Grant County, located in the Potomac Highlands,
is less than three hours from major airports in Washington (DC),
Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Settled by pioneers in the 1700s, Grant
County only came into being following the Civil War, when Union
sympathizers in the western part of Hardy County opted to separate
themselves from the Confederate loyalists concentrated in the
eastern part of the county.
Grant County is characterized by a series of parallel ridges and
valleys pierced by occasional water gaps, and in the part of the
county west of the Allegheny Front is a high rolling plateau that
is cooler and wetter than the ridge and valley land to the east.
Petersburg, the county seat, is the economic and cultural hub
of the region.
Grant Memorial Hospital is the only general hospital serving the
Potomac Highlands, and the Petersburg Airport is the only general
aviation facility with a lighted runway in the region. Grant County
offers visitors a wide range of recreational activities: skiing,
biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, caving, rock climbing, kayaking,
boating and golfing.
Fort Mulligan Located
on Route 28 South near Grant Memorial Hospital. During the Civil
War, both Federal or Confederate troops occupied the hill and surrounding
area beginning at least as early as August, 1861. The fort itself
was built by Union Colonel James A. Mulligan, from Illinois, along
with his 23rd Illinois troops and those from Ohio, Pennsylvania
and western Virginia. During an expedition to the area in 1864,
Major General Jubal A. Early praised the fortifications and commended
the efforts of the men. The fort is still regarded as one of the
best preserved fortifications in West Virginia.
Vernon W. Welton Park
29 acres located 2 miles northeast of Petersburg
along the South Branch Potomac River on Route 220. The animal rock
formation know as the Fox & Ox Rocks can be seen from the park.
. Facilities include five picnic pavilions, rest-room facilities,
playground area, ball fields, two boat ramps and a walking track..
City Park (Petersburg)
12 acres along the South Branch Potomac river
near the center of town. Facilities include four lighted tennis
courts, a basketball court, three picnic pavilions with fireplaces,
a lighted baseball field, swimming pool, playground, picnic areas,
rest-rooms and a gazebo. City Park is the site of the annual Spring
Mountain Festival in April and 4th of July events.
20 acres located 6 miles from Petersburg on Patterson Creek Road
in Arthur. This is a large wooded picnic area with three pavilions
and fireplaces well as a large playground area, baseball and softball
fields, volleyball area and rest-rooms.
Echo Park 18
acres located 7 miles southwest of Petersburg on Route 28. Five
residential cabins, with a shower and rest-room building, dining
hall and kitchen. Facilities include two ball fields, a basketball
court, volleyball area, playground, campfire area, four pavilions
and a large stage. Open May through September.
Mountaintop Park 10
acres located on Route 42 in Mount Storm. The park has three picnic
pavilions with fireplaces in addition to a playground area, a paved
basketball court, ball field and rest-rooms.
6 acres located 12 miles north of Petersburg on Route 42 in Maysville.
This park has the county's only public rifle and archery range,
pistol range, muzzle loader range, and regulation trap shooting
field. Other facilities include two picnic pavilions with fireplaces
and a playground area.
South Mill Creek Lake
Located on South Mill Creek Road, 12 miles
south of Petersburg. Fishing includes crappie, trout, large-mouth
bass, sunfish and catfish. A modern boat ramp along with a fishing
pier for the handicapped is available. The park has a small picnic
area with barbecue grills and rest-room facilities. There is also
a walking trail along the lake.
South Side Depot In
1884, the Hampshire Southern Railroad completed the 15 mile spur
from Green Springs to Romney, and in 1910 continued construction
through Moorefield to Petersburg. Mr. W.C. Halterman operated it
as a general merchandise store from 1911, until 1940, with the slogan,
"It pays to deal at the Hardware Store." In 2003, the
City of Petersburg purchased and renovated the historic building,in
conjunction with the West Virginia Department of Tourism. Renamed
The South Side Depot, the store now offers the atmosphere of times
past with today's authentic West Virginia Heritage.
Petersburg Wave A
unique recreational feature of Grant County is the Petersburg Wave,
a rising column of air generated by strong west winds plunging over
the Allegheny Front and deflected upward by ridges to the east.
Each March finds many glider pilots setting altitude records on
the Petersburg Wave.
Smoke Hole Caverns
The history of Smoke Hole Caverns is linked
to the Seneca Indians. These Native Americans used the front section
of the caverns to smoke and preserve venison and wild game. The
slow burning wood fires sent clouds of smoke swirling out into the
valley. The scene was so common that early settlers called the place
Smoke Hole. The many rooms and secluded nature of the Caverns were
also the ideal place for early settlers and immigrants to make corn
whisky after the war. It is estimated that perhaps as many as 20
stills operated at one time. One has been preserved for visitors
to see. The Caverns opened for commercial tour in 1942
Top Kick's Military Museum
The museum was founded in 1995 as a
nonprofit organization to preserve and restore military equipment
on a limited basis to show the gear, supplies and apparatus used
by the military..
The 10,215 acre wilderness area has high wind-swept plains on the
Allegheny Plateau. At elevations from 2,600 to over 4,000 feet,
the area has extensive flat rocky plains, upland bogs, beaver ponds
and sweeping vistas. The plant life and climate on this high plateau
resembles northern Canada, and many species found here are near
or at their southernmost range. Local farmers burned the plains
to create grazing land or "sods." The pioneer Dahle family
used the sods for grazing about the turn of the century. Their German
name became the present "Dolly" of Dolly Sods. The Dolly
Sods Wilderness Area is located in the Monongahela National Forest,
roughly 15 miles west of Petersburg.
Eagle's Nest Outfitters
They have several scenic river trips for visitors
to experience the fresh, clean waters passing between majestic cliffs,
mountaineer farms, and vistas that provide spectacular scenery especially
in the spring and fall.
Fairfax Stone State Park, a 4-acre WV State Park, is located just
off of Route 219 north of Thomas. The stone marks the junction of
Grant, Preston and Tucker Counties and is one of the oldest markers
in the United States. In 1681 Charles II of England granted Lord
Hampton 6 million acres in this area. The grant was inherited by
Lord Fairfax in 1722. Situated at the source of the north branch
of the Potomac River, where three counties converge upon the southern
tip of Maryland, the Fairfax Stone is the cornerstone for the state.
Many of the earliest surveys in West Virginia started from this
point, and some historians believe that the original stone may have
been set by George Washington as a surveyor in his youth. The spot
marks the boundary between Maryland and West Virginia and the headwaters
of the Potomac River.
Greenland Gap Nature Preserve
This is part of the Nature Conservancy's
effort to save the wilderness. In the spring season enjoy spectacular
rhododendron blossoms. The preserve is open year-round from dawn
Smoke Hole & Big Bend Recreation
Area The area is located
next to a half-mile nearly vertical, canyon wall, adjacent to the
South Branch of the Potomac. Big Bend has 46 campsites and is a
favorite of fly fisherman. There are 30 miles of maintained trails
nearby to explore the backcountry. A 1-mile hiking loop trail is
at the campground. Big Bend is also a favorite river tubing area
in the summer.
Mount Storm Lake A
1200-acre lake built to serve the Mount Storm Power Station, it
is also a great recreational resource for fishermen and waters skiers.
The lake is stocked with largemouth bass, channel catfish and sunfish
and is also a favorite for windsurfing and sailing.
Brook, brown, rainbow and golden rainbow trout
are all produced in West Virginia hatcheries. Petersburg is known
as the "Home of the Golden Trout," which is a color mutation
of the regular rainbow and was developed using selective breeding
at the Petersburg hatchery.
Spring Run Waterfall & Hatchery
Located about 6 miles south of Petersburg
close to Dorcas, Spring Run Waterfall and Hatchery offer visitors
peaceful walks along a moss lined creek with rapidly flowing waterfalls
in the springtime. This is is one of two hatcheries in Grant County
where one can see the Golden Trout.
The South Branch of the Potomac
This river offers excellent fishing
for small-mouth bass, some large-mouth bass, trout (rainbow, brook,
brown and golden rainbow), channel catfish, eel and carp. There
are over 200 miles of trout streams nearby> Monongahela Forest
contains 600 miles of cold water streams and represents 50 percent
of all trout water and 90 percent of native trout water in West
Virginia. Warm-water anglers will be equally entertained with 350
miles of stream and some of the best small-mouth bass waters in
the state. Four state-record catches of small-mouth bass, rainbow
trout and large-mouth bass have come from the South Branch
Spruce Knob & Spruce Knob Lake
Traveling south on Rt. 28 from Petersburg
is the popular Spruce Knob - Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area.
It contains 100,000 acres and West Virginia's highest mountain peak,
Spruce Knob. It rises 4,863 feet above a dense cover of conifers.
Azaleas, mountain laurel, and rhododendron fill these meadows with
bright colors early in the summer. Spruce Knob is located in one
of the more remote areas of the National Forest.
Seneca Rocks One
of West Virginia's best known landmarks, and a favorite of rock
climbers who scale its sheer 900-foot Tuscarora quartzite cliffs.
Seneca Rocks is rated as an extreme climb and should only be attempted
by experienced mountain climbers. The well-marked hiking trails
that circumvent its base, however, can be enjoyed by all. The Discovery
Center offers interpretative programs and special arts and crafts
and mountain music throughout the summer.