Gaudineer Knob WV - Spruce Pine Forest

A vacation spot you never want to miss during Fall season is the State of West Virginia as there is a lot of beautiful scenery, hiking, and opportunities for photography. Since the place we vacation is a stones throw from West Virginia, we always head over the hill on hwy 250 and explore there also. We were in search of places to visit that we haven't discovered before, and one of those places was called Gaudineer Knob WV.; We had been looking over Google maps and found a spot to potentially photograph some song birds late in the season perhaps, when we noticed the Green Pine Tree Icon on Google Maps. So we clicked on a place called Gaudineer Scenic Area. When viewing the photos on Google Maps we discovered some unique features in this forested area. We knew this would be a good place to photograph. We searched through Google Images also for photos and found a few that showed good potential for certain spots at certain times for photographs. There was paths going through the tall vertical pine trees (good for leading the eye in photos). The problem is most all the photos we saw of this area were shot on bright days, not good for a velvety moss floor with tall mysterious pine trees. This placed should be shot on a GLOOMY day with FOG and hope for a ray of sun at some point. That day didn't happen until the 17th day of our 20 day trip, but oh when it happens and it all comes becomes prefect.

We headed towards Gaudineer Knob WV and on the way, we travel through Durbin, WV. We had ridden the Durbin Rocket Railroad before which is basically the whole town of Durbin WV. We didn't see the train there, so we figured they were on a trip right now. We took a quick impromptu adventure to the back road that follows the river to the suspension bridge. So we parked at the suspension bridge, walked across the bridge and hoped we hadn't miss the train heading back to the station yet. Once we heard the whistle we knew the timing was perfect to photograph the train heading back to the station.  A quick setup from two different vantage points to shoot from and we were set, grabbed a few good photos, jumped into the vehicle and raced to the next spot to shoot on the river. Standing in the river is the best way to get the whole train in one frame. The rain started coming down but we managed a few there. Then, we raced back to the station for a few shots. We grabbed a few there, and we were back on the road to Gaudineer Knob WV.....ALL Aboard our crazy train.

We arrived at Gaudineer Knob WV and started exploring around some different areas. One road took us to a set of railroad tracks down by Shavers Fork River. It is supposedly part of the Cheat Mountain railroad that is for scenic viewing railroad rides. We grabbed a few photographs there. We headed back the road we came in on and then went further back into the woods until we came across Glade Run creek bridge. The light was starting to change and the rain subsided a bit, so we knew it was time to head back and go to the picnic area where Gaudineer Overlook is located. This was perfect timing. The fog was really good now in the forest as we headed in on the walking path. When we went in this place, it seemed surreal like stepping into another world with the fog, the lush moss forest floor, the tall Spruce Pines, and peaceful tranquillity. We walked the entire loop and even some of the cross over paths, spending half the day wandering around this hypnotic place. It was one of the best landscape photography adventures we ever had. We hope to go back again and see the old forest growth next time that is a little further past the picnic area.
Another must see for a fall trip to West Virginia is Traditions Day in Huntersville, WV. The whole town comes out celebrating old traditions. We visited it two times, and it is always fun to go to. Steven got to shoot a black powder flint lock. If you go in the fall time, they usually do this event the first weekend in October. They have reenactments, dancing, music, food, and lots to do there.