Sometimes you need to just get away for the day. And our state offers plenty of cheap options for day trips right around the corner. We’ve listed the price (excluding gas) and the distance in hours it will take you to get there from Charleston, Morgantown, or Martinsburg.

1. Take a drive on the Highland Scenic Highway

Via Wikipedia

This may be the best day trip on our list because it’s completely free. Just a short drive from Summersville, this scenic byway winds you along the top of a ridge through the Monongahela National Forest. More info on the route available from the West Virginia Department of Commerce. Pardon us while we make this our desktop background.

Cost: Free 

Distance from…
Charleston: 2.5 hours
Morgantown: 3 hours, 5 minutes
Martinsburg: 4 hours, 4 minutes


2. Take a Ride on the Cass Scenic Railroad

Via Wikipedia

Also nestled in the Monongahela National Forest is the wonderful Cass Scenic Railroad. The drive there is beautiful and so is the ride up the mountain on this former logging train. There are a couple different trips available ranging from two to four hours. More info.

Cost: $22 for adults, $17 for children

Distance from…
Charleston: 3 hours, 12 minutes
Morgantown: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Martinsbug: 3 hours, 23 minutes


3. Hike to take this Iconic Photograph of Harper’s Ferry

Via Wikipedia

Bet you’ve seen this photograph of Harper’s Ferry, but do you know where it’s taken? You can hike the overlook trail of Maryland Heights to get this iconic view. In the interest of full disclosure, this day trip is actual in Maryland. And the mile to two mile hike (depending on which trail you take) is strenous and not for the weak of heart. But once you make it to those rocks, you won’t regret it. More on the traila PDF trail map.

Cost: Free

Distance from…
Charleston: 4 hours, 52 minutes
Morgantown: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Martinsburg: 32 minutes


4. Canoe Down the Trough

Via Flickr

There’s only one way to get through the canyon outside of Romney known as the Trough: by train (the Potomac Eagle) or by canoe. And since we’ve included one train trip on this post, we opted for the water route. If you’ve never seen an eagle, this is the place to go. The Trough General Store rents out canoes and will drop you off at the top of the trough and paddle your way back to the store downstream.

Cost: $65 canoe/$35 kayak for a 5.5 mile trip

Distance from…
Charleston: 3 hours, 54 minutes
Morgantown: 1 hour, 47 minutes
Martinsburg: 1 hour, 17 minutes

More: 11 West Virginia Hikes That Will Take Your Breath Away