Several years ago, we had the opportunity to spend the night in the Thorny Mountain Fire Tower. Located in Pocahontas County, the fire tower sits in Seneca State Forest, West Virginia’s oldest, and largest, state forest. The barren land around the fire tower provides a firebreak that can slow, or stop, a wildfire. It is not an operating fire tower anymore but it had to have been a scary job to sit up there and spot, then monitor, an active wildfire.
While we were there, we had a picnic dinner and made use of the outhouse before climbing the three flights of stairs to the cabin of the 65-foot-high tower. We were surrounded by stunning views and we even saw a black bear amble across the field below. We spent some time enjoying the comments written in the log book, but as night fell, we became quiet as we watched the stars come out. On a clear, cool, summer night, we were treated to a magnificent view of the night sky.
Nearby, there are many other visit worthy destinations, like the Greenbrier River Trail, four state parks, the Green Bank Observatory, and the Pearl S. Buck birthplace museum. If you like staying somewhere that is a few steps beyond normal, this unique place should be on your list.