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Being Home in Keyser

Savage River State Forest, 20 minutes northwest of Keyser.

I sighed and challenged myself to market Keyser in a good light. I thought, the first shall be the hardest. I initially focused on a not happening town in a depressed area. Now I realize that downtown Keyser is not as popping and vibrant as other central town hubs, but the spokes around Keyser are strong with life. Population booms and drops in West Virginia are common, so empty storefronts should not deter the eye from beauty. Enter through the doors of the plenty of locally-owned establishments in and near town, and explore the stimulating state forests nearby. Keyser ended up being easy and great for me to personally and digitally explore. See if you enjoy some of these places: 


  • Queens Point Coffee – a 2-minute walk from home. Warm your mind with the sunrise colors on the roof as you sip on coffee and eat a sandwich, like a jalapeño grilled cheese. From the outside, you may be deceived by the building’s blasé architecture. Walking inside is another world. Notice that North Branch Craft Pub will be opening in Fall 2019.

Sunset roof inside Queens Point Coffee

Blase building - Queens Point Coffee

  •  Marla’s Main St Bakery – another 2-minute walk. If I lived in Keyser, I would frequent Marla’s for their selection of donuts, scones, cookies, cakes, and other bakes. Open Tuesday 8am-12pm. Thurs and Fri 8am-2pm. Saturday 9am-1pm.

Marlas Bakery

  • Martie’s Hot Dog Stand is right outside the apartment. Looks like quite a list of hot dogs and breakfast sandwiches. “Breakfast. Lunch. Cold Beer.” 

Hot Dog stand in Keyser

  • Port West Restaurant – 7-minute drive south – Pizza, subs, and wings.
  • Duckie’s Bar and Grill – 10-minute drive west – Americana restaurant.
  • Hoovers Bar and Grill – 13-minute drive south – “Where Good Times and Great Music Come Together.”
  • Castiglia’s Italian Eatery – 4-minute drive south or 15-minute walk – Eat-in or take-out known for large portions.
  • El Jinete Mexican Restaurant – 10-minute drive south – Self-proclaimed world-class margaritas.
  • Long Spring Chinese Restaurant – 3-minute drive west or 7-minute walk – Cash only, all you can eat.
  • Indian Water Maple Company – 12-minute drive south – Maple syrup products.


  • Potomac Highland Winery – 10-minute drive east of town – Call ahead, (304) 788-3066; hours not listed online.
  • Clancy’s Irish Pub, 5-minute drive east.
  • The Indie on Main – 2-minute walk – Hosts to a steady line-up of music, comedy, and art. Visit theindieonmain.com.

Indie Music theatre

  • Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad - 4-hr train ride in either open-air or a covered coach. Train departs in Romney at Wappocomo Station - 35-minutes southeast of Keyser.

WV Tourism pic

Photo from WV Tourism

Annual events in Keyser include:

  • Blue Dragon Boat Regatta at Shaw Beach on Jennings Randolph Lake in July.
  • Knobley Tunnel Day in Carpendale, WV in late-July (35-minute drive).
  • Apple Harvest Festival in early October (5th and 6th, 2019) in Burlinton, WV (20-minute drive).


  • Keyser North Branch Stream Access – 3-minute drive or 8-minute walk – Pass a park on the way.

Looking into the river, under a bridge

Basketball court in Keyser

In Westernpoint, MD (11-minutes west of Keyser), the river appears high enough to calmly kayak during drought conditions. It also looks clean enough to swim!

me kayaking near Keyser

  • Drive up to Savage River State Forest (25-minutes from Keyser) for a world full of trails and overlooks. On the way, you can stock up on fishing supplies from Savage River Outfitters. Fly fishing within a 15-minute drive of Keyser will yield Rainbow and Brown trout.

Fly shop

cool bridge

At the Savage River State Forest, I tried out the Big Savage Hiking Trail, which is very challenging and not recommendable because it is hard to stay on trail.

rocky trail

Drive up the mountain, and you’ll see an amazing overlook pull-off.

mountain overview

  • Consider kayaking from Westernpoint, MD to Keyser anytime of the year. You would have to coordinate your own rides. Otherwise, call the Savage River Outfitters for kayak or canoe rentals. Here’s their website: http://www.savageriveroutfitters.com/index.html.
  • Jennings Randolph Lake has hiking trails with a swimming area to boot.
  • The American Discovery Trail passes within a 5-minute drive east of Keyser. There is no trailhead, but one could walk along Knobley Rd and other rural roads and trails for hundreds of miles.
  • Larenim Park in Burlinton, WV, 20-minutes southeast of Keyser – more hiking.

For more info on hiking or biking trails near Keyser, check these sites out:

Please email Gerardo.Patron@hsc.wvu.edu with feedback on your adventures in Keyser! We can post comments on this page!

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed on this website belong solely to the author and not the author’s employer, West Virginia University.  They are not intended as an endorsement or recommendation on behalf of West Virginia University of any person, organization, activity, product, or service. 

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