The Elkins Depot Welcome Center is located at 315 Railroad Avenue in the Western Maryland Railroad Depot. Built in 1908 by the Western Maryland Railway Company, this depot is a two-story brick Romanesque Revival style train station, with a broad hip roof, large overhangs, and timber brackets. The Depot played a pivotal role in Elkins as a hub for booming coal and lumber industries.
Today, this historic railroad depot is home to the Elkins Depot Welcome Center and the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad. It is also the southern trailhead for the Allegheny Highlands Trail.
Elkins Depot Welcome Center
Make the Welcome Center your first stop upon arriving in Elkins. It’s here that the helpful staff and volunteers will assist you in making the most of your visit, providing information on attractions, lodging, dining, events and more. We offer brochures, maps, literature and best of all, knowledge of Elkins, Randolph County and even the state. Since opening in 2006, the Center has greeted over 450,000 visitors. While you’re here, enjoy our exhibit, “The Town That Industry Built,” which shows many images of the early days of Elkins and its railroad history”. In 2018, as a part of our important role in Randolph County, the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism Convention and Visitors Bureau was established. In 2019, as a recognition of our excellence in the tourism industry, we became an accredited CVB through the West Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau. The primary purpose of WVACVB is to enhance the professionalism, effectiveness, and image of CVBs throughout West Virginia thereby increasing each CVB’s ability to more successfully market their destination. WVACVB and its members, working with the West Virginia Division of Tourism and thousands of tourism businesses, have significant positive impact on tourism in the State of West Virginia.
Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad
Explore wild, wonderful West Virginia from an entirely new perspective — aboard any one of four unique trains! From April to December, the surrounding mountains and valleys come alive with the welcoming wail of whistles from beautifully refurbished and historic locomotives that depart both the Elkins and Durbin depots.
The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad offers five Mountain Rail Adventures, each with its own unique journey, into some of the best scenery this side of the Rockies! Our unique collection of trains roll through a potpourri of West Virginia mountain wilderness areas! Choose to chug alongside a clean, mountain river, and take in the sights of rolling meadows of wildflowers and the sounds of a genuine steam locomotive. Or, climb to over 4,000 feet in elevation in a powerful diesel, burrow under the mighty Cheat Mountain (via an 1,800 foot tunnel featuring an “S” curve of the track inside), and negotiate the two sharpest mainline railroad curves in the United States.
The “Wild Heart of West Virginia Adventure Package” offers a combined ride on two trains with one ticket – the Cass Scenic Railroad and the Cheat Mountain Salamander, with overnight package options in Elkins or Cass.
The Rail & Trail Store
The Rail & Trail Store is the official Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad gift shop that shares the space with the Elkins Depot Welcome Center in the depot building. Unique railroad gifts, souvenirs, hats and apparel, mugs and glasses, toy trains, and much more are the perfect keepsake to take home with you while visiting.
Allegheny Highlands Trail
The Highlands Trail Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating recreational and alternate transportation opportunity through development of a regional trail system in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia. The Allegheny Highlands Trail starts at the Depot and goes all the way from Elkins to Thomas.
Just a few steps from the end of the tracks at the Elkins Depot, the Railyard Restaurant offers a variety of family and fine dining menu items. Stop in for a satisfying and enjoyable dining experience. Open five days a week, upstairs offers family-style dining inside or on the balcony, while banquet-style dining is offered downstairs for pre-reserved groups. Stop in before your rail adventure to fill up for an exciting day traveling through the mountains, or enjoy a leisurely dinner after your time on the rails!
Just a little further down Railroad Avenue is the Darden Mill, built in 1902 for the Elkins Milling Company. Recently it has been renovated and now houses both the West Virginia Railroad Museum and the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center. The Darden Mill is open May-October, Thursday-Sunday from 10am-4pm. Visit the railroad museum and learn about the important role railroads played in West Virginia history. At the Discovery Center learn about the history, culture, forestry, and nature of Appalachia and how important it is to preserve these aspects of the region. For more information, contact them at (304) 637-6182.