Preston - At this coal company hamlet, the CSX line crosses the river. Old mines leak acid mine drainage that stains the Cheat and its streams orange. Their water quality has improved with the help of Friends of the Cheat. Traveling south, in 4 1/2 miles look high above the road in leaf-off for a graceful waterfall created by the B&O Buckhorn Wall.
The Narrows - Scenic river views abound through this rugged gorge. The boulders create exciting Springtime Class III-IV rapids for whitewater rafting and canoeing here, and Class IV-V north of Albright (Cheat River Outfitters,White Water Adventures, Blackwater Outdoors, or Mountain Streams and Trails). Summer low water gives a milder ride. Upriver from coal mining, the clear water provides fishing holes and scenic views accessible from pull-offs.
Manheim\Tray Run Viaduct - The river widens and calms through the limestone strata. Across the river, silos with the faded Alpha Portland Cement name are remnants of the industry that started this 1903 company town. The limestone is now mined for road material. To reach Manheim, go straight at the Rowelsbug stop sign, cross the Cheat River bridge, and turn left.
The back of the state seal includes 1853 B&O Tray Run Viaduct image to honor this great engineering feat. Look quickly uphill at the byway white historic sign just north of Rowlesburg, or drive to Manheim for a better view.
Rowlesburg - Named in
1858 for Thomas Rowles, B&O division engineer, the town grew with the railroad and related industries. During the
Civil War, the Tray Run Viaduct and Cheat River railroad bridge were Confederate targets. A small Union force and locals rebuffed
them in the April, 1863 Jones-Imboden Raid. Cannons on Cannon Hill guarded the town until the war ended. To reach this hilltop,
cross the Cheat RIver bridge, continue straight 2 miles to the gate on the left, and hike the steep 2 mile rough road, or catch
a ride at any festival. Views of Rowlesburg and the Tray Run Viaduct are awe-inspiring!
The town of 600
The town of 600is revitalizing through tourism, with all sites on or close to the byway. At Szilagyi Community Center, visit the Greatest Generation Museum, honoring World War II veterans, and the B&O Railroad Museum's 1927 Centenary Bridge Collection. Stop at the brown Railroad Museum with its red caboose and Civil War-era cannon. Watch Civil War Reenactments every May. Enjoy a festival: the Memorial Day weekend River City Festival, the June WW II Reenactment, the Labor Day Festival and Ox Roast, and the October Columbus Weekend Chestnut Festival. Shop the Curiosity Shop for antiques (imagine water levels with the 1985 Flood window mark). Begin challenging and scenic mountain or road bicycling from the Community Park. Or hike the 300-mile Allegheny Trail (cross Cheat bridge, straight on Salt Lick Road (Rt. 51), right on bridge, right for yellow trail blazes), and camp at the Cannon Hill shelter. Eat at the Community Center Cafe on weekends, have lunch or dinner at the Community Park Snack Bar in the summer, or buy picnic food at Bell's Grocery. After all of this excitement, RV, camp or stay at the Mainstay.