Greenbrier Valley West Virginia
Long before English settlers claimed the Greenbrier Valley, it was largely uninhabited by anything but flora and fauna. In the early 1700’s, western migration had not extended much beyond Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The budding town of Lewisburg was little more than a western outpost along the Midland and Seneca trails. However, many of the townships that dot the county are experiencing a cultural revitalization of sorts. Not only are they investing in their “story”, they are finding new and creative ways to share it with others. Although much has changed, the seasoned traveler will find the valley’s intrinsic natural beauty, notable landmarks, and small town charm refreshingly intact.
While any time of year in the Greenbrier Valley promises postcard-perfect photo ops, the arrival of fall is especially rewarding.
For the ultimate fall experience in the Greenbrier Valley expect to venture the road less traveled, far beyond the beaten path; discover scenes enhanced by foliage so vibrant they appear to be hand-painted artwork – crafted by the most talented of artisans. Beginning in mid-September, the transformation commences along the mountain top ridges, while the valley floor retains its dense, green canopy well into October. The landscape is dominated by poplars, oaks, and maples promising a spectrum from yellow to red and just about every shade in between.
Hern’s Mill Bridge is one of only two remaining covered bridges in Greenbrier County. Built in 1884 and still traveled today, the bridge is a first choice among those hoping to capture images of the West Virginia countryside.
A National Scenic Byway, retrace Route 60 from White Sulphur Springs through Lewisburg and west to Rainelle. This two-lane road winds through some of the most scenic hardwood forests and farmlands in the county. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, the Greenbrier River Trail borders its namesake the Greenbrier River for nearly 80 miles. With multiple access points and hiking and biking possibilities, the trail provides insider access to the Valley’s fall foliage. However, the local scenery is only one of the Valley’s star attractions.
Fall in Greenbrier is also time for fresh picked apples, decorative gourds, and pumpkins aplenty. Try traversing a corn maze, taking a hayride, making your way through a haunted house, or biting into the season’s first apple cider donuts. Each year on the second Saturday in October the Taste of Our Towns festival, or TOOT, is held on the streets of downtown Lewisburg. Local restaurants, shops, and civic groups share their favorite delicacies from crab cakes and pot pies to pumpkin fudge and bread pudding. The flavors of the season are more than just tempting, they’re a food-lover’s paradise.
The Greenbrier resort dates back centuries, but its infamous secret agent-era past is chronicled by the underground bunker beneath the hotel. Exposed in 1992 and now open for tours, the relocation center was an emergency U.S. Congress fallout shelter for nearly thirty years.