Exploring Morgantown, West Virginia – home of the Mountaineers

This past summer in the US, I had a long, solo drve back from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Washington, DC, and wanted to break up the drive and explore someplace new to me.

Am I glad I selected Morgantown, West Virginia.

Morgantown was previously unknown to me. Clearly, I don’t follow Big 12 college football. My sports-obsessed younger son was horrified I did not know the home of the University of West Virginia Mountaineers. Mea culpa.

Football follower or not, you’re sure to enjoy a visit to charming Morgantown. Nestled in the foothills of the surrounding Appalachian mountains and straddling the Monongahela River, Morgantown offers a lot to visitors.

Morgantown, West Virginia / Kimberly Sullivan

The town was settled in the 1760s and many of the factories and warehouses have been refurbished and are now restaurants and bars along the attractive river walk.

Morgantown, West Virginia / Kimberly Sullivan

I stayed here and loved walking these paths and dining along the river.

The Caperton Trail is the segment that cuts through the central Morgantown area, with additional miles of trails bikers and hikers can explore beyond.

Morgantown, West Virginia / Kimberly Sullivan

This is essentially a college town, and I happened to be there as the students were moving in. University of West Virginia was established in 1867, originally as an agriculture university under the Morrill Land Grant Colleges Act.

Already by 1868, it was renamed University of West Virginia to teach a wider range of activities than just the agricultural sciences.

Morgantown, West Virginia / Kimberly Sullivan

Many of the most stunning buildings were built in the 1830s as part of earlier institutions that were absorbed into the newly created UWV.

The campus has a nice feel, and good views over the river below. I had to make a trip to the campus store to buy Mountaineers gear for my younger son, but fans will be sorry the stadium itself is not on the main campus.

Nevertheless, you can’t miss it as you are driving into town.

Morgantown, West Virginia / Kimberly Sullivan

The evening I arrived, I had a hard time dining riverside without reservations, but I did eventually get a place on the outdoor, riverside patio of Table 9.

It was a perfect spot as I watched the sun set on the Monongahela River. I also had a surprisingly good combination of tastes: scallops and pork rinds. I’ve always hated pork rinds, much to the dismay of Texan friends in the past who attempted to get me to change ny mind.

Nevertheless, glad I took the waitresses’ advice on this one – because this dinner was perfect.

Table 9, Morgantown, West Virginia/ Kimberly Sullivan

I only explored the central portion of the riverside trails, but as I mentioned earlier those trails extend for miles and miles … even stretching into part of Pennsylvania.

These were the old railroad lines that had been removed and the trails converted into hiking and biking trails.

Morgantown, West Virginia/ Kimberly Sullivan

I did not have enough time to explore this impressive system of picturesque trails, but I’ll definitely be back for another trip to discover them.

For those who live closer, it must be a beautiful spott for an autumn weekend getaway.

Morgantown, West Virginia/ Kimberly Sullivan

And for those who get to this neck of the woods, take a look at my earlier post on the beautiful Cooper’s Rock State Forest, which is well worth the visit – and only a short drive from Morgantown.

Morgantown, West Virginia/ Kimberly Sullivan
Morgantown, West Virginia/ Kimberly Sullivan
Morgantown, West Virginia/ Kimberly Sullivan
Morgantown, West Virginia/ Kimberly Sullivan
Morgantown, West Virginia/ Kimberly Sullivan


  1. Geri Lawhon on December 14, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Beautiful photos, I can see why you like this town.

    • kimberlysullivan on December 18, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, this was a nice discovery for me, since I do not know West Virginia well. But I’ll definitely look forward to returning and having some more time on all those great hiking and biking trails!

  2. Lin Renee Smith on August 19, 2023 at 6:08 am

    You missed the PRT. I went to college there. We had a monorail from one campus to the other. Like Disney World. Cheat Lake offers some other recreational activities. I came back this year to work at the University Hospital as an RN. It houses a new Children’s Hospital and Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. The Creative Arts Center brings in all sorts of entertainment. Morgantown is the home of Don Knots. Be sure to see his statue in High Street in front of The Metropolitan Theater.

    • Kimberly Sullivan on November 4, 2023 at 4:46 pm

      I’ve been twice, but only for brief visits. Yes, I saw the monorail, but we hiked up. Students must stay in great shape! I’ve seen Cheat Lake from Cooper Forest Park, but some stunning nature there. Deserves a longer visit.

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