12 perfect shots in Mercer County:

1. The railroad yard from Bluefield and Princeton Avenues

Bring your camera and stand where a boom town’s nerve center once served an entire nation. More than a dozen tracks sit in the Norfolk and Western Railroad yard from the late 1800s, back when the rich Pocahontas mine prompted a mighty industrial revolution. 

2. The railroad yard from Grant Street Bridge

Looking for a solid subject or reference point? Grant Street Bridge spans the railroad yard, and will give your shots wonderful lines, composition and perspective. Built in 1941, the metal bridge establishes dramatic tone and intrigue.

3. The railroad yard from MLK Jr. Bridge

Newly reconstructed to accommodate large trains, the elegant Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge sees plenty of action. The passageway also has considerable symbolic value: a King family member recently commemorated it.   

4. East River Mountain Overlook

Get aerial shots without paying for a plane ride! Marvel at the East River Mountain Overlook’s endless vistas of Bluefield from 3,500 feet above sea level. You’ll capture layers of distant mountains, forests and skies, with the town far below. For shots closer to earth, you can choose from a variety of picturesque trails.

5. Princeton’s Downtown Murals

For local color, head into town. Princeton’s murals showcase one colorful scene after another. Set against buildings marked by decades of mining history, the paintings make photography easy. Keep your camera primed for upbeat depictions of dogs, musicians and American veterans. There’s always something around the corner!

6. Princeton Railroad  Museum

Get up close and personal with trains and history. The Princeton Railroad Museum has a charming caboose, model trains and lots of artifacts and artwork to photograph. The building itself resembles an old depot and perfectly sets the scene for outdoor shoots.

7. Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park

America’s creepiest playground makes emotional photography easy. You won’t find any shortage of subjects at Lake Shawnee: a rusty Ferris wheel, stilted swing ride and harsh trees make perfect pictures. Brace yourself for the eerie setting; the park’s grim history— which includes deaths on the carnival rides, a Native American burial ground and a settler massacre— tinges everything with melancholy. But if you’re adventurous and love moody pictures, this place won’t disappoint.

8. Bramwell’s Main Street

Grab your camera and tour one of West Virginia’s most delightful towns. Bramwell’s Victorian mansions, prim gardens and old-fashioned shops create a gemlike setting you won’t forget. Stroll along Main Street for one subject after another, like the Cooper House, a historic home with a gorgeous copper roof. Stop into The Corner Shop, a beautifully nostalgic ice-cream parlor with an antique soda fountain. These and other surprises make Main Street one of the best urban photo shoots around!

9. Bramwell’s Train Depot

Once the home of the most millionaires per capita in America, Bramwell still has ties to its “coal baron” past. The Train Depot houses the Coal Heritage Trail Interpretive Center. Learn about the boom town era, see coal artifacts and tour the gift shop.

10. Pinnacle Rock State Park

Nearly 400 acres of pristine wilderness await you at Pinnacle Rock State Park. Established in 1938, the site abounds with photo opportunities. Pinnacle Rock is the star of the show. The lofty and rumpled sandstone formation is marvelous to behold. Walk around a lake and tour miles of trail.

11. Waterfalls at Camp Creek State Park

Explore 6,000 acres of stunning scenery and uncover some of West Virginia’s best waterfalls. You won’t want to miss Campbell Falls, a rough cascade with plenty of breadth— 40 feet— and height. For contrast, check out Mash Fork Falls, a tranquil and graceful gem.

12. Brush Creek Falls

Enjoy nature photography, but don’t want to toil all day in the woods? Visit Brush Creek Falls, which you can easily find near the Brush Creek Nature Preserve. You’ll find it hard not to be impressed by this waterfall, which drops 25 feet into a babbling creek.