Things to Do In and Around Davis
About the Area
The Bright Morning Inn is conveniently located to a variety of outdoor and indoor pursuits. We are less than a mile from Blackwater Falls State Park, nine miles from Canaan Valley, Timberline Mountain Ski Resort, Canaan Ski Resort and White Grass cross-country skiing. We’re also perfectly located for day trips to nearby wilderness areas. Our location in historic downtown Davis is close to restaurants, bars, craft breweries, galleries, local hiking/biking trails as well as only two miles from Thomas, WV and its vibrant art and music scene. We’re also down the road from Blackwater Bikes, the state’s oldest mountain biking outfitter, a great source of bike rentals, maps, and great trail advice. They even offer fat tire bikes for snowy weather!
The Canaan Valley region’s high altitude and scenic beauty offers hiking, mountain biking, whitewater sports, cross country and downhill skiing, rock climbing, caving, hunting and trout fishing. Bring your own equipment, or let us introduce you to local outfitters for guidance, trip planning and rentals. The 800,000 acres of Monongahela National Forest that surround the inn are a nature lover’s dream. Winter finds the area blanketed with over one hundred inches of natural snowfall annually and in contrast our cooler summers, which rarely climb above 80 degrees, are a welcome relief from sweltering cities. We love sharing our beautiful area with guests and helping them find the perfect way to #GetTucker’d
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The easiest hiking can be found in the Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley state parks. At Blackwater, don’t miss the steps down to the falls and the short hike to Lindy Point overlook.
There are several beautiful trails on the edge of town, off the Camp 70 Road and a newer 4.5 mile trail, called the Splashdam Trail in walking distance from the inn. Both are prime areas for picking blueberries (July) and cranberries (September).
For more challenging hikes, try the Mononogahela Forest’s wilderness areas at Dolly Sods and Otter Creek and Seneca Rocks. Hiking is also available on the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and off of Canaan Loop Road. Please exhibit caution when hiking during hunting season. Blaze orange or bright clothing is recommended.
Davis has long been a Mecca for mountain biking. Camp 70 road, a flat four-mile gravel road that begins behind the Shop N Save grocery store, is a gateway to several trails popular with beginners. It connects with a few shorter trails within the wildlife refuge. There are also two railroad grades that lead from nearby Thomas that are popular for novices. More challenging trails are the Plantation trail system off of Canaan Loop Road and the Dobbin House trail system accessed from Blackwater Falls State Park. The folks at Blackwater Bikes will be happy to help you with rentals and to plan a ride to suit your skill level. The area also boasts beautiful terrain for road riding. Route 72, south of Canaan Valley is an especially popular ride. For rainy days, there is a brand new local business, TrailLabs, in Canaan Valley that has a biking pump track, indoor climbing wall, retail, rentals and a growing beer and creative food menu.
Downhill Skiing and Cross Country Skiing
For cross country skiing, nearby Blackwater Falls offers ungroomed trails, while Whitegrass, in Canaan Valley, offers a large system of groomed trails. Both offer ski and snowshoe rentals. Whitegrass also offers lessons and an excellent café open for lunches daily and weekend dinner specials. On Sundays in ski season Whitegrass offers fantastic nature walks led by Chip Chase with snowshoes provided free to participants.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Most canoeing and kayaking occurs when water levels are high along the Blackwater and Dry Fork rivers. Canoes and inner tubes can also be rented in St. George from Blackwater Outdoor Adventures. In addition to guided whitewater raft trips, they offer leisurely float trips down the Cheat River.
Trout are plentiful in the Blackwater and along the Dry Fork. Stocking begins in late winter and proceeds throughout the spring. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the lodge at Blackwater Falls State Park.
The climbing school at Seneca Rocks, about 40 minutes away, is the center of climbing activity for the area. It boasts a climbing school, rock wall and a community of expert climbing instructors. The Via Ferrata at Nelson Rocks offers a mile of fixed-anchor, professionally-guided rock climbing near Circleville (40 min).
Spring and summer offer awesome bird watching. Hotspots include the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, the Otter Creek Wilderness area, and Seneca Rocks. Fall bird migration can be observed at Dolly Sods in early fall at the bird banding station set up along the Allegheny Front. It’s a great way to see banding in action and meet some expert birders.
Our dark nights offer great stargazing. Popular dark spots include the ride along Canaan Loop Road and turnouts along the lodge road at Blackwater Falls. On the first new moon in October stargazers gather for an Astronomy Weekend at Blackwater Falls State Park. The public is invited to attend lectures and telescopes are set up for viewing.
Rainy days are great times to explore the fabulous Smoke Hole caverns, about a 40 minute drive. Smoke Hole is home to the world’s longest ribbon stalactite. South from Seneca Rocks, about 40 miles in the other direction, Seneca Caverns offers expert guided tours.
Canaan Valley Resort and the Mountaineer Hang Gliding Association have created a launch site accessible via the resort’s scenic chair lift. Just over 4,000 feet in elevation,the southwest facing launch site faces into the prevailing winds, which are extremely rare in the Appalachian mountain range.
West Virginia’s hunting season begins with gobblers in the spring and ends with deer in December. The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge is an increasingly popular hunting destination. Hunting is also available in the Little Canaan Wildlife Management area on the edge of town, Monongahela Forest off Canaan Loop Rd. and at Dolly Sods. Hunting regulations and information about licensing are available at the refuge visitor center. Please exhibit caution when hiking during hunting season. Blaze orange or bright clothing is recommended.
Arts and Entertainment
Live music can be found most weekends, and even many weekdays at the Purple Fiddle in nearby Thomas. Our restaurant, Milo’s Cafe, also has rotating live music throughout the year! Check our social media for music events we host throughout the seasons, mainly summer and fall. The Mountain State Brewing Co. features bands on many busy weekends. In Davis, Wicked Wilderness Pub provides live entertainment that is within easy walking distance to the Inn
Galleries and Fine Crafts
Davis is the home of the Highland Artisan Gallery, which features local and regional painters, potters and photographers. In Thomas, you’ll find Gradient, Invisible, Creature, Buxton & Landstreet, and BLOOM galleries all featuring local crafts, prints, sculpture and painting. Our area is becoming well known as an art and cultural destination. Come see for yourself what all the fuss is about!
The Potomac Eagle based in Romney (about an hour’s drive) offers three hour round-trip excursions and all day and special event excursions from May to November. Eagle sightings occur in over 90% of excursions. The Durbin & Greenbriar Valley Railroad in Elkins offers a popular dinner train and more. You can also venture to the Cass scenic railroad.
Most shopping in our two small towns is of the unique variety. Check out Wild Ginger and Spice in Davis, a tiny hippie shop that’s a throwback to head shops of the 60’s, complete with incense, groovy tie dye and amusing bumper stickers. There’s also Emerald Tree Boutique and Wandering Caravan.
Nearby Thomas has more gift shops, including Ella, with sweetly curated antiques and repurposed items; Vintage, offering musical instruments, records and vintage clothing; and the ubiquitous Christmas Shop, with its assemblage of Christmas ornaments and other souvenirs.
Driving and Touring
West Virginia is famous worldwide for its country roads, and we are surrounded by some of the most beautiful ones in the state. Popular drives include the Laneville Road to Dolly Sods, Route 72, Back Hollow Road and Route 33 to Seneca Rocks. The gravel Canaan Loop Road is also beautiful, but quite rugged where it meets Blackwater Falls State Park. It’s for expert four-wheel drivers only.