Our friends the Boehm’s are staying at Ilam House this Thanksgiving weekend, and so, in addition to this listing of favorites, here are some suggested fun activities for kids and adults at this time of year.
AROUND THE HOUSE
The woods around the house are fun for hiking. It is deer hunting season, and while hunters are supposed to stay well away from houses, if venturing into the woods I would stay close to the house, wear bright colors, and venture out in the middle of the day. I would readily hike up/down Canaan Loop road, which is very nice. Also fun – building a nighttime campfire in the ring behind the house – and turning off all the house lights. And sitting in the hot tub with all the house lights off to see some of the stars.
Sirianis – good atmosphere, pizza and other Italian food in the heart of Davis.
Hellbender – also good atmosphere, tasty burritos, and Mountain State Brewery beer on tap
Hiking: Blackwater Falls State Park: There is no hunting in the State Parks, and Blackwater Falls has some wonderful trails through thick rhododendrons. I like the Elkata trail that leaves directly from the lodge and winds down to a waterfall. And there are miles of nice trails. To get here head through Davis and turn left at far end of town.
Hiking: Canaan Valley State Park trails: A very nice series of trails for hiking – south on Hwy 32 about six miles, and stop at the main office to get trail maps.
Hiking: National Wildlife Refuge Center: great nature center, very interesting for kids, and they have maps of various trails – and you can ask them about where hiking is good during deer season. This is about 3 miles south on Hwy 32.
Biking – Blackwater Bikes: nice folks and they rent bikes and can advise in good trails. There is a nice series of trails adjacent to Davis on the Canaan Valley institute property, but ask about hunting on those lands.
Mountain State Brewery, in Thomas, has great beer, and sometimes music.
Purple Fiddle, in Thomas, a must-visit. Plan to come for dinner, or after dinner dessert and hear some live music.
Hiking below Thomas: head downhill on Douglas Rd to where you can go no further and hike to a dramatic 30′ waterfall, and also see old brick coke ovens. I’m a little rusty on the directions, so ask at the Purple Fiddle.