On Canaan Loop Road….

January 14, 2013

Canaan Loop road – gorgeous! Prez Day 2010

Originally uploaded by ilamhouse

This is just about a mile down Canaan Loop road from Ilam House, and shows how gorgeous it gets there with snow! Ilam House and Canaan Loop Road around there at at about 3,700 ft. elevation, and so it gets the heaviest snow of that part of W.V. Jamie and Randy showing good form!

Get out there are get skiing!

January 14, 2013

Canaan Valley Skiing Dec 2010 a video by ilamhouse on Flickr.

Well, the great skiing of early January has melted away, but sooner or later it will snow and get good again. And here’s how good it can get! Time to plan a weekend in February or March out in Canaan Valley!

Thanksgiving Weekend at Ilam House!

November 23, 2012

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.


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.

Summertime and it’s Green and Cool in West Virginia!

July 5, 2012


Originally uploaded by ilamhouse

Here’s a link to the Forest Service Webcam which is situated on a tower near Ilam House. It gives a good view down over Canaan Valley and the current temperature, at about the same elevation as Ilam House.

What to do in Canaan Valley – WaPo

July 5, 2012

Some good suggestions from the Washington Post on what to do in Canaan Valley. We also list a number of our favorites here on this blog.

Summer hiking near Ilam House

July 1, 2012


Originally uploaded by ilamhouse

Great trails are easy to find around Ilam House. Head from the house: up Grayrock road, turn right onto Forest Service #13 (aka Canaan Loop Road) and follow (west). You will pass several trails off to the right marked with signposts. The Allegheny Trail goes all the way from Canaan Loop Road (right – north) to Blackwater Falls State Park – a very nice 3-4 mile hike (if you can arrange pick up at Blackwater Falls State Park!). The Allegheny Trail also extends the other direction about 8 miles to Canaan Valley State Park – another really nice hike.

Mountain Biking – Canaan Valley Institute

July 1, 2012


Originally uploaded by ilamhouse

Biking along Camp 70 road in the Canaan Valley Institute preserve, behind Davis, WV. The Road starts just behind the Stop-n-Shop in Davis, and goes about 5-6 miles along the Blackwater River and into the heart of Canaan Valley. The views of the wilderness area in the Valley are gorgeous. Easy/flat mountain biking terrain, though a rough and sometimes muddy gravel road.

Holly Meadows Gold Course – Parsons, WV – Family Fun

July 1, 2012


Originally uploaded by ilamhouse

We enjoy this small pitch ‘n put course, which is very family focused. It’s near Parsons, WV. From Ilam House, drive north through Thomas and then SW towards Parsons. About 20 miles total from Ilam House to Parsons.

Holly Meadows

A more serious gold course is the very nice full sized Canaan Valley Course

Picking blueberries

July 1, 2012


Originally uploaded by ilamhouse

This patch of blueberry bushes is at the end of Camp 70 road, on the Canaan Valley Institute property. In Davis, look for Camp 70/CVI behind the Shop’nSave, crosses a small bridge then runs about 4 miles. Near end-point parking lot – you’ll find this patch.

Ride the Canaan Valley ski life up for summer hiking

July 1, 2012


Originally uploaded by ilamhouse

The lift runs weekends during the summer. From the top it is a nice hike to the “pipeline” trail along the ridge top and then left (north) to the top of Bald Knob. About a 1 hour roundtrip from the top of the ski lift.