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Snowshoe Mountain, WV

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Green Bank Telescope

Green Bank Telescope – NRAO

By on March 4, 2018

Green Bank Telescope

Less than 16 miles and 25 minutes away from Snowshoe WV lies the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank. Hosting a staggering 40,000 visitors each year, the NRAO in Green Bank is host to the largest maneuverable astronomical telescope in the world, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. With guided bus tours of the telescopes, a StarLab planetarium, and hands-on activities, the NRAO in Green Bank, WV is an astronomical adventure for guests of all ages.

What is Radio Astronomy?
In order to properly appreciate your visit to the NRAO, you must first have a proper handle on what you are visiting. Radio Astronomy is a branch of astronomy that deals with radio frequencies emitted from celestial objects. The first detection of radio waves from a celestial body was in the 1930s by Karl Jansky. Since that time, many various sources of astronomical radio waves have been discovered including stars, quasars, galaxies, and many more.

What makes Green Bank special?
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia features the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the largest maneuverable radio telescope in the world. At 485 feet (148 meters) tall and 17 million pounds (7.7 million kilograms), the GBT is the largest moving object on land. Despite its sizable mass, over the course of a year, it is able to see 85% of the celestial sphere. The GBT receives signals in the staggering range of 3 millimeters (1/8 inch) to 3 meters (9 feet) in wave-length. The Observatory is also used for training for both students and teachers, various public outreach and educational programs, and assorted other scientific research.

So why should you visit?
Green Bank TelescopeFeaturing a science center, tours, gift shop, cafe and special events, the NRAO is scientific fun for the whole family. Begin your visit to the NRAO at the Green Bank Science Center where you experience fascinating science demonstrations; you then head to the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope where your personal tour guide leads you on an up-close and personal view of the world’s largest maneuverable telescope. Following the tour, participate in kid-friendly, interactive exhibits and discover the displays of the exhibit hall. Make your way to the Galaxy Gift Shop where you can find various astronomical souvenirs and gifts to remember your extraordinary experience. Finally, end your visit in the Starlight Cafe where you can feast on assorted fare from deli sandwiches to soft-serve ice cream. If you’re looking for something truly special, participate in one of the many special events hosted throughout the year.

When should you visit?
Summer – Every day from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Fall – Thursday through Monday 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Winter and Spring – Thursday through Monday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

How much does it cost?
Tour fees are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, children age 7 to 12 are $3.50, and children age 6 and under are free. There is no charge, however, for exploring the exhibit hall.

Do you have questions? Would you like to schedule a group tour?
Call (304) 456-2150 or visit the Green Bank Science Center on Facebook

Snowshoe-WV-Autumn-Colors

Top 10 Things to do in Pocahontas County WV

By on May 1, 2016

If you are looking for a place to vacation that offers beautiful scenery and fun activities for children and adults alike, look no further than Pocahontas County WV. There are a wide range of things to see and do during your visit to this wonderful West Virginia. Let’s take a look at the top 10:

Top Ten Things To Do In Pocahontas County WV

Cranberry Glades Pocahontas County
Cranberry Glades

1. Cranberry Glades Botanical Area – The Cranberry Glades are known for being West Virginia’s largest area of bogs, also known as acidic wetlands. This incredibly unique ecosystem spans a vast 750 acres. In 1965, the United States Forest Service established this area in an effort to protect more than 60 species of plants.

2. Droop Mountain Battlefield – Pocahontas County’s southern region is occupied by Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. This is where the last major Civil War battle in West Virginia was fought. The state bought the battlefield site in 1928, dedicating it as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the battle. Even those people who are not Civil War buffs will be able to appreciate the immense beauty of this location.

Cass Railroad3. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park – In the historic town of Cass, WV, you will find this park that takes its visitors back to a period in time when steam locomotives dominated transportation. The park offers people a chance to experience unforgettable train rides that travel through large areas of mountain wilderness. Spruce, Bald Knob and Whittaker Station are the three destinations offered by the Cass Scenic Railroad.

4. Snowshoe Mountain – Located in Snowshoe WV, Snowshoe Mountain is a Pocahontas County WV resort located at the top of Cheat Mountain. In consists of 11,000 acres of pristine mountain wilderness. If you love to go mountain biking, you will be in paradise. There are marked trails that go for more than 100 miles. If you plan on bringing your entire family, you can visit Split Rock Pools, which is an indoor/outdoor pool area. There is also a spa available at the resort.

5. Highland Scenic Highway – This is a lovely highway that takes travelers through the Monongahela National Forest. You will be able to see over a massive expanse of hardwood forests. It is West Virginia’s highest major roadway, extending from Richwood to U.S. Route 219, for a total of 43 miles.

6. Beartown State Park – On Droop Mountain’s eastern summit, you will find this lovely 107-acre area. Visitors will marvel at strange rock formations, overhanging cliffs and enormous boulders, which are made up of Pottsville Sandstone dating all the way back to the Pennsylvanian Age.

7. Watoga State Park – Located 14 miles south of Marlinton, this is West Virginia’s largest state park, totaling more than 10,000 acres. The park offers the best camping in the state, with 10 modern cabins equipped with air conditioning and heat. There are also a large number of campsites with electrical hookups. An 11-acre lake can be used for fishing, row-boating or paddle-boating.

Pocahontas County WV8. Green Bank Telescope – This is the largest fully steerable telescope on the planet. It weighs 17 million pounds and stands 485 feet tall. The reflecting surface measures an astonishing 2.3 acres. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory has a total of 11 telescopes on display for visitors to look at. it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Pocahontas County WV.

9. Falls of Hills Creek – Located in the Monongahela National Forest, this area encompasses 114 acres. Visitors will enjoy three waterfalls and one of the cleanest streams in the state. There is a boardwalk with a length of 1,700 feet that you can use to get some amazing photos of the first waterfall. Wildflower lovers will find more than 40 species. These are in bloom from the spring through the beginning of summer.

10. Monongahela National Forest – This forest consists of 900,000 acres. There are trails extending for literally hundreds of miles within the forest. Visitor centers, picnic areas and campgrounds are located throughout the forest. There are also many places to go fishing, mountain biking and hiking.