The town of Mannington, West Virginia, is located in the Mountaineer Country Region of West Virginia, and is near a bounty of wonderful attractions for our guests to enjoy. Beneath the misty moon or under stadium lights, Mountaineer Country is a vibrant region that knows how to have – and share – a rollicking good time. If you visit here, you’ll also find natural splendor to spare and a deep respect for heritage and diverse ethnic traditions. A wealth of woods, lakes, streams and trails makes for great hunting, boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and biking in this region.

Hard work, high hopes and civic pride have paid off handsomely in Morgantown, the region’s hub. Rated the Best Small City East of the Mississippi by Prometheus Books, Morgantown revolves around West Virginia University. The university’s Creative Arts Center, museums and arboretum all invite visitors – and fans by the thousands cheer at Mountaineer football games. Morgantown’s zest for the good life is evident in the flurry of development beside the Monongahela River, where the Wharf District is alive with shops, restaurants and galleries. Cyclists, ‘bladers and walkers populate the paved Caperton Trail, while others see the sights on guided river excursions.

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Nearby Featured Attractions

  • Coal Country Miniature Golf & Batting Cages – Based on a coal mining theme, includes a disc golf park, snack bar, gift shop, and coal mining museum. 22 Coal Country Lane, Fairmont, WV 26554; website
  • Covered Bridges – Mountaineer Country has more than its share of West Virginia’s 17 remaining covered bridges, including the three longest – in Philippi, Barrackville and Carrollton. Legendary builder Lemuel Chenoweth designed the former two, and all three bridges predate the Civil War. Chenoweth considered the bridge at Philippi a masterpiece. You will, too. website
  • Curtisville Lake – This beautiful 30-acre lake is surrounded by 695 acres with hiking and picnic areas. It is managed by the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission. Curtisville Pike (Route 7), Mannington, WV 26554; 304-363-7037; website
  • Heston Farm Winery (also Foxfire Restaurant, Pinchgut Hollow Distllery and Brewery) – a family-owned and family-friendly community business sourcing local meats and vegetables; 1602 Tulip Lane Fairmont WV 26554, 304-366-9463; website
  • Prickett’s Fort State Park – This park was started through a tremendous volunteer initiative, in 1974, 200 years after the original Prickett’s Fort was built. Today the facilities include a Visitor Center, the reconstructed fort, a restored 1859 home, outdoor amphitheater, and various recreational opportunities; 106 Overfort Lane, Fairmont, WV 26554, (304) 363-3030; website
  • West Augusta Historical Museum – Museum and Round Barn are open for tours May – September on Sundays from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m., or by appointment for groups. Unique exhibits including the original bed, chair and dresser of Frances H. Pierpont, first Governor of the restored Government of Virginia after the Civil War. Many antique items including mountain musical instruments, Victorian and early school exhibits. Rt. 250 N. in Mannington, WV, 304-986-1089 or 304-986-2636; website

Nature and Culture

Near the expanse of Cheat Lake, Lakeview Resort tends one of the top public golf courses in America. Also close to Morgantown is Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia’s largest state forest, with its famous 1,200-foot overlook of Cheat Canyon. The untamed Cheat River barrels through next-door Preston County, providing rapids that elicit shouts from the best whitewater rafters, while Cathedral State Park is a quiet gem of protected virgin forest. History lives in the very lay of the land at Arthurdale, the nation’s first New Deal homestead.

South of Morgantown, Fairmont also blends university and community life. You’ll get the flavor of the frontier by watching blacksmiths, spinners, weavers and other traditional artisans at Prickett’s Fort State Park. Watch the Tygart Valley River tumble over huge rocks, or hike and picnic at Valley Falls State Park.

In Clarksburg, just say gnocchi – the town’s Italian Heritage Festival takes place each September, but good cooking is available anytime. Nearby Bridgeport is a fun shopping town – and home of the venue for the Pete Dye West Virginia Classic, a stop on the PGA’s Nationwide Tour. Not far away, you’ll find an early farm restoration, hiking trails, a swimming pool and riding stables at Watters Smith Memorial State Park.

Trail of History

One of very few covered bridges still in use as part of the federal highway system, the Philippi Covered Bridge and the town’s historic district are on the Civil War Discovery Trail. Another stop on the trail is the Grafton National Cemetery, in the same town where Anna Jarvis founded Mother’s Day. Not far away, Tygart Lake State Park provides boating, fishing and swimming, along with a comfortable variety of lodging choices. No matter when you visit Mountaineer Country, you’ll probably find a celebration in progress. Fairmont honors native son Johnnie Johnson with a blues and jazz festival. Morgantown rises to the occasion with a balloon festival. Food, wine, mothers, Civil War battles and Native American history are all fodder for festivities. Join the fun in Mountaineer Country. It may go on into the night.

Happy Trails to You

Try out some adventurous Mountaineer Country trails. Morgantown’s Caperton Trail is part of the Mon River Trail, which traverses two counties. Also convenient: Decker’s Creek Trail, a rails-to-trails conversion, and the Cheat Haven Trail. From Fairmont, the West Fork River Trail goes to Shinnston. The two-mile MCTrail leads to Prickett’s Fort. Starting near Clarksburg, you can travel westward for 72 miles on the North Bend Rail Trail. And the Allegheny Trail, near Morgantown, stretches 330 miles, through the whole state. Excerpt from