1. The culture
The people, rich history and beautiful landscape of are enough reason to go there any time of the year. A festival with sugary goodness just gives you one more great reason to make the drive there this weekend.
2. The Events
The Maple Syrup Festival has become a popular event in West Virginia, drawing in more and more people regardless of the weather. There are pancake feeds, craft shows, wood chopping exhibitions and several others. Take a look at the for this year.
3. The Pancake feeds
There will be three pancake feeds during the course of the weekend, and I would recommend going to each one and stuffing as many of those delicious and warm pancakes down as possible. The American Legion Hall has one on both Saturday from 9-4 and Sunday from 9-3. The Pickens School also has one on Saturday from 9-5, so you have plenty of time to get some pancakes, plus its only $7.50 for adults and $5.50 if you are under the age of ten.
4. Ham and Bean Buffet
The Ham and Bean Buffet is another food event must. In past years, they’ve had several different kinds of ham including maple syrup ham and smoked ham. Top that off with a heaping pile of beans and a warm, buttery slice of corn bread, and you have a country meal that you can only get in Pickens. The buffet Starts at 5 p.m. in the American Legion Hall and only cost $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under ten.
5. Wood chopping Exhibition
If you’ve never been to a wood chopping exhibition I would recommend this over everything else, except maybe the maple syrup. A bunch of guys with axes and two-man cross cut saws going through logs like butter is truly an amazing thing to watch. You can catch this event outside the American Legion Hall at 1p.m.
6. Square Dancing
There’s no better way to end a long day than a good ol’ fashion square dance. Musicians gather at the American Legion Hall to pick some tunes and call out dances, so that even the beginner can jump in and dance. The locals even go out of their way to show you a thing or two out on the dance floor. It’s nothing but a good time and goes from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the American Legion Hall.
7. The After Parties
Don’t be afraid to talk to a few strangers and see what’s going on after the square dance. Chances are someone will mention a house close by where all the locals will be going to continue the party. More food, music and stories will be shared with anyone, so don’t be bashful. They’ll welcome you in like you’re family.
8. The Drive
The drive itself is one of my favorite parts about going to Pickens. There are a few routes, but each one is a beautiful drive through the mountains of Randolph County. If you’re coming from Interstate 79, here’s a detailed map to get you there . If you’re coming from the Elkins area here’s another map . Also, here’s another list of directions from the .
is another great small town, just a few miles away, with a rich culture and history. If you have the time I would recommend making a stop at The Hutte for a bite to eat. It’s a small yellow building located in the center of Helvetia. It’s a truly unique restaurant with great food, great people and a great atmosphere. It even appeared on the Discovery Channel’s, .
10. The Maple Syrup
Finally the maple syrup. This is worth the trip alone. People from Pickens collect sap from the thousands of maple trees in the area and turn it into delicious maple syrup to make this entire festival possible. Knowing the that goes into making maple syrup makes you appreciate its sweetness even more. So get on down to Pickens this weekend, and try some out for yourself. takes place March 16th 17th.
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