3299 Cacapon Rd, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
National Geographic Magazine rates this scene among America’s Outstanding Beauty Spots.
Prospect Overlook also called Panorama Overlook is approximately 3 miles west of Berkeley Springs, offers a pull-off and a scenic view rated by National Geographic as one of the five best in the East. Included in the view are three states: Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia; and two rivers, the Potomac and Cacapon. The scene also encapsulates America’s transportation history showing the C&O Canal on the Maryland side of the river and the B&O Railroad on the West Virginia side.
The overlook marks the end of Cacapon Mountain which runs south from that point more than thirty miles to the Virginia border. Composed of ancient Oriskany sandstone, it plunges nearly 1000 feet into the Potomac River at the overlook.
Higher on Cacapon Mountain, Prospect Rock (also called Cacapon Rock) offers the same spectacular view. It was a favorite day trip for visitors on horseback from colonial times to the early 20th century. Washington often rode here, fueling his vision of a way west. Today the unique rock formations may be reached by a 12-mile fire road and flat hiking trail along the crest of Cacapon Mountain accessed from Cacapon State Park.
“Rid with Mrs. Washington and others to the Cacapehon Mountain, to see the prospect from thence.”
Washington’s diary — August 19, 1769