Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Franklin, WV

  • Published 2022/09/24

Named after early settler Francis Evick, Franklin is a small and simple area famed for its natural sites.

The town sits near the Allegheny Mountains and is a part of Pendleton County.

Formerly inhabited by Native Americans, the town was an area of conflict between the group and other early settlers.

It wasn’t until 1769 that the Evick brothers were able to patent the land on which the town was built.

Today, you’ll see that the town has retained much of its simple structures and remains surrounded by natural wonders.

If you’re interested in learning what the city offers, here are the best things to do in Franklin, West Virginia:

Attend the Treasure Mountain Festival

If you’re planning to visit Franklin sometime in September, you might want to swing by Confederate Road to attend the annual Treasure Mountain Festival.

The celebration started in 1969 to commemorate Pendleton County’s “treasures,” which were the area’s mountainous wonders in the form of flora, fauna, rivers, and hiking trails, among others.

Get festive during this three-day celebration, witness the Grand Parade, and get a good look at the burning of Fort Seybert.

You’ll also experience a wide range of activities, such as book sales, treasure hunts, car shows, and much more.

The festivities will also include a great variety of food and drinks, making the Treasure Mountain Festival even more enjoyable.

Cast Your Lines During the Annual WV Trout Fest

Franklin is no exception to Pendleton County’s natural wonders, including the town’s waterways.

So if you’re looking to embark on a fun activity in one of Franklin’s lakes, swing by Maple Ave and participate in the annual WV Trout Fest held every May.

Formerly known as the Spring Fest, this event lets residents cast their lines to catch the biggest trout they can find.

The annual WV Trout Fest isn’t your ordinary fishing trip, as it’s a competition to catch the longest and shortest fish and is categorized into the adult and youth sections.

There’s also the grand prize for the lucky participant who will catch the tagged #16 fish, so if you think you can take on the challenge, register at Craft Building.

Go on a Sport Climb at Franklin Gorge

Those who love conquering the great outdoors will enjoy exploring the trails at Franklin Gorge.

Located by Spruce-Knob Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, this rock climbing spot is perfect for those who go sport climbing.

Make your way up the layered sandstone and limestone rocks while holding on to the pockets and hollows.

The Franklin Gorge climbing spot was discovered during the mid-90s by John Bircham and friends and has now become a popular area for rock climbers visiting the town.

Aside from sport climbing, visitors can also enjoy other activities like traditional climbing and top rope climbing.

Sleep under the Stars at Cave Country Camping Area

It’s no secret that Franklin has some of the best natural sites in West Virginia, and it’ll be a shame not to explore at least one of them while you’re there.

So when in Franklin, stop by Cave County Camping Area on Upper South Branch Road to get a glimpse of the town’s best views.

Pack your sleeping bags, and get ready to go on a road trip before setting up camp and sleeping under the stars.

Cave Country Camping Area has about 80 sites you can choose from, so there’s no need to worry about running out of space.

There’s also some space at the back of the campgrounds where you can cast your lines and try catching some trout, which is one of the popular activities in town.

Go on a Gold Rush at Mountain State Trout

Franklin is no exception to having great spots to catch trout—in fact, the fish is so popular in the area that it’s celebrated every year!

If you’re a big fan of fishing or even cooking up some trou-inspired dishes, you definitely can’t miss out on visiting Mountain State Trout along Hammer Run Road.

Mountain State Trout is only one of the many trout farms you’ll see in Franklin, but it’s also a popular spot for getting some goldies.

While you’re there, don’t forget to go on a little gold rush once you’re done casting your lines for trout.

Mountain State Trout also lets little kids join in the fun, so you don’t have to worry about your kids feeling left out on the adventure.

Cool Off with Some Soft Serve at Moe Fatz

The heat can be quite unbearable even for a mountainous region like Franklin, but there are surely a couple of ways you can cool off.

If you’re not a fan of taking a dip in the pool, lake, or river, you might consider having a spoonful of soft serve at Moe Fatz to beat the heat.

Located on North Main Street, Moe Fatz serves some of the best ice cream flavors around Franklin, making you come back for more.

The ice cream shop also serves weekly specials, giving customers a new wave of flavors to try every time.

While you’re there, don’t forget to try their specialty sundaes, milkshakes, malts, and banana split creations.

Catch Live Performances at Smith Creek Playhouse

Catch a bunch of live performances at Smith Creek Playhouse, and get front-row seats to your favorite acts.

Located along Smith Creek Road, the playhouse features a wide range of talents in Franklin.

Enjoy the cold and chilly night by buying your tickets to laugh, cry, or sing along to the people on stage.

If you’re up for it, you might even get to share your talents in this performing arts theater, especially if you want to stay in town for a while.

Smith Creek Playhouse is one of the two theaters you’ll see in town.

Spend Family Day at Thorn Spring Park

Nothing beats a refreshing day at a park where you can relax and simply enjoy the cool breeze from the trees.

If you’re looking to spend a family day in one of the best parks in town, you might want to check out Thorn Spring Park on All Star Drive.

This park in Franklin allows visitors to escape the busy city life and drown out the sound of bustling streets.

Throw a picnic, and lay your blanket on the trimmed grass before reading your favorite book or sipping fresh lemonade.

Another great thing about Thorn Spring Park is that you can stay for the night in one of their cabins, and there are also hookups for RVs and campsites for tenters.

Shop for Great Finds at Sunshine Consignment

There’s always time to go shopping and look for great things to add to your living room collection or even a few pieces of clothing for your wardrobe.

If you want to go on a shopping spree in Franklin, swing by Sunshine Consignment on North Main Street.

Not only will you find this Franklin staple full of great finds, but you’re also bound to get them at extremely low prices.

Take your pick from a wide variety of brand new and gently worn clothing for kids and adults, household items, art pieces, and much more.

Sunshine Consignment also offers box lot sales, giving customers the best value in home decor, kitchen items, and clothes.

Catch a Movie at Warner’s Drive-In

Catching a movie is always a great way to relax—unless all the seats have been taken and there’s no other theater nearby.

Why not switch it up a little, and go for a drive-in theater in Franklin instead?

More specifically, Warner’s Drive-In on Petersburg Pike.

Warner’s Drive-In is the only outdoor-based movie theater in Franklin, so you should try going there.

Find a great parking spot, and get comfortable inside your car while enjoying the blissful Franklin night.

Also within the area is a nearby snack bar that offers burgers, chili dogs, french fries, popcorn, and drinks.

Have Breakfast at The Korner Shop Cafe

It’s nearly impossible to tour the streets of Franklin on an empty stomach, which is why you should fill up on great food before you begin your day.

You can’t go wrong with The Korner Shop Cafe on Main Street, one of the best breakfast spots in Franklin.

The Korner Shop Cafe is a family-style restaurant with a wide range of hearty meals guaranteed to keep you on your feet for the entire day.

Aside from the restaurant’s daily menu, they also offer weekly specials for dedicated customers to try out.

While you’re there, watch out for famous creations like the hot roast beef sandwich, Salisbury steak, chicken fajita wrap, and more.

Send Your Love with Flowers from the Franklin Florist

If you’re planning on celebrating a special occasion in Franklin, whether it’s an anniversary, graduation, or birthday, there’s no better way to send your appreciation than with a bouquet.

Lucky for you, Franklin has its own shop that gives you a wide range of arrangements to choose from—Franklin Florist.

Franklin Florist on Main Street offers a great variety of fresh flowers and creative gift ideas for almost any event you want to celebrate.

Find the perfect flower arrangement for your center table, or decorate your home with seasonal flowers.

You’ll also find a lot of friendly bouquets, parading sunflowers, roses, and other colorful flowers designed to brighten your loved one’s day.

Enjoy Friday Night at The Hollow Restaurant

Nothing is more relaxing than sipping a glass of beer and munching on great food while in Franklin.

The Hollow Restaurant on Main Street is one of Franklin’s go-to spots for those who want to enjoy a round of drinks after spending an entire day working or exploring the town streets.

Have a hearty serving of specialty plates like ribeye, strip steak, steamed shrimp, and rockfish, among others—all served with a choice of two sides.

Other than these house specialties, the weekend BBQ specials are another highly-anticipated event at The Hollow Restaurant.

This place has it all, so you won’t regret coming here for dinner or a late-night drink.

Grab a Seat at the Star Hotel and Restaurant

Date night in Franklin is never a bad idea, but with all the great places you can go to, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect one.

Fortunately, the Star Hotel and Restaurant is just around the corner on Main Street, a great place to dine in or even stay for the night.

The hotel restaurant offers the guests of Franklin fine casual dining with a classy stay, making it the perfect place to spend a relaxing evening with your special person.

The Star Hotel and Restaurant also prides itself on serving the best prime rib in the area, which is all the more reason to eat there.

For your drinks, take your pick from Chardonnay, Delicious Red and White Zinfandel, or a couple rounds of beer.

Book a Stay at Country Rhodes Guest Suites

If you’re planning to visit Franklin anytime soon and haven’t booked a place to stay, you might want to check out Country Rhodes Guest Suites on South Main Street.

Previously owned by the Johnsons, who helped build the Methodist Church nearby, this Airbnb area started as a drugstore during its early years.

Today, the place is completely modernized, providing a space for those who wish to visit the charming town of Franklin.

Country Rhodes Guest Suites offers an upstairs suite, which initially served as an old ballet studio and office before transforming into a homey space complete with the basic amenities of day-to-day living.

Meanwhile, the downstairs suite was an old candy store but now contains a stocked living area, modest bedrooms, and a kitchen and bath space.

Final Thoughts

Franklin may be a small town, but there are many adventures to experience while you’re there.

If you’re looking to go there anytime soon, stick to this list of the best things to do in Franklin, West Virginia, and you’ll be set to have the trip of a lifetime.

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