Known for its stunning scenery, uncommon history, and strong industry, Berkeley County is one of West Virginia’s first settled areas.
The county has been home to numerous Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, Quakers, Dutch, and English residents as early as the 1700s.
Formed in 1772, this area was originally a part of Frederick County and was named after Lord Norborne Berkeley, the fourth Baron de Botetourt and the royal governor of Virginia from 1768 through 1770.
Its architectural buildings, which date all the way back to the 1740s, include several villages and districts that have been included in the National Register of Historic Places.
You will find the county at the heart of Eastern Panhandle, just at Shenandoah Valley’s gateway.
Discover beautiful places filled with rich history through these best things to do in Berkeley County, West Virginia:
Watch a Show at Apollo Civic Theatre
Through the world wars and the many issues the world has faced, the Apollo Civic Theatre had stood its ground with its stunning building and amazing shows, continuing its legacy as the "Miracle on East Martin Street."
The theater opened its doors to the public in 1914 by holding a gala ceremony, and since then, it has continued to become the main focus of community entertainment.
The auditorium, designed with an orchestra pit and small stage, was supposed to be used for motion pictures, but Mr. Albert Geyer decided otherwise and held the first production of a local theatrical show.
Many other shows have been produced in this theater aside from theater productions, including Will Rogers’ State Fair, the concert of Tex Ritter, and the violin concert of Great Rubinoff.
Today, the Apollo is one of the most important places in Martinsburg that's rich in history, so make sure you see one of their shows!
Experience Farm Life at Orr’s Farm Market
Located just west of Martinsburg, Orr’s Farm Market started in the mid-1930s with George S. Orr, Jr., who worked on the small fruit and berry farm he owns with his grandfather.
When Orr returned from the U.S. Navy in 1954, he purchased a 60-acre orchard which led him to continue with his passion for growing fruit.
The orchard grew to 350 acres with the help of his family in 1979.
As a retail market that served the community with freshly picked fruits and vegetables, Orr’s Farm Market opened in 1995 and has continued to grow over the years.
A bakery, a barnyard, and multiple activities were added.
The farm also accommodates field trips and birthday parties.
Have a fun-filled day with your family at this farm!
Enjoy Fun Activities at The Woods
The Woods is a golfing and spa haven in Hedgesville.
This more than 40-year-old place is adjacent to the 23,000-acre Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area.
The 1800 acres of these woods have a beautiful landscape where you can enjoy the tranquility of nature.
Vacation rental offerings are available in the area while you enjoy various facilities, such as a golf course, spa, grille, pub, and more.
They also have outdoor recreational activities such as tennis and pickleball, and catch-and-release fishing, among many others.
Take a Tour of Black Draft Farm & Distillery
The Black Draft Farm & Distillery, established in 2014, found its way to West Virginia as it joined artisans who sought to incorporate their techniques with the state’s tradition.
This distillery in Martinsburg expanded to a 60-acre farm in 2021 with a mission to become the Eastern Panhandle’s center for Agritourism.
The family's first product was the First Harvest Moonshine.
Through the years, they have expanded their products to include different flavors such as Black Draft Vodka, Rise & Shine Coffee, and White Julep Moonshine.
You can enjoy tasting these delicious liquors when you take the Black Draft Farm & Distillery tour.
Check their calendar when you are in the area, as they also hold some events!
Park Your RV and Camp at Leatherman’s Falling Waters Campsite
Since 1962, the Leatherman’s Falling Waters Campsite has been home to many campers.
Located in Williamsport Pike, this campground offers activities such as fishing in their pond or playing in the stream.
This 3,000-square-foot, family-friendly location is close to many stores, restaurants, and historical sites in the county.
It's definitely a go-to place, especially if you want a quick and relaxing day!
Most of the areas in the campsite are equipped with necessities such as electricity, water, self-service laundry on-site, and even WiFi.
Whether you're looking for quiet time alone or to spend quality time with family, Leatherman’s Falling Waters Campsite is your best bet.
Hike at Yankauer Nature Preserve
Located in northwest Shepherdstown, the Yankauer Nature Preserve is a part of farmland that's teeming with a history dating back to the 1700s.
In the 1960s, Dr. Alfred Yankauer and his wife Marian bought what is now a 104-acre property as a retreat house.
A few years later, they moved to Massachusetts but donated the land to The Nature Conservancy.
Since then, they've worked with the Potomac Valley Audubon Society (PVAS) to maintain it.
If you go to the back of the property, you can get a good view of the Potomac River.
You can hike on its 2.4-mile trail that includes a bird-watching station and an outdoor pavilion, or have your children enjoy summer camps or school programs that the PVAS hosts.
The Yankauer Nature Preserve is also home to over 100 birds and 180 flora species.
Enjoy Competitive Play at North Mountain Paintball
North Mountain Paintball was established in 2002 by owner Chris Thiel in Gerrardstown for the love of paintball and to provide the community with a new recreational activity.
Paintball goes back to the 1960s and was invented by Nelson Paint Company to mark trees and cattle—yes, the first paint guns, known as markers, weren’t intended for people back then!
The paintball game was created by accident when someone was hit with an oil-based paintball.
The first official game occurred in New Hampshire in 1981, and Bob Gurnsey wrote the game's rules.
Today, you can enjoy paintball with a friend by renting all the necessary equipment from a local provider like North Mountain Paintball.
The rental package includes a mask, air tank, marker, and field fee.
Strapping on your gear and getting ready for some paintball fun at North Mountain Paintball!
Explore the General Adam Stephen House
The General Adam Stephen House is the home of the founder of the historic Martinsburg: General Adam Stephen of the Revolutionary War.
This two-and-a-half-story stone house was built between 1772 and 1789 with shaped limestones that stand on a stone ledge during Stephen's time as the first sheriff of Berkeley County.
Although almost falling into ruins, the home was restored by the General Adam Stephen Memorial Association in the 1960s and has then opened as a historic house museum.
The association acquired furnishing that would suit and reflect the early years of the home, which was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
Discover the history and get to know the county better as you explore the General Adam Stephen House.
Discover the Dillon Farm Museum
The Dillon Farm Museum in Hedgesville started as a work of passion of Norman Dillon in 1974 to share with future generations the works of agriculturists.
The Agricultural Museum was officially dedicated as a museum in 1987 on 8.3 acres of land owned by the Berkeley County Board of Education.
They wanted to pay tribute to the founding agriculturists of the country and form a connection with their local community.
In its main exhibit building, you can see different farm tools.
There are also well-restored freight wagons, horse-drawn buggies, and tractors.
If you visit the area around fall, check out their annual Fall Show, featuring live demonstrations of husker shredders, the blacksmith shop, tillage machinery, and other tools.
Get a glimpse of the state’s prosperous and proud heritage of agriculture at Dillon Farm Museum!
Have a Splash at Jaydee’s Family Fun Center
Jaydee’s is a fun center for the family that offers a variety of activities for all ages in Inwood.
Enjoy the water park with its famous Red Viper Speed slide along with the spray park and splash pool.
Other outdoor activities available are go-karts, a jungle gym, batting cages, and miniature golf.
Arcade games are also available for the whole family to play using their game cards.
Don’t miss out on an exciting day with the family at Jaydee’s!
Stroll at Poor House Farm Park
The Poor House Farm Park once served as home to individuals going through tough times.
It was later renovated and has become an outdoor recreation site since 1994.
Its history is the reason behind its name, but despite its sad past, this is now a go-to place for families, children, and friends.
You can enjoy several recreational and leisure facilities in this 137-acre spacious park, such as walking and hiking trails, ball fields, sand volleyball courts, and even catch-and-release fishing!
Poor House Farm Park also has a barn for special events.
There's also a Henry Equestrian Area and Eastern Panhandle Youth Football League Complex.
Make sure to explore the whole park during your visit!
Tour the Martinsburg Roundhouse
Located on Liberty Street, The Martinsburg Roundhouse is a rare 19th-century example of the state’s technology with railroading.
In 1840, the first roundhouse was built in the town as part of the B&O Railroad and was completed in 1849, but it was later lost during the Civil War.
The Martinsburg Roundhouse not only has a rich history but is also home to several pre-Civil War shop buildings.
The place was the starting point for the Great Railroad Strike in 1877.
This strike ended when President Hayes sent in federal troops to suppress the workers; this act was one of the reasons unions were founded in the United States.
As the only one left of its kind in the country, it is a must to tour this historic place!
Practice Your Shooting Skills at Tango Down Range
De-stress by honing your shooting skills at the Tango Down Range at Hedgesville.
Jimmy McWilliams has owned and operated the range since 2011.
The range offers 20 lanes for shooting pistols and rifles from 10 to 100 yards.
Tango Down Range's NRA Certified Range Safety Officers will guide you and ensure your safety in the range.
Always remember the first rule when in the range: assume that all guns are always loaded, and always keep your finger off the trigger until you have your target in sight!
Satisfy Your Need for Speed at Tomahawk MX
Experience premier motocross in Hedgesville at Tomahawk MX!
Motocross was made known to the public by Edison Dye in the United Kingdom in the early 1900s, and the first motorcycle Scramble to be officially held was in 1924, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that motocross racing blew up in America.
Chad Gochenour started Tomahawk MX together with his wife, Leanne, in 2001 and has since been holding races and events for the community.
The park offers three tracks with different terrain and riding level that stretches 110 acres, eight miles of which is for the Hare Scrambles.
Aftercare for your bike is also available, and you can camp overnight with prior notice to the facility.
Are you up for the challenge of motocross?
Then head to Tomahawk MX on your next visit to Berkeley County!
Reach the Top at Climbing New Heights
Since 2014, Climbing New Heights has been the unique go-to indoor gym of the region, established by co-owners Chris Price and Jordyn Truax.
Chris Price, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, is in charge of the gym, and Jordyn Truax, a passionate climber, is the lead instructor for the indoor classes and programs.
The gym boasts a moon board climbing system, 15 top rope climbs, fresh bouldering sets, and auto-belay options on top of its training systems and equipment.
The climbing gym welcomes all climbers, from beginners to experts.
The team is well-trained by the American Mountain Guide Association and regularly climbs at Harpers Ferry, Seneca Rocks, the New River Gorge, and more.
Have a thrilling adventure at Climbing New Heights!
Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management
The Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management offers rugged terrain that is nearly 23,000 acres, just 10 miles from Hedgesville’s town.
Exciting outdoor recreational activities are available here.
Hike the trail of Tuscarora, which offers about 25 miles that cut through Sleepy Creek, or the Devil’s Nose Hiking Trail which is a three-mile loop with scenic views.
You can also go bird watching and look out for American restarts, cerulean warblers, red-eyed vireos, prairie warblers, and bald eagles, among many others.
Cast a line at their 205-acre lake, where you can catch bluegill, northern pike, largemouth bass, and crappie.
Licensed hunting and trapping are also available; you can hunt for wild turkeys, waterfowls, squirrels, and black bears.
Whether you're into birdwatching, fishing, or hiking, Sleepy Creek is the best place to enjoy nature.
Channel Your Inner Spy at the Belle Boyd House
The childhood of the famous Civil War Spy, Belle Boyd, was spent in the Belle Boyd House which was built during the early 1850s.
She supplied information to Stonewall Jackson about the activities of their enemies, which resulted in her imprisonment and banishment to England.
Inside the home is a beautiful ballroom originally decorated in Victorian style during the late 1800s as part of the living quarters.
The home boasts a Greek Revival theme as two slate-black mantles decorate the twin fireplaces with white marble acanthus leaf brackets supporting them.
The house is home to exhibits on the county's history, some permanent and some rotating.
Curious to see the childhood home of a known spy?
Then head to Belle Boyd House and check it out yourself!
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth with DeFluri’s Fine Chocolates
Opening its doors in 1985 in Vienna, Virginia, DeFluri’s Fine Chocolates moved to downtown Martinsburg in 1998, where it continued to focus on its passion for making fine chocolates.
The family of veteran chocolatiers Brenda and Charlie Casabona owns, operates, and maintains the production of the shops’ sweet products.
DeFluri’s Fine Chocolates factory covers 12,000 square feet of a 1930s-era building that was originally McCrory’s Five & Dime store, which includes several pieces of equipment for chocolate-making like big mixers, conveyor belts, walk-in refrigerator rooms, and more.
Their chocolates are made of pure and natural ingredients.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Relive the Past at Stone House Mansion
Constructed in 1757, the Stone House Mansion in Kearneysville is among the oldest structures made of stone in the county.
This two-story home has a Georgian style and features a gable roof, two enclosed porches with a shed roof, and a stone wall made with limestone joined with grapevines.
Host Hite claimed thousands of acres in the region in 1731 through a land grant from the Van Metre brothers, which they had obtained from Governor Gooch.
At the same time, English Lord Fairfax also obtained a land grant for the same area.
The two claims were not settled until several decades later.
The mansion has had several famous owners throughout history, including John Strode, who built the mansion and lived there during the Hite-Fairfax case; Adam Stephen, who founded Martinsburg in 1789; and Henry St. George Tucker in the early 1800s.
Because of its rich history, the Stone House Mansion is a great place to start exploring Fairfax County!
Berkeley County is filled with historic places related to the state of West Virginia, allowing every resident and visitor to connect to the heritage of the place.
Not only will you learn about the stories in the places within the county, but you will also be able to experience a great deal of fun.
From hiking, bird watching, and hunting in the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management area to discovering the childhood home of a famous spy at the Belle Boyd House or tasting delicious chocolates from DeFluri’s Fine Chocolates, Berkeley County has it all for you.
Don't forget to keep this list of the best things to do in Berkeley County, West Virginia, on your next visit!