Things to Do
Less than a mile from Blackwater Falls State Park, the Inn is only nine miles from Canaan Valley, Timberline and White Grass and well-located for day trips to nearby wilderness areas. Located in historic downtown Davis, we are close to restaurants, bars and galleries and only two miles from historic Thomas, WV and its thriving arts scene, including the Purple Fiddle.
The 800,000 acres of Monongahela National Forest that surround the inn are a nature lover's dream. There are numerous hiking and biking trails right on the edge of town and we would be happy to help you plan a trip. We love sharing our beautiful area with guests!
The Canaan Valley region’s high altitude and scenic beauty offers hiking, mountain biking, whitewater sports, cross country and downhill skiing, rock climbing, caving, hunting and trout fishing. Winter finds the area blanketed with 150-200 inches of natural snowfall annually. And our cool summers (2001 high temperature was only 84!) are a welcome relief from sweltering cities. Bring your own equipment, or let us introduce you to local outfitters for guidance, trip planning and rentals.
Davis is also home to Blackwater Bikes, the state's oldest mountain biking outfitter and a great source of bike rentals, maps and good advice. The even offer fat tire bikes for snowy weather!
Things to Do in Davis, WV and Canaan Valley
Hiking — Easiest hiking can be found in the Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley state parks. At Blackwater, don’t miss the steps down to the falls and the short hike to Lindy Point overlook.
There are several beautiful trails on the edge of town, off the Camp 70 Road and a newer 4.5 mile trail, called the Splashdam Trail in walking distance from the inn. Both are prime areas for picking blueberries (July) and cranberries (September).
For more challenging hikes try the Mononogahela Forest’s wilderness areas at Dolly Sods and Otter Creek and Seneca Rocks. Hiking is also available on the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and off of Canaan Loop Road.
Biking — Davis has long been a Mecca for mountain biking. Camp 70 road, a flat seven-mile gravel trail that begins behind the Shop N Save grocery store, is popular for beginners. It connects with a few shorter trails within the wildlife refuge. There are also two railroad grades that lead from nearby Thomas that are popular for novices. More challenging trails are the Plantation trail system off of Canaan Loop Road and the Dobbin House trail system accessed from Blackwater Falls State Park. The folks at Blackwater Bikes, next door to the inn, will be more than happy to help you plan a ride to suit your skill level. The area also boasts beautiful terrain for road riding. Route 72, south of Canaan Valley is an especially popular ride.
Skiing — For downhill skiing, the inn is only nine miles from Timberline and Canaan Valley Resorts. It’s a straight shot south on Route 32, and takes about 15 minutes.
For cross country skiing, nearby Blackwater Falls offers ungroomed trails, while Whitegrass, in Canaan Valley, offers a larger system of groomed trails. Both offer ski and snowshoe rentals. Whitegrass also offers lessons and an excellent café open for lunches daily and weekend dinners by reservation. On Sundays in ski season Whitegrass offers fantastic nature walks led by Chip Chase with snowshoes provided free to participants.
Whitewater Rafting — Guided whitewater rafting is available from Blackwater Outdoor Adventures in St. George (40 minutes) or Cheat River Outfitters in Albright (50 minute drive). Call in advance to reserve a space.
Canoeing & Kayaking — Most canoeing and kayaking occurs when water levels are high along the Blackwater and Dry Fork rivers. Canoes and tubes can also be rented in St. George from Blackwater Outdoor Adventures. In addition to guided whitewater raft trips, they offer leisurely float trips down the Cheat River.
Fishing — Trout are plentiful in the Blackwater and along the Dry Fork. Stocking begins in late winter and proceeds throughout the spring. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the lodge at Blackwater Falls State Park.
Rock Climbing — The climbing school at Seneca Rocks, about 40 minutes away, is the center of climbing activity for the area. It boasts a climbing school, rock wall and a community of expert climbing instructors. The Via Ferrata at Nelson Rocks offers a mile of fixed-anchor, professionally-guided rock climbing near Circleville (40 min).
Birding — Spring and summer offer awesome bird watching. Hotspots include the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, the Otter Creek Wilderness area and Seneca Rocks. Bird lists of local species are available from Susan. Fall bird migration can be observed at Dolly Sods in early fall at the bird banding station set up along the Allegheny Front. It’s a great way to see banding in action and meet some expert birders.
Stargazing — Our dark nights offer great stargazing. Popular dark spots include the ride along Canaan Loop Road and turnouts along the lodge road at Blackwater Falls.
Horseback Riding — Guided rides are available at Mountain Trail Rides on Freeland Rd. in Canaan Valley, which offers offers great rides to the top of the valley rim.
Petting Zoo — Younger children will enjoy the Petting Zoo at Blackwater Falls State Park, offering a small selection of docile farm animals and pony rides.
Driving/Touring — West Virginia is famous worldwide for its country roads, and we are surrounded by some of the most beautiful ones in the state. Popular drives include the Laneville Road to Dolly Sods, Route 72, Back Hollow Road and Route 33 to Seneca Rocks. The gravel Canaan Loop Road is also beautiful, but quite rugged where it meets Blackwater Falls State Park. It’s for expert four-wheel drivers only.
Underground Caverns — Rainy days are great times to explore the fabulous Smoke Hole caverns, about a 40 minute drive. Smoke Hole is home to the world’s longest ribbon stalactite.
Train Rides — The Potomac Eagle based in Romney (about an hour’s drive) offers three hour round-trip excursions and all day and special event excursions from May to November. Eagle sightings occur in over 90% of excursions.
Paragliding -- Canaan Valley Resort and the Mountaineer Hang Gliding Association have created a launch site accessible via the resort's scenic chair lift. Just more than 4,000 feet in elevation,the southwest facing launch site faces into the prevailing winds, which are extremely rare in the Appalachian Mountain range.
Hunting — West Virginia’s hunting season begins with gobblers in the spring and ends with deer in December. The Canaan Valley National Wildlife refuge is an increasingly popular hunting destination. Hunting is also available in the Little Canaan Wildlife Management area on the edge of town, Monongahela Forest off Canaan Loop Rd. and at Dolly Sods. Hunting regulations and information about licensing are available at the refuge visitor center.
Arts and Entertainment -- Live music can be found most weekends, and even many weekdays at the Purple Fiddle in nearby Thomas. The Mountain State Brewing Co. and the Country Roads Diner in Thomas also feature bands on many busy weekends. In Davis, Blackwater Brewing Co. and Wicked Wilderness Pub provide live entertainment that is within easy walking distance to the Inn.
Galleries and Fine Crafts -- Davis is the home of the Studio Gallery and the Highland Artisan Gallery, both of which feature local and regional painters, potters and photographers. In Thomas the White Room, Creature and Lamplight Galleries feature local crafts, prints, sculpture and painting. Our area is becoming well known as an art and cultural destination. Come see for yourself what all the fuss is about!
"Clean clear streams, high mountain trails leading to alpine pastures overlooking the Canaan Valley. Bike, walk, fish — its all in Davis, West Virginia. Top it all off with an overnight stay at the Bright Morning Inn." -TripAdvisor Review