forward to one of the upcoming events next month.   This weeks topic is going to be a little shorter than normal.

 

The Washington & Greene Counties Covered Bridge Festival.  This will be the 47th year of this annual festival.  Two years ago I got to go with some friends to go see this festival.   We made it to 4 of the ten bridges and had a blast doing so.   Growing up in West Virginia I knew of the Phillippi Covered Bridge, and have even driven through it myself.  I love Covered Bridges, as they are some of the last remnants of our history and how far we have come with Technology and design.  The festival is held the third week of September.  Each bridge has its own festival with different activities, crafts, food, historic reenactments, demos, and live entertainment.  There are 10 different covered bridge locations throughout the two counties for the festival.  The festival runs Saturday through Sunday 10:00a – 5:00p each day and Admission is free.

This is such a great way to enjoy a day or two learning about history and having fun.  If you are in the area check it out.  It will be held this year on September 16 & 17, 2017.

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Seneca Rocks

Good morning all, sorry for the delay this week in writing my blog.  Life sure does have a way of getting in the way.  After an extremely busy week, I needed a few days to recoup.   I am just thankful I can work on this in Monday evening and have WordPress Schedule the posting.   This week’s blog is on Seneca Rocks located in Pendleton County West Virginia.  I have only been to this location a handful of times and have yet to really explore the area.  Typically it has been while passing through and to take enough time to grab a few pictures.

Seneca Rocks are the only “true peak” on the East Coast of the United States and are inaccessible except by rock climbing.  This is one of the best-known attractions located in West Virginia and is a popular challenge for rock climbers.  Seneca Rocks are part of the western flank of the North Fork Mountain rising nearly 900 feet above the Seneca Creek.  The rocks are erosion-resistant Tuscarora quartzite with the thickest part being 250 feet.

The first European visitors of the regions were surveyors who passed through the area around 1746, with the first settlers arriving 15 years later.  In 1853 a well-known writer and magazine illustrator David Hunter Strother sketched the rocks.

In 1965 the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area was established within the Monongahela Nation Forest by the U.S. Congress and the rocks themselves were purchased in 1969 from the heirs of D.C. Harper by the federal government.  In 1978 the original visitor center was opened however during the flood of 1985 the center was severely damaged, and in 1992 the center was destroyed by arson.  In 1998 the current center was built and is known as the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center.   On October 22, 1987, the “Gendarme” pinnacle of the Rocks fell to the ground.

Rock climbing is a popular activity for this area.  There are over 375 major mapped climbing routes which vary from 5. degree to 5.13.  There are two climbing schools (Seneca Rocks Climbing School, and Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides) located in Seneca Rocks training prospective climbers in beginning and advanced rock climbing.  The south peak of the rocks is the tallest peak east of Devils Tower in Wyoming and is only accessible by 5th class climbing.  Since 1971 there have been 15 deaths while climbing the Rocks.   In 1943 and 1944 the U.S. Army used Seneca Rocks to train mountain troops in assault climbing in preparation for action in the Apennines of Italy.  When the training was completed they left behind an estimated 75 thousand soft iron pitons, some which can still be found on the rocks to day.

 

Ohiopyle State Park

Wow, we find ourselves at the beginning of another week and the end of the weekend.  This past few weeks have been extremely busy, but will hopefully be worth it in the end. This week’s blog is going to be on the Ohiopyle State Park.  Now don’t get too confused this is not in Ohio but in Pennsylvania in a small town yep you guessed it Ohiopyle with a population of 59.  This small town is a bustling center on the weekend when the tourist flock to the area for the outdoor recreations.

Ohiopyle State Park is located in the southern part of the Laurel Ridge.  The park encompasses around 20,500 acres.  The main attraction of the park is the rushing waters of the Youghiogheny River Gorge, which is pronounced as Yawki-gay-nee which has said to have some of the best whitewater boating in the eastern United States.  The first inhabitants of the area were the Monongahela Native Americas who were a clan of the Mound Builders.

The area actually started becoming a tourist area once the National Railroad was built in 1811.    Then the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Western Maryland Railroad accelerated the progress of timbering operations.  These railroads helped bring the tourist to Ohiopyle.  The round trip fare at that time from Pittsburg to Ohiopyle was one dollar.  In 1963, the town entered its current chapter of tourism.  The whitewater company called Wilderness Voyageurs began their commercial whitewater rafting on the River.  This was the first company to offer commercial whitewater rafting east of the Mississippi.

The park is open every day of the year from sunrise to sunset.  However, the overnight areas are only open during specific seasons and hours.  The park has a lot of different activities that one can enjoy when visiting the area.  There are two natural water slides in the park, picnic areas with tables, grills, and restrooms.  Of course, there is the Whitewater Rafting along with Fishing, and Hunting.  There are numerous areas for Rock Climbing, 79 miles of hiking trails.   The park has over 27 miles of biking trails, 25.2 miles of Mountain Biking trails, and 11.6 miles of Horseback Riding Trails.   The park has around 200 campsites and is open from April to mid- December along with Camping Cottages.  However, winter does not stop the activities in the park.  During the winter anyone visiting will have beautiful winter vistas, but the park offers 33.9 miles of Cross-country Skiing trails, a hill for sledding, and 15.9 miles of trails for Snowmobiling.

While visiting make sure you visit some of the waterfalls the park has to offer.  I know only being there twice I have gotten to see the Cucumber Falls and the Ohiopyle Falls.  However, there are other falls like the Upper and Lower Jonathan Run Falls, the Lower Sugar Run Falls, and Fechter Run Falls.

Hopefully, sometime in the near future I can make another visit to this wonderful park and find the rest of the waterfalls.  If not that gives me another excuse to go again to this beautiful and serene area.  Even if you just want to get out for a hike this is the perfect place.  The quietness of nature is one place that anyone can go and relax and enjoy all the beauty that this world has to offer.