About Midland Trail
Formed in 1988 as a volunteer non-profit heritage preservation and economic development organization, the Midland Trail Scenic Highway Association (MTSHA) is dedicated to enhancement of the Trail for those who work, live, and visit here, now and for the future. Small towns, villages, businesses, and those interested in preserving history and the natural beauty along old U.S. Route 60 comprise our 300+ members and supporters.
An America’s Byway
In 2000, the U.S. Congress honored Midland Trail/U.S. Route 60 with the prestigious designation of National Scenic Byway, while WV-DOH designated the western 59 miles as a State Scenic Byway. The Trail’s byway designation recognizes its integral role in the history and
development of our nation and acknowledges the area’s unique scenic, natural, recreational, historic, and cultural qualities.
From our centralized office in Charleston, we are building a 180-mile linear community focused on economic and tourism development in the six counties through which U.S. Route 60 travels.
Our aim is to enhance the visitor experience with up-to-date travel information on attractions and special events, improved wayfinding and visitor amenities, and interpretation of the Byway’s rich history and natural qualities.
Welcome to Midland Trail
As Executive Director, I invite you to enjoy that special travel experience that comes by leaving the interstate behind to take “the old road.”
Midland Trail National Scenic Byway (U.S. Route 60), the state’s oldest scenic byway, is a well-paved dual-lane highway that stretches border to border across south central West Virginia between Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs through Ansted, past the Capitol in Charleston, and on to Kenova and Huntington.
A Road For All
Visitors treasure the Midland Trail for a variety of reasons. For many, Route 60 is simply where they live or work. Others use Route 60 as the most direct route to the outdoor adventure, sports, and relaxation offered in West Virginia’s rivers, lakes, gorges, forests, and streams. Relocated West Virginians use it to return to the “old home place.” History buffs come for the Civil and Revolutionary War and pioneer history, or to retrace the paths their ancestors used to escape to freedom from slavery. For others, it is industrial history that brings them here—the smokestacks of the place where Grandpa worked in the chemical, coal, or other industry. The Byway has three distinct areas, each with its own culture and unique offerings.
Using the Guide
Our Guide offers a mix of historical information and current attractions for each of the 40+ towns, villages, and cities that dot the 180-mile byway.
Plan your trip using the special sections in the Guide: Accommodations lists all the lodgings and their amenities; Dining lists special places to dine; Family Fun lists attractions the whole family will enjoy; and Shopping lists shops with antiques, and/or West Virginia art and artisans.
Blue Mile Markers
Watch for the blue byway mile markers (right) that point the way along the Trail from the Ohio/Kentucky border at Kenova to the Virginia border. The Guide uses corresponding mile markers (MM) to help plan your travel. The State Capitol is MM-59. Huntington is MM-10. Lewisburg is MM-162.
A wealth of knowledge, brochures, and information about area attractions is available at the Midland Trail Visitors Information Center at 2504 Kanawha Blvd. (MM-60), the Ansted Museum (MM-104), the South Charleston Mound and Midland Trail Interpretive Center (MM-53) and the Convention and Visitors Bureaus, especially those in the towns of Huntington, Hurricane, South Charleston, Lewisburg, and White Sulphur Springs.
We, and the 300+ partners along the Trail, welcome you and remind you that ... adventure begins at the exit ramp.
Come Closer. We Have Stories to Tell.
Projects of the Midland Trail
We are continuing to work on several projects as part of our goal of providing you with an outstanding visitor experience.
We have developed a website and a video that tells our history and published six previous guides. Using major publications to reach the mid-Atlantic region, our marketing and distribution program enables us to have the top requested guide at West Virginia Welcome Centers, 1200+ individual guide requests monthly, plus bulk requests, and guides distributed in all 50 states and several foreign countries
Creating Traveler Amenities
MTSHA provides guidance to towns and sites along the Trail seeking to develop tourist attractions. National Scenic Byway (NSB) program has funded improvements to Virginia’s Chapel, The Meadow River Campground, the Booker T. Washington Institute at Malden, and Ansted. Ansted-Hawks Nest Trail was funded by NSB and WV DOH TEA-21.
New Interpretation Venues
Visit Midland Trail Outdoor Interpretative Exhibit at South Charleston Mound, and the nearby South Charleston Mound and Midland Trail Interpretive Center, our first completed venue created to promote and interpret our rich history. Virginia’s Chapel Cedar Grove Wayside Park is underway and Gauley Bridge Visitor Center is planned.
An Illustrated History
Across the next three years, visiors will be enjoying Midland Trail Murals Public Art Project. Thirty pieces of original art are being commissioned to depict 25 centuries of history and create roadside mural exhibits across the entire byway. An accompanying book, Midland Trail--An Illustrated History, will educate students and visitors. When completed, be sure to travel the entire byway to see all our great works of art!
Midland Trail Events and Celebrations
Watch for upcoming events that bring together our partners, raise awareness of the Byway attractions, and celebrate our successes.
We will be celebrating Midland Trail as the oldest road in America with the 225th anniversary of George Washington completing
Midland Trail from Colonial Virginia to Cedar Grove, West Virginia (1790/2015).
In Touch with History
In Touch with History Interpretive Exhibits will present 25 centuries of Midland Trail history from 500 B.C. to the present day in a fun, engaging,
and informative format for all ages, by utilizing interactive touch-screen technology. These interpretive exhibits will be placed at partnering visitor centers or attractions across the 180-mile byway.
Listen closely, and you will hear the echoes of the past. The footfalls of hooves. The creaks of wagon wheels. Feet marching in cadence to the drumbeat of war. Steam whistles and chugs of locomotives.
Great herds of buffalo beat this east-west path across the Appalachians. Shawnee dragged captive Mary Draper Ingles across parts of it. Daniel Boone hiked it. George Washington and Andrew Lewis first surveyed and owned it. Stagecoaches rumbled over it and soldiers burnt its bridges. Booker T. Washington walked it. Collis P. Huntington’s railroad passed through the New River Gorge, leaving it in the dust until the automobile revived a need for it. Generations of ghosts haunt every mile of the Midland Trail. It is the scene of over 200 years of exploration, conquest, and American industrial history.
Living History Beech Fork State Park—Mary Ingles Trail:
Last weekend of September
St. Albans – Morgan’s Kitchen Fall Festival:
2nd Saturday in October
2nd Saturday in May
Malden—Booker T. Washington Institute:
By appointment for groups.