August 29, 2019

Rough Road, Cacapon Overlook

We've been to Cacapon State Park before. In fact, I've been going there all my life. My parents would stop there when we were traveling westward. Mom would bring milk and cereal and we'd get up early and make it to Cacapon for a picnic breakfast!

Well, there's an overlook that you can drive to but I've hesitated because signs warn of a rough road. Our low-slung sedan could lose a muffler in a pothole! So when Frank came home with high-clearance SUV, I knew where to try it out.
Frank with his [new to him] 2011 Dodge.
You can see the warning "Extremely Rough Road Ahead." The sign behind it says "Mtn Overlook 4 miles. Unimproved Road Ahead."

The road did have lots of potholes. But we've been on worse roads, and for a West Virginia mountain road, this really wasn't too bad. And I noticed several small sedans made it up there.

The road is closed in winter though, so check with the park if you plan to go there later this year.

The view at the top is beautiful.

Overlook at Cacapon State Park
"Cacapon Mountain, where you are standing, is the westernmost of the pair of north/south mountains that mark the region as belonging to the ridge and valley section of the Appalachians. Looking out from the overlook, you see its eastern partner –Sleepy Creek Mountain. To the south is Morgan County’s highest elevation, 2320 feet, near where Cacapon Mountain crosses into Hampshire County, WV and Frederick County, VA. To the north, the view extends to the Potomac and beyond to Maryland and Pennsylvania making it one of the rare locations where four states can be viewed.

The valley between two mountains is the most populated area of the county and leads to the historic town of Berkeley Springs before ending at the Potomac River. Slightly northeast of your location, Warm Springs Ridge rises and parallels the mountain as both continue to the Potomac. The famed warm mineral springs arise in a very small area of the ridge and emerge in the town center which is now Berkeley Springs State Park.

Formed in 1933, the boundaries of the 6000-acre Cacapon State Park were set along the top of this mountain with the park spreading down the Eastern slope. The 12-mile, mostly flat, fire road Prospect Trail Is easily accessible from horseback and for hikers. The trail ends at Prospect Rock with its spectacular views of the Potomac and Cacapon rivers, a popular spot for countless visitors and locals. Riding to the rock and view was one of George Washington's favorite activities."

The trail was tempting, surrounded by greenery. Frank still cannot walk very far, though, and honestly, neither can I.

When the park was first built, there was a plan to build a nice ridge-top road similar to Skyline Drive. The idea was abandoned when World War II broke out, and the CCC boys left to serve their country's more urgent needs.

On the way back down the mountain, we stopped briefly at the lane leading to the communications towers. They are guarded by signs, fences, and cameras, so you can't get very close. There was also a sign telling who to contact if you want to rent space on the tower.
The Signs Linkup is now hosted at Backroads Traveller. 


  1. Gostei de ver as fotografias e o novo carro é uma bela máquina, aproveito para desejar um bom fim-de-semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa

  2. What a vista! I've been to Harpur's Ferry, but not this area of West Virginia. Thank you for taking us along. Alana

  3. Hello, beautiful views and photos. Nice to see you and Frank! Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend!

  4. Have a great weekend...I also was looking at views from a mountain top yesterday! Will post soon. You were smart to have that higher car to drive so far with potholes!

  5. ...the CCC left behind so many wonderful park for us to enjoy, we have several in this area. I just got a 'new 2010' Ford Escape that will go just about anywhere. Thanks Linda for stopping by.

  6. Gorgeous views! A picnic breakfast sounds like fun.


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