Driving conditions in WV
18 posts
6 users
2k+ views
(Anonymous)
December 4, 2003
We are driving up for Christmas and will stay in the Davis, WV area. I know how roads are in NC and there are some "chains required" areas. Does anyone have any recommendations.

Thanks,
David

bawalker
December 4, 2003
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
David - I live right here in WV. What is your driving schedule, which roads do you take, etc?
canaanman
December 4, 2003
Member since 03/5/2004
358 posts
Chains are not required in the Canaan Valley area... but they may be useful. Generally speaking, Route 32 through the Valley into Davis is generally pretty clear unless a major blizzard is going on. So... your best bet is to keep an eye on the weather and monitor the road conditions during the next few weeks while it snows up there so you can predict what the trip will be like.

WV Road Conditions:
http://www.wvdot.com/14_roadconditions/14_roadcond.cfm

(Anonymous)
December 4, 2003
Thanks, we are driving up from GA right after Christmas. I was planning on ending up on I-81 but I read somewhere that that might not be such a good idea because of a couple of mtns you have to go over. Any options?
DCSki Sponsor: Massanutten Resort
gatkinso
December 4, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
I85N to I77N to I81N to US33 W to State32 N

You will have to cross several large ridge lines. In a couple of places you will be greeted with incredible vistas. I have dome this drive in the winter (January of last year).

It was not bad at all, but... I was in a Jeep, but I never touched the 4wd lever at all as we drove on a sunny day and the roads were mostly clear - however it is always a good idea to be prepared.

There is always a more direct route

I85N to I77N to US219N to SR32S but I am unfamiliar with this way and while it may be prettier it might take longer.

Beware

on I77 there is resurfacing near Meadow, GA 8/11/2003 to 5/14/2004

Construction between Bethany and Fort Chiswell (NB) from 3/10/2003 to 4/9/2004

Bridge work near Draper (NB) from 6/16/2003 to 11/28/2003

bawalker
December 4, 2003
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
David,

You really have two major choices in which direction you can go. What seems to be the shortest way is to take I-81 directly up on the east side of the Allegheny mountains. Or you can follow I-81 to I-77 North into Charleston, WV where you change to I-79 North taking you on the backside of the Allegheny's. Here you would get off the interstate around Buckhannon and go east towards and through Elkins following US 33 up through Harmon and ontowards Davis.

Personally it's been years since I've been back around Buckhannon so I can't say for sure what the road quality or even distance is for you.

If you do decide to take I-81 all the way north then you have several options at hand. The best one is to get off of I-81 at the Broadway, VA exit looking for SR-259. From here you will go through a quaint little town of Broadway on route 259.

SR-259 is a single 2 lane highway on predominately flat ground all the way through so you will have no need to worry about chains, mountains, or nessecities here. I drive it regularly at 60-65 and rarely see cops on the Virginia side. The WV border is about 15-20 min away from Broadway. Once you cross the border you will see signs to Mathias, WV which is about 8 minutes away from the state line. When you reach Mathias be sure to keep your speed at 45mph. This is not an incorporated town, but the county sheriff lives here along with various deputy's who do patrol it.

Continue onward north from Mathias staying on the same SR-259 towards Baker, WV. Mathias to Baker is about a 15 min drive. When you reach Baker, WV you will merge onto SR-55. There is a corner gas station and food store if you wish to stop. When SR-259 ends make a right for 1/2 a mile and you will see two large concrete bridges. This is "Corridor-H" otherwise known as SR-55.

Corridor-H is a very nice 4 lane highway that will take you to a town named Moorefield, WV. Stay on this highway/interstate until you reach the end of it at Moorefield which is about 12minutes away from Baker. Even during last winters storms Corridor H was always cleaned first and there are no extremely bad places where you would need chains. Upon reaching the end of Corridor-H you must make a left at the exit and go approximately 3 miles into Moorefield itself. Again watch your speed here as the limit is 35 then 25.

Stay on this road until you reach a stoplight in the heart of the town. SR-55 will merge with US Rt. 220. At the stoplight again make another left and follow US Rt. 220 towards Petersburg, WV. You will know you are going the right direction when you go past a Hardee's. Stay on this stretch of road for about 15-20 minutes. US Rt 220 is a single two lane highway that starts getting curvy with some sharp turns outside of moorefield... but nothing too extremely bad. My suggestion would be to take them with caution because I have seen top-heavy vechiles roll over in this area.

Before you reach Petersburg you will come to this bridge at a river where it looks like the highway ends... but it doesn't. Just follow the painted road markings and continue left on the other side of the river. You'll be in Petersburg within a few moments.

At Petersburg continue on the same highway until you reach the second stoplight. The first is going to be right by the McDonalds, but keep going straight. At the second stop light you will be beside the Grant County bank and a Arby's. Make a right here (follow signs towards Seneca Rocks) and follow the road up over the hill.

Here you will encounter a major decision point. At the stop light by Sheetz you can make a right or left and still wind up at Davis either way. *IF* you are planning to go directly towards Cannaan Valley or Timberline resorts immediately then you will want to stay left and go towards Seneca Rocks. Otherwise if you are wanting to goto downtown Davis then you will want to stay Right and follow that highway which points towards Mt. Storm.

The key here is, if you stay left towards Seneca rocks you will encounter some very mountainous regions. Last year me and two friends where in his ford escort the day we went to timberline. By the time we reached Seneca rocks there was an inch of snow on the highway and the state crew's hadn't yet plowed. We drove up the mountain slideing around in the two wheel drive car. Talk about scary. heh. You would definately need the chains here if you encountered a snow storm while traveling.

I won't advise anymore after this intersection depending on where you are heading.

I hope this helps.

JR
December 4, 2003
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
bawalker said "go approximately 3 miles into Moorefield itself. Again watch your speed here as the limit is 35 then 25."

Dang, I've lived in Moorefield for 25 years and I don't know the speed limit that good. Some of you guys are SUPER observant. I'm impressed. Oh, and don't use headlight covers

...yet even more test avoidance

(Anonymous)
December 4, 2003
Hey guys,
Man, I wasn't figuring on that much help THAT quick-many kudo's from the Georgia boy heading north at the end of the month-and if I think of anything else, I know where to ask.

Thanks again,
David

bawalker
December 4, 2003
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
Don't use headlight covers OR the neonlights under the body. You will get nailed for both.

JR - You a Moorefield native?

canaanman
December 4, 2003
Member since 03/5/2004
358 posts
<<Or you can follow I-81 to I-77 North into Charleston, WV where you change to I-79 North taking you on the backside of the Allegheny's. Here you would get off the interstate around Buckhannon and go east towards and through Elkins following US 33 up through Harmon and ontowards Davis.

Personally it's been years since I've been back around Buckhannon so I can't say for sure what the road quality or even distance is for you.>>

I've done this route aplenty...

Let me say this much: If there is a snowstorm moving through no matter where you drive the drive will be very SLOW. Now, with that said.

If you are coming up the Turnpike from the WV border it'll probably take you about 1.5-2 hours to raech Charleston dependent upon road conditions and traffic. From there you hit I-79 north out of the capital city and its another good 1.5 hours until you hit your exit which would be 99, Weston. There is a good gas station at Weston, second stop light on the left, Sheetz. I'd highly recommend it as a refuling spot. Generally I can get gas at Sheetz and again on the way back (to Charleston).

From there you will be on the improved version of US 33 which is a four-lane and is zoned at 65mph. This will take you all the way out to Elkins (go past the Crystal Springs exit), from there you hang a right off the ramp and head into town. Take a left at the light and proceed until you get to the light at the Kroger gas station, you'll make a left turn here to head up US 33 to Harman. There are several mountains you must cross: Cheat, which is still a four-laner, then 2 lanes all the way to Canaan over Middle, Shavers, and Rich mountains before Harman. Rich is the worst, but last, and can be icy at the top... be on gaurd. At Harman, curve to the left at the Division of Highways's salt shack and head North on Route 32. Route 32 will take you to Canaan on the State Park side and goes all the way into Davis, Thomas, and connects with US 219 that's coming in from Oakland, Maryland. I'd estimate this driving time to be another 1.5-2 hours depenedent on road conditions. Sometimes it can be 3, or in a big storm, 4.. but its fairly well-traveled, so you're not totally isolated.


So if you were to go I-77 > I-79 > US 33 > WV 32 you're looking at a drive of about 5-6 hours from the WV line in the southern part of the state.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 5, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Here's some usefule web sites:

Road Conditions in WV:

http://www.wvdot.com/14_roadconditions/14_roadcond.cfm

Road Conditions in Maryland:

http://www.chart.state.md.us/

Road Conditions in Virginia:

http://www.virginiadot.org/comtravel/default.asp

(Anonymous)
December 5, 2003
I drive I-79, US 33 and WV 32 daily. They are usually well maintained during the winter months and shouldn't be a problem unless we are really getting dumped on. If you decide to use this route, you can also skip past Elkins and go up 219 through Parsons, WV. I personally wouldn't recommend it though. I think the drive up 33 is easier on everyone involved and has a several good passing zones to get around slow drivers. My sister often drives up from Radford, Va and if I remember correctly it takes her about 5-6 hours to get to our house in Canaan Valley. That route would take you from I-81 to I-64 then US 19 through Summersville (Speed Trap) to I-79 N. Then you get off at Exit 99 in Weston and head up US 33 East to Elkins. Thats a fairly easy drive. Lots of places to stop for food and gas and its all 4 lane until you get just outside of Elkins on 33. Good luck on picking a route.
gatkinso
December 5, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
On thing I have learned about dcski.comer's is that they are a helpful lot!
bawalker
December 5, 2003
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
We are here to help!
JR
December 5, 2003
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
bawalker, yeah, I dwelled in the poultry capital of WV until '96. Been at WVU ever since What about you?
JR
December 5, 2003
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
Bawalker, i just discovered the user profile option. Wardensville huh, between our 2 towns you could get nailed for goin 26 mph, get your legal window tint checked for the 10th time, and have the cops try like heck to find a way to take the factory tail light covers off of your Beretta. Small town livin at its finest.
bawalker
December 5, 2003
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
Hrm... You a `96 MHS grad? I'm a `97 EHHS grad.

I've lived in Wardensville my entire life, got family in and around Moorefield and some in the school system over there as well.

JR
December 5, 2003
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
Yep, class of 96, you know the year before our football team broke out. I think we were winless my sisters senior year ('94), 3 and 7 my senior year and then BOOOM, we're a power house??? who knew. Heck, I think you guys beat us in 96

DCSki Sponsor: Massanutten Resort

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.14 seconds