America's Scenic Byways

Rich Mountain Backway

12.5 miles - 30-40 minutes.

This route from Beverly west across Rich Mountain, through Mabie and on to Coalton-Pumpkintown Road, shows the difficult terrain covered by the original Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. About five miles of the route over the mountain is still gravel, with twists and turns following the contour of the mountain, reminding the modern visitor of the slower pace of 19th-century travel.

At the top of the mountain stop at Rich Mountain Battlefield. Interpretive trails lead to the battle site, Hart house site and veterans' rock carvings. Further down the west side of the mountain, interpretive trails lead to the earthworks of Confederate Camp Garnett, which controlled the turnpike in early summer of 1861.

Continuing on through the community of Mabie, the rolling hills on either side of the creek mark Roaring Creek Flats, the site of the Union encampment from which the Rich Mountain attack was launched.