Mount Hope is a city in Fayette County, West Virginia. For centuries, the area around Mount Hope served as hunting grounds for Native American tribes, until 1770, when the Cherokee tribe sold their land rights to the Governor of Virginia.
Up until as late as the mid-1800s, only three families lived in the area that is now Mount Hope. But this all changed when coal was discovered at Turkey Knob, and nearby Glen Jean. Within a few years, coal companies were operating in and around Mount Hope, which led to a rapid population increase. By 1910, Mount Hope was well on its way to becoming the modern town that it is today. It was around this time that community adopted the town motto that is still in use today: “The little city with the big welcome”.
For a taste of what life was like back in those days, Mount Hope Historic District is a 58-acre district which reflects the town’s storied history. Ramble around this area with your pooch and discover beautiful churches, a historic YMCA, and a Masonic Lodge building. And, should your pooch need a little TLC, Mount Hope also has a dog grooming service.
You and your pooch will go mutts for everything Mount Hope has to offer!
New River Gorge National River Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The history of the area is very much tied to the coal industry that once thrived there and, although most of the towns are gone now, you can still very much get a sense of that as you wander the area. There’s no shortage of things to see and do around the New River Gorge. Take a walk over the New River Gorge Bridge; stop at the museum and watch a slideshow of what life was like in an old coal town during the boom years; or head to the two overlooks at the National Park Service’s Canyon Rim Visitor Center.
Babcock State Park and its 4,127 acres of rhododendron-lined trails and rippling streams is one of West Virginia’s most iconic locations. If it seems familiar, that’s because it’s a very popular spot for photographers and artists, and has been featured in many paintings and postcards over the years. The park is also the location of the Glade Creek Grist Mill, a fully functional replica of the original Cooper’s Mill, located nearby. And it’s a real working mill, where you can buy cornmeal and buckwheat flour ground. It doesn't get more organic than that! There are also plenty of trails nearby to keep you and the pooch occupied.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a non-profit organization that is converting disused railway lines all over the country into walking trails. The Brooklyn to Southside Junction is one of these trails, and it's one of over 1,600 rail-trails supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The Brooklyn to Southside Junction was once an important transportation corridor used to bring coal from the New River Gorge. On the trail, you’ll encounter long-abandoned mining towns such as Red Ash and Rush Run. The trail runs through a forest of large oak trees and follows the bank of the New River, one of the most popular whitewater rivers in the eastern United States.
The Glade Creek Trail is another unused railroad corridor that has been converted by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The 5.6-mile trail is an enjoyable and relatively easy route, and it's popular with hikers (and doggies!) of all ages and abilities. Of course, if you’re looking for something that’s a little bit more of a challenge, you could try the more difficult Kates Falls Trail, located about a mile before the end of Glade Creek Trail. As you ramble along the trail, you’ll pass a number of cascades, small waterfalls, and a swimming area which is very popular in the summer. The trail is also home to several campsites, complete with picnic tables and restrooms.
If you’re looking for somewhere to have a snack and maybe sample a few beers, then the Arrowhead Bike Farm in Fayetteville is the perfect spot. It’s got an outdoor beer garden with covered deck seating that is more than welcoming to dogs, and they serve craft beer, sandwiches, and specialty bratwurst. And situated close by is the Arrowhead Trails, in case you and the pooch feel like working off some of that German sausage! The trail is a 6.5-mile loop trail that features beautiful wildflowers and is rated as moderate. Dogs are allowed on the trail but must be kept on-leash.