Choose your Authentic Appalachian Experience

Petersburg Layover Adventure

Featuring Our Canyon To Caverns Event

Explore the unparalleled beauty of Almost Heaven, West Virginia with our range of exciting family activities. From the breathtaking Trough Canyon teeming with eagles to the renowned Smoke Hole Caverns, we offer a one-of-a-kind experience that is perfect for creating cherished memories. Join us for an all-day adventure and discover the wonders of this spectacular destination.

Explore Rural Petersburg, WV

Take a walk or hop on the bus to visit the town’s various cultural and historic shops, where you can indulge in cold drinks, craft beer, and moonshine, as well as tasty snacks. Whether you’re a history buff or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in Petersburg. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to explore one of West Virginia’s charming country towns.

Smoke Hole Caverns

Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and prior reservation at an extra charge is required to secure a spot.

Canyon to Caverns Event

The world – famous caverns are a unique geological formation located in the Seneca Rocks/Spruce Knob National Recreation Area. Underground beauty within the caverns is created by the mineral-carrying water deposits which create stalactites and stalagmites including the world’s longest ribbon stalactite. Beautiful cave formations are seen throughout the tour as you listen to local lore and learn about cave science. Other highlights include a genuine crystal cave coral pool filled with golden trout, a “married” cave column, and the queen’s room with her canopy believed to be the oldest formation in the cavern.

Historians believe Native Americans and Civil War soldiers used the caverns for smoking wild game which produced swirling clouds of smoke seen throughout the region thus inspiring the name Smoke Hole. Local lore is the secluded nature of the caverns with its clean, cold waters was a popular place for settlers and immigrants to make corn whiskey during Prohibition. In fact, an original moonshine still remains on display.

Dress appropriately as the caverns are a pleasant 56 degrees year round and require walking about ⅔ mile. The guided tours are family friendly and 45 minutes.

Caverns Gift Shop

West Virginia’s largest gift shop is 26k sq. ft. of shopping with something for everyone and features trophy wildlife displays from all over the world. Find a variety of souvenirs, tasty WV treats, handcrafted jewelry, soaps, candies, home decor, and more. The Almost Heaven Boutique has the trendiest clothing, shoes, and accessories from classy to casual wear. While shopping visit the Moonshine Café for refreshment.

Caverns Gemstone Mining

*Additional Cost*

Gemstone and fossil mining is a fun-filled activity for all ages. While panning you may find amethyst, rubies, emeralds, arrowheads, crystals, and much more that results in a precious keepsake to remind you of your treasure hunting experience in the hills of West Virginia.

Reserve Your Seat Today…

Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and prior reservation at an extra charge is required to secure a spot.

  • Additional cost includes Smoke Hole Caverns ticket and transportation fee.
  • Be sure to check out Smoke Hole Caverns website for more information.
  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking inside the caverns.  The tour does require climbing steps.  A light jacket or sweatshirt is recommended.
  • The gift shop is handicap accessible. Regretfully the cavern tour is not accessible due to stairs, two-way traffic, and a few narrow passageways.

Book your Canyon to Caverns Layover Event Now!

Smoke Hole Caverns Cancelation Policy

Smoke Hole tickets are considered final sale and are non-refundable.
In the event that you need to reschedule your Smoke Hole Canyons to Caverns Tour, you have the option to do so to another available tour date. Please note that rescheduling is subject to availability.
If you wish to reschedule, please contact our reservation office at least one week prior to your original departure date. Rescheduling requests made less than one week before the scheduled departure date will not be accommodated. Smoke Hole tickets that are rescheduled must be used within the same calendar year. If you are unable to reschedule within the same year, or cancel less than one week prior to the excursion date, the Smoke Hole ticket portion of your reservation will be considered forfeited.

Explore Petersburg, WV

A Rural Appalachian Town

Historic South Side Depot

Welcome to the historic South Side Depot, where you can discover the best of West Virginia’s local culture and craftsmanship. This shop features a wide variety of handmade items created by talented artisans from the region, including pottery, jewelry, textiles, and much more. When you step inside, you’ll be greeted by the sound of live local musicians, adding an extra layer of charm and entertainment to your shopping experience.

And why not indulge your taste buds while you’re here? South Side wine tasting events showcase some of the finest West Virginia wines, giving you a chance to savor the flavors of this unique region.

South Side Depot is passionate about promoting the local community and supporting small businesses. By shopping with them, you’re not only getting one-of-a-kind, locally made items, but you’re also contributing to the growth and vitality of West Virginia’s creative economy. Come and explore the South Side Depot and all it has to offer.

Moonshine Tasting

What a unique Appalachian history we have here nestled in the South Branch Valley and surrounded by the immense wilderness of the Monongahela National Forest. The production of moonshine is just part of it. The making of illegal or “moonshine” whiskey refers to alcohol (usually whiskey or rum with a very high alcohol content), that was made in secret to avoid high taxes or outright bans. These backwoods brew masters became known as moonshiners, and their drink was called moonshine.

Sample a true taste of our State history at Crown Spirits during the Petersburg layover. Enjoy a swig of small batch, handmade, unaged corn whiskey crafted with care, legally distilled, and available for purchase.

Touring The Town

The town of Petersburg offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture that is sure to captivate your senses. During your visit, we encourage you to explore the local attractions and indulge in the culinary delights of the community. Take a stroll through the historic downtown area, which is home to charming shops and boutiques. You’ll also find a variety of eateries that showcase the distinct flavors of the region. With so much to see and do, we are confident that your time in Petersburg will be enjoyable.

As you tour around, don’t forget to try some of the local beverages. West Virginia is home to some of the finest craft beers in the country, and there’s no better place to sample them than right here in town. So, be sure to take a break from your sightseeing and indulge in the unique flavors that Petersburg has to offer.

Free public transportation is available for your comfort needs so you can enjoy your tour of Petersburg. Please check the bus schedule below.

History And Culture

Fort Mulligan Battlefield

The South Branch Valley saw an incredible amount of troop activity and action during the Civil War. It was a middle ground, situated between the Shenandoah Valley and the Upper Potomac Valley Region with its vital coal resources and the B&O Railroad infrastructure centered around Cumberland, MD. Fort Mulligan, built in 1863, survives on the outskirts of the town of Petersburg and is part of the Civil War Trails Program. Some of the defensive works, remains of winter camp cabins and bombproofs are still visible. Stroll peacefully along the gravel trails and follow the story of Private Joshua Winters. Excerpts from his writings are preserved on the interpretive markers and give a glimpse of his life as a Union soldier in the Civil War.

Old Grant County Courthouse (Museum)

The Old Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The “old” portion of the building dates back to 1878, and the color of the brick shows where old and “new 1909” editions meet. A WW I monument was added out front of the building in 1928. The community and historical society have created a museum with rotating exhibits that feature local business, families, and daily rural life. Their Veteran’s Room is filled with photos, uniforms, and other memorabilia collected from the Civil War, Spanish American War, World Wars I & II, Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars. Behind the Courthouse, visitor may also view the Tannery House which is one of the original company homes built by the tannery in Petersburg around 1909 as worker housing.

Petersburg Exploration Tips

  • No additional cost for transportation around town.
  • Visit the different shops and local attractions at your leisure.
  • Dress comfortably and consider rain gear.
  • Check out the Visit Grant County website for more information.
  • Enjoy your layover exploration, but please be back in time for boarding.
James Auer
James Auer
January 30, 2023
Great ride
Christian Boyd
Christian Boyd
January 25, 2023
This is a simple, slow-paced trip aboard an attractive 1950's-era train that gives you plenty of time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature with your loved ones. We chose Standard Dining, which is climate-controlled and included a basic but adequate lunch (cold sub, chips, water, etc). After our meal, we walked through the train to the open-air car for an unobstructed view. It was a very enjoyable experience and we would love to do it again.
Ally Quigley
Ally Quigley
January 16, 2023
I loved my experience on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad! I cant wait to come back again! Here is a picture from my travels!
David Kaplan
David Kaplan
January 6, 2023
Potomac Eagle puts on a good show for the Polar Express. Definitely plan to do a fall trip too at some point in the future.
January 4, 2023
Loved the North Pole Express
PATRICK franzen
PATRICK franzen
January 2, 2023
Most incredible time with my friends on the dinner train! Can't tell you the last time I had such a good time! Cheers to the Patomac Eagle Railroad!
January 2, 2023
Great experience for the kids. My granddaughter thoroughly enjoyed the show that put on for us.
December 31, 2022
Most amazing experience ever, truly magical, felt like we were at Disney World 8n the mountains. Can't wait to go back. Highly recommended, especially if you have kids...