Home‎ > ‎Locations‎ > ‎West Virginia‎ > ‎State Parks and Forests‎ > ‎

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Cass Railroad
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is a park in Cass in Pocahontas County.  The park is unique in that the park consists primarily of the railroad running up the mountain, but also includes the town of Cass and part of the summit of Bald Knob.

Cass was built as a company town for the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company and was named for Joseph K. Cass, chairman of the company's board.  The lumber mill operation reached its peak in the early 20th century.  The industry declined through the first half of the century and the rail and milling operations ceased in 1960.  Later that year, Russel Baum, a rail fan from Pennsylvania, initiated an effort to save the railroad.  In 1961, the state legislature brought Cass into the state park system and appropriated funds to keep the railroad alive.  In 1963, the park opened to visitors and more than 23,000 people came to visit, proving skeptics wrong.  The park continued to receive funds and expand, and in 1968, the line to Bald Knob was opened.

Contact Information:

P.O. Box 107
Cass, WV 24927

Phone: (304) 456-4300

Email: cassrailroadsp@wv.gov

Directions:

Cass Scenic Railroad state park is located off WV-66, between US-219 and WV-28/92.  Use the map below to generate customized directions.

Activities:

Train Ride:

There are several train rides available, including a 2-hour ride to Whittaker Station and a 4.5- to 5-hour ride to Bald Knob, including a stop at Whittaker Station.  The trains are powered by Shay steam engine locomotives and are the original engines used in the early 20th century.

Shay Steam Engine


After a couple miles, the train goes through two switchbacks, then stops at Whittaker Station.  There are restrooms, concession stands, and a recreated 1940s logging camp at Whittaker Station.  The centerpiece of the recreation is Lidgerwood tower skidder, one of only two left in the world.  For the Whittaker Station trip, the train returns after stopping; for the Bald Knob trip, the train continues.

Whittaker Station


After a few more miles, the train stops at Oats Run to take on more water at a spring, then continues the rest of the way to Bald Knob.  Bald Knob is the third highest point in West Virginia at about 4,700 feet above sea level and provides excellent views of the surrounding mountains.  There are restrooms and an overlook at Bald Knob.

Bald Knob Overlook

One thing to keep in mind - the coal-burning engines produce a lot of soot and embers.  Wear dark clothes, try to get a car furthest away from the engine, and use extra caution if you have any respiratory conditions.

External Links:

WV State Parks website: http://www.cassrailroad.com/

Map:

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Photos:


Cass Scenic Railroad State Park


Comments