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Rt 60 Road Trip Being Planned

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I am in the process of planning a short trip out US 60 starting in Ashland, KY. I haven't decided yet if I'll be heading east or west. Anyone know of any good sights to see? I will be leaving the last week of Jan or first week of Feb. Depends on how quick I get my camper finished. I'm in the process of building a teardrop camper to take on my back roads trips.

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Hi there and welcome! I haven't taken US 60 in either direction, so I can't help with that...however, I am curious about your building of a teardrop trailer. My husband and I are fascinated with them and hopefully someday will buy one!

 

Are you building it from a kit or plans? What kind of features do you have on it? Is it modern or retro?

 

If we do get one, we probably won't get anything too elaborate, but I at least wanted a functional galley in the back. I can't imagine us using it to make anything complicated, but it might be cool to make some meals on the road, so I'd like some decent storage for cooking utensils, room for a gas stovetop, and a built in cooler.

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Less than 150 miles west of you is the Blue Grass Parkway which American Road Magazine featured in a recent issue. A slightly shorter drive to the east gets you to Hico with the big New River Gorge Bridge just a few miles south. I've driven US-60 from its eastern terminus in Virginia Beach, VA, to near Afton, OK, although not all in one stretch, so took a look at my own journals to see what caught my eye in an Ashland centered section. From the east, I posted nothing between Lewisburg and Charleston, WV, so I may have been in a hurry, frightened into two-handed no-time-for-the-camera driving, or just saw nothing I thought photo worthy. All are possibilities. West of Charleston, I noted a century old amusement park (that won't be much fun in February) and a few old buildings. On the west of Ashland route, I posted some building shots in Frankfort & Louisville and the Blue Grass Parkway gets you near Bardstown & Elizabeth. If you take US-62 instead of the Parkway, you'll go right through those towns on some very nice two-lane. Of course, Sixty-Two is a lot more wiggly than the Parkway and wiggly may not be at all what you're looking for in either January or February particularly with a trailer attached. That wiggly comment fits long sections of US-60, as well.

 

If you'd care to see what I saw, take a look at http://www.dennygibson.com/newkid/day04 , http://www.dennygibson.com/newkid/day05 , and http://www.dennygibson.com/DayTrips/Trip10/ . If all that leads to more specific question, come on back, and, of course, let us know how the trip turns out.

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I am in the process of planning a short trip out US 60 starting in Ashland, KY. I haven't decided yet if I'll be heading east or west. Anyone know of any good sights to see? I will be leaving the last week of Jan or first week of Feb. Depends on how quick I get my camper finished. I'm in the process of building a teardrop camper to take on my back roads trips.

Glad to see that you're contemplating a trip on the Midland Trail!

 

Between Ashland and Charleston there isn't much to see, unless you are interested in archaeology. You can almost see the old route of the Midland Trail as you pass through Kenova, Ceredo, and Westmoreland on the way to Huntington. The old Midland Trail passed through Huntington mostly on 4th Avenue, then apparently went into Guayandotte and crossed the Guayandotte River before rejoining the present alignment of US 60. (This is according to my 1916 guide to the Midland Trail, reprinted in 1968.)

 

After you pass through Charleston there are a few interesting sites. The first you will come to is Malden, with Booker T. Washington's homeplace and his old church. Also, if you turn right instead of left at the first exit past Amherst, there is an old gasoline station with an interesting owner. I don't have his name right at hand, but he has some old gas pumps out front of his building, and he is restoring the old Greyhound bus that used to run along the Midland Trail in the 1930's. If he is there, and you ask nicely, he may open his garage to you. It is filled with historical vehicles, from an old early 20th century hearse to vehicles from the '20s to the '60s. He also has a great collection of Greyhound bus toys and models. He is a retired bus driver, if I remember correctly.

 

Further down the Midland Trail is Virginia's Chapel, a tiny church that was built by a father as a gift for his daughter. There are also historical gas and coal towns, and you will pass the Cannelton coal operation.

 

Soon you will arrive in Glen Ferris, with its historical hotel and some great views of the Great Kanawha River and the Falls of the Kanawha. This was the head of navigation from the Ohio River. You will also come to Gauley Bridge, which is the town at the junction of the Gauley and New Rivers, which join to form the Kanawha River. (Some say that the Kanawha should just be named the New River, since it is really just a continuance of that river.) Look to your left as you cross the Gauley River and you will see some deserted bridge piers out in the middle of the river. They date to the Civil War and the burning of the original bridge. At the time of writing of the 1916 guidebook you still had to cross the Gauley River by ferry.

 

Shortly after Gauley Bridge there is a waterfall on the left which is very picturesque, and after that the old road begins to climb the mountain. It is a scenic drive from Gauley Bridge to Hawks Nest, which is now a state park. The town of Anstead, in which Hawks Nest is located, has a lot of history, mostly related to the coal business. The town has developed a 4-mile (one way) walking trail that follows an old dinky line railroad that ran from the New River to Anstead. It is an easy grade and a scenic walk, with some old railroad relics still existing along the trail. There are also motels available in Anstead.

 

A historical site in Anstead is the old Halfway House, which is located on the original alignment of the Midland Trail. It is off to the left just after you pass through the modern town.

 

After Anstead it is only a few miles to Hico, and the junction with US 19. The New River Bridge is about six miles off to the left.

 

There is a lot of Civil War history along the Midland Trail between Gauley Bridge, Hawks Nest, and Lewisburg which is down in the valley of the Greenbrier River, near the Virginia Border. There is too much history to delve into here, but the battles of Cross Lanes and Carnifax Ferry were fought not too far from the Midland Trail.

 

Please feel free to contact me at whiteley@marshall.edu to discuss you trip further!

 

John

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Glad to see that you're contemplating a trip on the Midland Trail!

 

Between Ashland and Charleston there isn't much to see, unless you are interested in archaeology. You can almost see the old route of the Midland Trail as you pass through Kenova, Ceredo, and Westmoreland on the way to Huntington. The old Midland Trail passed through Huntington mostly on 4th Avenue, then apparently went into Guayandotte and crossed the Guayandotte River before rejoining the present alignment of US 60. (This is according to my 1916 guide to the Midland Trail, reprinted in 1968.)

 

After you pass through Charleston there are a few interesting sites. The first you will come to is Malden, with Booker T. Washington's homeplace and his old church. Also, if you turn right instead of left at the first exit past Amherst, there is an old gasoline station with an interesting owner. I don't have his name right at hand, but he has some old gas pumps out front of his building, and he is restoring the old Greyhound bus that used to run along the Midland Trail in the 1930's. If he is there, and you ask nicely, he may open his garage to you. It is filled with historical vehicles, from an old early 20th century hearse to vehicles from the '20s to the '60s. He also has a great collection of Greyhound bus toys and models. He is a retired bus driver, if I remember correctly.

 

Further down the Midland Trail is Virginia's Chapel, a tiny church that was built by a father as a gift for his daughter. There are also historical gas and coal towns, and you will pass the Cannelton coal operation.

 

Soon you will arrive in Glen Ferris, with its historical hotel and some great views of the Great Kanawha River and the Falls of the Kanawha. This was the head of navigation from the Ohio River. You will also come to Gauley Bridge, which is the town at the junction of the Gauley and New Rivers, which join to form the Kanawha River. (Some say that the Kanawha should just be named the New River, since it is really just a continuance of that river.) Look to your left as you cross the Gauley River and you will see some deserted bridge piers out in the middle of the river. They date to the Civil War and the burning of the original bridge. At the time of writing of the 1916 guidebook you still had to cross the Gauley River by ferry.

 

Shortly after Gauley Bridge there is a waterfall on the left which is very picturesque, and after that the old road begins to climb the mountain. It is a scenic drive from Gauley Bridge to Hawks Nest, which is now a state park. The town of Anstead, in which Hawks Nest is located, has a lot of history, mostly related to the coal business. The town has developed a 4-mile (one way) walking trail that follows an old dinky line railroad that ran from the New River to Anstead. It is an easy grade and a scenic walk, with some old railroad relics still existing along the trail. There are also motels available in Anstead.

 

A historical site in Anstead is the old Halfway House, which is located on the original alignment of the Midland Trail. It is off to the left just after you pass through the modern town.

 

After Anstead it is only a few miles to Hico, and the junction with US 19. The New River Bridge is about six miles off to the left.

 

There is a lot of Civil War history along the Midland Trail between Gauley Bridge, Hawks Nest, and Lewisburg which is down in the valley of the Greenbrier River, near the Virginia Border. There is too much history to delve into here, but the battles of Cross Lanes and Carnifax Ferry were fought not too far from the Midland Trail.

 

Please feel free to contact me at whiteley@marshall.edu to discuss you trip further!

 

John

 

 

Hi John,

 

Thanks for the VERY interesting reply. I didn't get to make my long getaway that I wanted but, my wife and I did drive up to Hawks Nest last weekend. I just wanted to get her up there and show her some of the scenery and she really liked it. We are going to plan a longer drive/weekend up that way soon so we'll be using your tips. We plan to take plenty of pics and blog them when we get back. Once we do, we'll let you know. I really feel fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. In addition to the natural beauty, it is rich in history. There should never be a reason for being bored when living in this area. ;) Thanks again for the detailed reply

 

Take care

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