The Midland Trail

When the automobile was invented, back whenever that was, Route 60 became our country’s first coast to coast highway. From Virginia Beach, VA, to Los Angeles, CA, this road traverses the entire span of our continent, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 180 miles of this historic route passes through West Virginia as the Midland Trail National Scenic Byway.

I had the pleasure of driving a roller coaster section of this highway from US 19, south of Summersville, to the town of Glen Ferris, WV, population a whopping 203, give or take some since the 2010 census. Guess what I was doing? Yeppers! I was collecting waterfalls! Glen Ferris may be a tiny town but it’s home to a really big waterfall. Spanning across the width of the river, Kanawha Falls is a powerful force of nature. It is located just below the point where the Gauley River and the New River merge.

Just above Kanawha Falls, a small dam channels water to a hydroelectric facility.

Just before you get to Gauley Bridge, another waterfall is easily accessible along Rt. 60. Cathedral Falls would probably be prettier following a good rain storm but there was still something magical about the sun sparkling off the water as it cascaded down the hillside. One of WV’s highest waterfalls, Cane Creek falls over sixty feet to a shallow pool at its base.

Cathedral Falls

Visiting two waterfalls in one day is a bit unusual for me but what really made this day a few steps beyond normal was finding four waterfalls along this stretch of mountain highway. I’ll write more about the other two another day.

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