Summers County is the undiscovered jewel of southern West Virginia with the splendor of stately hardwood forests, green rolling pastures and the craggy valleys of the New, Bluestone and Greenbrier rivers. Hinton, the county seat, sits at the confluence of the three rivers and its national historic district boasts home to a broad range of architecture including American gothic, classical, high Victorian, American four-square, Greek revival, Roman and baroque.
The New River is a National American Heritage River and is the beginning of the New River Gorge National Park. Within the boundaries of the park, you will find rock formations dating to the Paleolithic era with steep cliffs that offer challenges to the most robust of rock climbers, class 5 & 6 white water rafting and gorgeous waterfalls, including the famous Sandstone Falls.
The Bluestone River is designated a 'wild and scenic river'. It flows through the nationally known Pipestem State Resort Park and the Bluestone State Park. Walking through the natural beauty of this area renews ones spirit and strengths the soul. The Greenbrier is a slow and meandering river ideal for swimming, canoeing or just floating downstream in an inner tube during the summer months. A fisherman's paradise, it has multitudinous fishing holes and areas for those that like to camp and still be near the comforts of home.
Summers County is a culturally diverse community with seniors representing about 22% of our population. The Summers County Council on Aging offers a wide range of specialized services to meet the broad-ranging interests of our senior residents. Beyond this, our active senior groups welcome and assist any and all visiting or joining seniors to our wonderful place to live. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, a healthy climate, a safe area, opportunities to pursue education or business or a place to just lay back and have fun, Summers County is your choice of location.
For visitors and residents alike, Summers County offers quality of life within a friendly community backed by an active and interested senior group.
Summers County and Hinton are easily accessible by car, airline, or rail for travelers. Closest cities are Beckley (40 min), Princeton (40 min) and Lewisburg (50 min). Special transportation is available for seniors within the city through the Senior Center including services for those with disabilities. Hinton is accessed through State Routes 3 and 20 and lies just 10 miles south of I-64 at exit 39 along the New River. Commercial air service is available through Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beckley, Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg or Yeager Airport in Charleston. Air taxi or charter service is available at Beckley as are local car rental and limousine services. Amtrak provides bi-directional rail passenger service from Chicago through Hinton to Washington, DC and New York. Service is three times a week in each direction on the "Cardinal." The Hinton rail station, under restoration, is a period railroad station that hosts a number of special rail events each year.
Summers County offers a wide range of affordable housing and an experienced group of REALTORS to assist you in your selection of a place to live. Sales prices of different housing types are shown in the chart below.
Type of Property ===== Median Sales Price
2-Bedroom Home ====== $50-60,000
3-Bedroom Home ====== $50-75,000
Waterfront Property ==== $10,000
Farm Property ========= $50-185,000
2-3 Bed Apartments ==== $200-500/mo
Most homes in the county are heated by gas, but cooled by electricity. Special senior pricing is available for telephone service. Cable and satellite television service is widely available. Property Taxes are assessed at 60% of appraised (fair market) value and seniors are eligible for a $20,000 tax exclusion on their home. West Virginia has a 6% sales tax and an income tax based on federal adjusted gross income, but there are no county or city sales or income taxes.
Residents and visitors alike will find a local continuum of care that includes inpatient and outpatient services, community facilities, health agencies and specialty health care providers Summers County Appalachian Regional Hospital, located in Hinton, is a non-profit, community-based hospital with a JCAHO and HCFA accredited critical access facility operating 24/7 days a week. This is a multi-specialty services facility that also provides wellness and fitness programs and various outreach programs in conjunction with civic groups, the ARH Home Care store and the ARH Rural Health Clinic. The hospital can be reached from anywhere in the county within 20 minutes. Sister facilities are located in Beckley, just 30 minutes away, and the hospital helipad permits timely access to university medical centers throughout the state
There is also a broad range of community organizations with health care missions. The Summers County Council on Aging offers a range of specialized services at its centrally located Senior Center. These include home delivered meals, help in the home, assisted transportation, convalescent aids, legal assistance, scheduled activities and trips and many other informational and educational programs.
There are many education programs focused on the needs of seniors in Summer County. Our Vocational-Technical Center offers high school and adult education classes, which include basic education, adult literacy and various discussion groups. Both this Center and our Senior Center offer free computer classes. Several institutions of higher learning are located within a reasonable driving distance to Hinton and Summers County. They include Concord College in Athens (30 min), Mountain State University and West Virginia University-Beckley in Beckley (40 min), and Bluefield State College in Bluefield (50 min). Concord College offers seniors 65 and over any non-credit class for $50.00.
The Summers County Public Library in downtown Hinton houses over 16,000 volumes with access to many more through the interlibrary loan system. The library has approximately 35 newspaper and magazine subscriptions and access to many others through internet subscription services. The library also provides educational courses through the internet
Culture and Recreation
The Veteran's Museum
The Carnegie Library which was built in the late 1900s became surplus to the Summers County School System by 1993. This old, but sturdy, building was passed to the city of Hinton for future use. At the suggestion of the mayor and a number of veterans it was thought the facility would make an ideal veteran's museum should sufficient support be realized. Fortunately, the fund raising efforts were successful. This work was followed by restoration on the building which continued through 2005. Local veterans and families gave generously to the museum and their collected and saved items from their service in military. The museum was able to hold its grand opening ceremony in May 1997. As a result of this generosity, the museum has displays from pre-historic America, early frontier times, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, Korea, Viet Nam and the Gulf War. Also, a special D-Day display was made available thru the State. Several rare artifacts are on display including General MacArthur's fool locker and a vintage Jeep.
The museum is located at 419 Ballengee Street beside the Middle School. It opens each May during the Memorial Day weekend through the weekend ending Veteran's Day on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 4:00 p.m. Special and group tours can be arranged by contacting the Convention and Visitors Center at (304)466-5420.
The Hinton Railroad Museum
The Hinton Railroad Museum was founded May 21, 1991. The goal of the Board of directors of the Museum was to preserve the artifacts of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. Great Bend Tunnel located at Talcott, WV was completed in 1873, which permitted rail traffic to proceed west. The railway decided that Hinton would be a major terminal and established a seventeen stall roundhouse and a turntable so that repairs could be made to the steam engines. A Car shop was also established for the repairing of coal and box cars. Displayed in the museum are tools, pictures of the types of steam engines, pictures of employees, uniforms worn by different crafts, furniture used in the offices, records of different departments and much more. The museum is located at 206 Temple Street. Summers hours are 10am to 4pm and winter hours are 10am to 2pm, Monday through Saturday. Admission is free.
For more information on specific activities, contact the Summers County Visitors Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce.