Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Diversions: Scenic Train Ride

I realize not everyone is lucky enough to have a spouse/significant other who also likes to ride. That makes trip planning sort of tough, right? It isn't always easy to find that delicate balance between a location remote enough to have awesome roads and no traffic, but populated enough to keep the family busy while you ride.

Hampshire County is one of those places. Romney is only about 25 miles southeast of Cumberland, Maryland. So it's really not that remote. The C&O Canal is nearby, which is the perfect place for a family bicycle ride.

Berkeley Springs is about an hour away, and it's full of quaint shops, cafes, galleries, etc. There is also Berkeley Springs State Park, which has a spa, massages, etc. Cacapon State Park is just a few miles south of Berkeley Springs. It is one of West Virginia's resort state parks, which offers a wide range of activities including lodging and dining.

Those two places are actually in Morgan County, but they're close enough to make an easy day trip if you're staying in Romney. Of course, you might also want to consider staying at the Cacapon Resort or one of Berkeley Springs' many bed and breakfast inns.

You'd still be close enough for the family to enjoy the most unique tourist attraction in Hampshire County, the Potomac Eagle scenic railroad. From Spring through Fall, the Potomac Eagle regularly offers narrated excursions through the South Branch Valley.

The train is actually based in Romney, a few miles from our house. We really had been wanting to try it out for a while, but the timing had to be just right. I think Fall is the best time, scenery wise. But then, I love Fall. Spring would also be great, especially if you've been suffering cabin fever and need to get out!

The Potomac Eagle rides south from Romney along the South Branch of the Potomac River. It really is a pretty area. The mountains may not be as dramatic as they are in the American West, but they’re still quite lovely. Especially in the Fall.

Here are my favorite shots from our trip.

You'll have to trust me when I say that either Hampshire or Morgan County would be a great jumping-off spot for some day trips you won't soon forget.


Shybiker said...

Your posts here are interesting for several reasons, but the photography alone is stunning. You have amazing talent with a camera.

ToadMama said...

Aw, thanks, ShyB. I practice a lot. I'm glad you find these posts interesting. It's nice to have a place to actually share these gazillion or so pictures I have taken over the years.

Fuzzygalore said...

Beautiful pics. The stone house could be a postcard.

That looks like a unique way to spend the afternoon and see the countryside.

ToadMama said...

Thanks, Fuzzy. It really was a nice trip. Normally, we would've opted to see the country on two wheels, but my parents, Hubby's Mom, and our youngest grandson were all visiting for the weekend. So we did the sedate train thing. :-)

motoroz said...

Great post. I have not ridden a train in a long time. I have thought about taking my son on a train trip. This one looks great. Beautiful scenery.

ToadMama said...

Oz, it really is a nice long ride. What I didn't mention is that they spot Eagles during most rides, which is something unique if you don't get to see many of them.