Genuine and unusual historic experiences, accompanied by exhilarating vistas of high mountains and scenic valleys, are the anticipated rewards as you travel the historic Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike through the Monongahela National Forest. Connecting the upper Shenandoah Valley with the Ohio River, this Turnpike was essential to early development and settlement of the area. It was also of prime importance in the political dissension which led to the separation and eventual statehood of that part of Virginia which became West Virginia.
In the 1861 Mountain Campaign of the Civil War, winning the Battle of Rich Mountain, together with the accompanying control of the Turnpike, was of great significance for the Union armies. This was the campaign which brought General George McClellan to national prominence and damaged the reputation of General Robert E. Lee. As you travel along this historic Byway and associated backways you will experience such Civil War sites as the Rich Mountain Battlefield, Beverly Historic District, Cheat Summit Fort, Camp Bartow, and Camp Allegheny.
Accompanying points of interest are the many historic sites, houses, and towns revealing the hardships of early life experienced by