Hawk's Nest Modelers' Conference

At the end of March, I went to Hawk's Nest WV for a conference of people who are interested in the modeling the C&O railroad.  I don't have any pictures of the conference itself, but I do have some of the area, which is very scenic.
Hawk's Nest
Turkey Creek Falls
New River Gorge
Hawk's Nest
Hawk's Nest is a famous overlook on the New River.  There is a state park and lodge there, which is where the meeting was held.

Hawk's Nest itself is an overlook 585 feet above the New River.  Just down stream is a dam, and just upstream is the bridge that the C&O uses to cross the river

This picture was taken from Lovers Leap, another overlook closer to the bridge, and on the grounds of the Inn where the conference was held

Frank, Russ, and I at Hawk's Nest

The C&O bridge.  Hawks Nest station was at the left end, but is gone now.

I rode tram that runs from the Lodge down to the river .  It ends at the East end of the bridge.

Lovers Leap, as seen from the tram.

The lodge

The tram, as seen from the bottom.

The railroad bridge, at water level

Turkey Creek Falls

Turkey Creek Falls is a few miles west of Hawk's Nest.  We were there on Saturday morning, and it was drizzling.

On Rt. 60 just west of Hawk's Nest is this waterfall, about 60 feet high

A broader view.  You can see all the rocks at the base of the falls.

Becky and I were the only ones brave enough to get up close to the falls

Becky pointing out the better view to be had by getting in close

Frank and John fretting about us clambering over the rocks

New River Gorge

On Friday we went East, upstream, and explored part of the New River Gorge.  The entire area is a National Park now, but at one time it was one of the richest coal fields in the country.

A view of the gorge from the Visitor's center on Rt. 19, about 10 miles East (upstream) of Hawks Nest.

Another view of the gorge.

Rt. 19 crosses the gorge on this bridge, which is over 800 feet high.

A view of Old Rt. 19.  This is the road you had to take to cross the river before they built the high bridge.

The high bridge from below

and from water level

Of course, there are a lot of little streams leading down to the river

This is Loup Creek.  The C&O had a major branch line that ran up from the river along this creek.

Russ took us to this waterfalls on Loup Creek.

Some moss on a tree trunk.  Real exciting, I know, but I like it.

As I was climbing down to get a better view of the falls, Russ and Frank just sat down, taking their ease and watching me.  Maybe they were waiting to laugh at me when I fell in.  If so, I disappointed them.


Thurmond was a major town in its day.  At one time, it originated more freight traffic, all coal, than any other location on the C&O.  A number of branch lines were based here, all leading to rich coal mines.  The town was unusual, too, in that it had no main street -- it fronted directly on the C&O main line.

The park service has restored Thurmond station.  This was its color before the railroad switched to gray.

The train order signal.  When this is set to stop (the arm down horizontally) the train had to stop and pick up orders here.

The coaling dock.  All the hardware is gone, but the main concrete structure still remains.

The little gray building in the center is the post office

"Main Street"

The National Bank of Thurmond

These signals control the operations of the trains.

The railroad crosses the river on this bridge, and an one lane roadway is attached to the side for cars and people


On Sunday morning, I finally got some train pictures

This train appeared to be a local freight, rather than the much more common coal train

A bit later Amtrak's Cardinal came through

The Cardinal coming off the bridge