The Drive: Davis, West Virginia Miles: 286 Make Like a Tree: Davis holds its annual Leaf Peepers festival during the last weekend in September to commence the fall, and welcome ski season. www.canaanvalley.org/leafpeepers
You won’t see any street numbers as you drive through Davis, W.Va. (population 700). Buildings are identified by their appearance and location relative to William Avenue, the town’s main street. Residents are like a big family, smiling and waving to each other. And they welcome tourists as one of their own.
Davis is just one of the many hospitable small towns you’ll see on the Magic Mountain Driving Tour, which guides travelers through valleys and around mountains from Tucker County to Pocahontas.
Hues of burgundy, rust and gold paint the mountains and valleys during peak season, which usually hits this area in mid- to late September. Nestled between evergreens and hardwoods, you’ll find Blackwater Falls, tucked away in Blackwater Falls State Park between Thomas and Davis. Onlookers gather daily at the lookout points to see the small falls, about a tenth of the height of Cleveland’s Terminal Tower, and revel in how they’re dwarfed by the eight-mile gorge surrounding them. A hidden towpath about one mile from the park’s entrance, off the road that travels around the canyon, offers visitors a less traveled view.
From the Meyer House B&B in Davis to the Locust Hill B&B in Marlinton, this region is a reminder of the importance of family and friendships. In an area refreshingly devoid of Wal-Marts, there are innumerable places for road warriors to refuel and soak up West Virginian heritage: Muttley’s Downtown steak house ($1 an ounce on Thursday nights), Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, Meck’s Bakery, Snoeshoe Mountain, Dirt Bean and French’s Diner. Tour routes available at www.wvtourism.com