Green Bank Observatory to Snowshoe Resort Tour

Green Bank Observatory to Snowshoe Resort Tour - Combining Driving with Science

Drive Dates: Thursday, September 17 and Friday, September 18

Total Drive Distance: 157 miles

Estimated total tour duration: 6.5 hours


Pocahontas County, West Virginia is where people go to “get off the grid”.  Literally. This tour will show you why so many people move here from all over the country, and the globe, to leave behind the world of technology and surround themselves in nature, wildlife, and bucolic scenery.


WV Route 92 starts near The Greenbrier Resort and travels north through miles and miles of farmland, cattle ranches, rolling hills, babbling brooks, and streams. If you like birding, keep your eyes peeled as you are certain to see red-tailed hawks, pairs of bald eagles, and migrating fall species as they travel south for the winter. Do you like miniature horses? How about Scottish Highland or Belted Galway cattle? This livestock line the valleys, along with silos and historic farmsteads on both sides of the road.


The first tour destination is the Green Bank Observatory, part of National Radio Astronomy Observatory, where hands-on exhibits and displays will introduce you to the science of radio astronomy. You’ll learn how the Green Bank Radio Telescope works and what radio astronomers have learned about the universe. The Green Bank Science Center is the starting point for your guided tour. Your personal guide will introduce you to the fascinating world of radio astronomy, feature science demonstrations and a short film about the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. The tour continues with a bus excursion into the radio-frequency restricted zone for an up-close look at telescopes from the pioneering instruments of the 1950s to one of the world's largest fully steerable radio telescopes!


Train lovers get excited! After the Observatory Tour, you’ll drive through Cass Scenic Railroad State Park and may be lucky to see a fired-up steam locomotive in the company town of Cass, WV. You may have an opportunity to revisit the site to ride the 11-mile long heritage railroad operated by the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad.


Your drive will continue up an eleven-mile steep, curvy mountain road, once used for the historic Snowshoe Mountain Hillclimb. Flanked by birch and maple trees that create a canopy overhead, we will climb to the top of Snowshoe Mountain, and an elevation of 4848 feet and the second-highest point in the state, for an Appalachian Farm-to-Table lunch and 360-degree views.


Our tour officially ends after lunch. For those who wish to return to The Greenbrier together, the tour leaders will depart shortly after lunch for a leisurely drive back to the resort.

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