Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Moundsville, WV

  • Published 2023/04/01

Moundsville is a scenic city in West Virginia and the county seat of Marshall County.

Many of the activities in Moundsville do not only revolve around its superb location in the northern panhandle along the Ohio River.

Moundsville also has a fascinating history that created astonishing points of interest in the city.

Its name was notably derived from the Native American burial mounds built over 2,000 years ago.

English settlers first came to the area in 1771.

As the place grew, its citizens named it Elizabethtown when it was incorporated in 1830.

In 1865, the town was merged with Mound City, created in 1832, eventually forming the Moundsville of today.

Discover the best things to do in Moundsville, West Virginia!

Tour the West Virginia Penitentiary

Exterior of the West Virginia Penitentiary

Rhonda Humphreys, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Penitentiary was a state prison from 1866 to 1995.

Then, it was turned into a tourist destination after it was decommissioned.

The building follows a striking 19th-century Gothic architecture.

Likewise, this vintage facility on Jefferson Avenue hosts informative and fun day tours.

Facade of the West Virginia Penitentiary

Taber Andrew Bain, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The points of interest during ordinary 90-minute tours include “The Alamo” section, where the most notorious inmates were kept.

A summer visit to the West Virginia Penitentiary unlocks the opportunity for its unique History Mystery Monday Tour focusing on the facility’s historical and paranormal aspects.

These summer tours open visits to the prison’s Psych Ward/Infirmary or Boiler Room off-limits during ordinary day tours.

Escape games and seasonal Halloween events likewise excite a visit to this decommissioned Civil War-era penitentiary.

Marvel at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex

The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, located on Jefferson Avenue, is one of the significant landmarks in West Virginia.

The ancient Native American Adena tribe constructed this ceremonial burial mound in stages from 250 to 150 B.C.

It is the biggest burial mound in North America.

Standing 62 feet high and with a 240-foot diameter, the mound makes for an exciting photo backdrop.

You can climb to the top of the mound through a stone stairway and enjoy its panoramic views.

This stairway cuts a gentle incline around the mound, so it’s a relatively easy way to its top.

In the Delf Norona Museum adjacent to the mound, you can view exhibits and artifacts on the culture of the Adena mound builders.

The museum also keeps and displays the State of West Virginia’s archaeological collection.

Relax at Moundsville Riverfront Park

The Moundsville Riverfront Park spreads on the southwestern quadrant of South 12th Street and Thompson Avenue off the east banks of the Ohio River.

This park, one of five in Moundsville, has a large, open grass area and riverfront benches to enjoy the view of the river and the city’s arch bridge.

This four-lane bridge connects Moundsville to Mead Township in Ohio, thus unlocking more local points of interest.

The facilities available in Moundsville Riverfront Park include a playground, a boat ramp, a covered stage, and rentable shelters.

The park regularly hosts community activities in Moundsville, such as the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Summer Concert Series.

Revel Outdoors at Grand Vue Park

An exciting selection of family-friendly outdoor activities awaits visitors of Grand Vue Park along Trail Drive on the north side of Moundville.

This county park spreads over 125 acres overlooking the Ohio Valley, with an aerial and zipline course among its facilities.

Harnessed and oriented by the professional staff of the park, you can also enjoy its Rock Climbing Tower and jump next on its Bungee Trampoline.

In addition, the park offers a 12-mile biking and hiking trail set on hilly terrain with scenic stops along the way overlooking West Virginia.

Rounds of mini-golf and disc golf, plus a geocache outdoor scavenger hunt, are other activities you can enjoy at this park.

The Grand Vue Park offers 40 sites in its RV campground for extended visits with water and electric hookups.

Visit Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold

Hailed for its “magnificence” by the Washington Post, Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold was built in 1972, initially as the home of the Hare Krishna movement.

In 1977, this dazzling property on McCreary’s Ridge Road was converted into a shrine open to public tours.

A guided tour of this shrine offers insights into the Hare Krishna community and its concepts of love and devotion.

Visitors can also dine at Govinda’s Restaurant, which offers a vegetarian menu.

Another dining option can be enjoyed at the property’s Rose Gardens, where a mix of continental and Indian dishes is served.

Ten private cabins and more than 70 rooms are available at the Palace Lodge of Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold.

Frolic at the Four Seasons Pool & Fitness Center

A splash pad where kids can have a great time is one of the attractions in the Four Seasons Pool & Fitness Center on Curtis Avenue.

This outdoor splash pad, which opened in 2021, is one of the recreational facilities here.

Park visitors can also access a lap lane swimming pool where water aerobics and swim lessons for all ages are offered.

Pick-up basketball games are also played at the park’s two basketball courts.

Other sports facilities in East End Park include two pickleball courts and two baseball/softball diamonds.

It also provides an open grass area, a playground, a half-mile walking trail, a small rentable shelter, and a skate park.

Browse Delicate Creations at the Fostoria Glass Museum

The Fostoria Glass Museum, located on Tomlinson Avenue, displays the handmade creations of its eponymous glassware manufacturing company.

The Fostoria Glass Co. opened in Fostoria, Ohio, in 1887 and moved its operations to Moundsville in 1892.

The Fostoria glass products were widespread, with many finding their way even to the White House.

Foreign competition, however, forced Fostoria Glass to close its operations in 1986 and eventually demolish its Moundsville plant.

The Fostoria Glass Museum, housed in a circa 1900s home, preserves the glass manufacturer’s legacy and history.

The displays in the museum include crystal dinnerware, stemware, lamps, bowls, vases, and another glass décor.

Museum visitors can also learn about the manufacturing processes of Fostoria Glass as well as the former designers of the company.

Skilled artisans in the museum delight visitors with their demonstrations of glassblowing and other glassmaking techniques.

The museum has a gift shop where you can buy various high-quality glassware products in the tradition of Fostoria Glass.

Watch a Show at the Historic Strand Theatre

The Strand Theatre is a former movie house built in 1920 on 5th Street and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

As a non-profit, the Strand Theatre Preservation Society restored and managed this Moundsville landmark.

The Strand Theatre is part of the West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail, a thematic tour of historic performance venues and cinemas across the state.

The Neo-Classical style exterior of the Strand Theatre underscores its inclusion in this statewide tour.

This Moundsville icon of the performing arts flaunts striking ornamental metalwork-like, decorative cornice.

Restored historic chandeliers now illuminate the Strand Theatre, providing an interesting sidelight to the regular plays, concerts, films, and other events it hosts.

Grab a Drink at Trophy Club

Visitors of Moundsville who want to experience the vibe of the city’s nightlife stop by the Trophy Club on Baker Avenue.

This club is the biggest local bar, featuring an outdoor recreation area.

This area has tables set up and features a stage where local music bands play regularly to entice dancing among club patrons.

Thursday evenings are for ladies’ night specials in Trophy Club, where pool adds to the fun.

The Trophy Club also serves delicious homemade breakfast in the morning.

Explore the Glen Dale to Moundsville Rail-Trail

The Glen Dale to Moundsville Rail Trail is accessible from Moundsville at the city’s Riverview Park on Thompson Avenue.

This paved, flat trail stretches 3.4 miles northward to Glen Dale City Park, parallel to the Ohio River.

Besides the scenic views of the river, there are many points of interest along this trail that you can also explore.

These local attractions include shopping plazas, recreational facilities, and dining venues.

The Glen Dale to Moundsville Rail Trail also traverses the east side of a former Fokker Aircraft Company airfield that operated in the 1920s.

Catch the Annual Marshall County Fair

Visitors of Moundsville step up around end-July each year when the city hosts the Annual Marshall County Fair.

This summer event is typically set for five days at the fairgrounds on the eastern bend of 12th Street.

This fair offers various activities that appeal to locals and visitors alike.

Livestock shows and truck pulls lend a countryside ambiance to this fair.

Its carnival rides, stage entertainment, fair pageants, and food trucks provide something for everyone.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Hunt or Fish at the Dunkard Fork WMA

The waters of Dunkard Fork WMA

Brian M. Powell, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Dunkard Fork Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located on Calis Majorsville Road in Cameron, West Virginia, 38 minutes from Moundsville.

It now sprawls over 470 acres of farmland with mixed hardwoods that offer hunting opportunities for deer, squirrel, grouse, and turkey.

Bagging waterfowl is also possible since the 49-acre Dunkard Fork Lake is part of the WMA.

Fishing in the lake offers a potential catch of stocked trout, bass, bluegill, and channel catfish.

The Dunkard Fork Wildlife Management Area is closed to camping, and its lake is open only to boats with electric motors.

Tour the Cockayne Farmstead

The Cockayne Farmstead is located on Wheeling Avenue in Glen Dale, West Virginia, just four minutes from Moundsville.

Its main draw is a circa 1850 farmhouse on the National Register of Historic places.

The farmhouse displays more than 3,500 original artifacts of the Cockayne family.

These items vividly represent the culture and lifestyle of a well-to-do West Virginia family during the 19th century.

The Cockayne Farmstead, spread over 300 acres, was once recognized internationally as a farm producing quality wool.

Dine by the River at Nana’s Landing

The scenic location on the east banks of Nana’s Landing is at once a winner for dining in a home-like atmosphere.

A mother-daughter tandem runs this bar and restaurant on Railroad Street in Glen Dale, eight minutes from Moundsville.

The menu choices include wings, hot pepper cheese balls, and fried pickles, all perfect with a bubbly beer.

Check out its specials like Taco Tuesday, Weenie Wednesday, and Thursday Wing Day.

Nana’s Landing provides an outdoor dining area overlooking the river, perfect for a drink or a meal while enjoying the view of the river.

In addition, this bar and restaurant flaunt a boat ramp, flat-screen 50-inch TVs, and pool and Ping-Pong tables.

Play a Round at the Clair Mar Golf Course

Cross the Ohio River for a round of golf at the Clair Mar Golf Course on Powhatan Point, Ohio, 14 minutes from Moundsville.

This public golf course features nine holes offering par 35 and play over 2,985 yards from the longest tees.

This charming layout opened in 1971, with designs from course architect St. Clair Korner.

The Clair Mar Golf Course is noted for its unique character, with little challenges awaiting discovery throughout its layout of bent grass.

Golfers also hail the course for its affordable play and friendly staff.

Final Thoughts

Wise tourists focus on Moundsville while planning a visit to Marshall County, West Virginia.

The city’s rich heritage and unique natural environment create many beautiful attractions in Moundsville.

Discover the best things to do in Moundsville, West Virginia!

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