Canaan Valley/Mathias area

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  • J-Dog

    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2012
    Anyone live in or are familiar with the Canaan Valley, Davis or Mathias areas? I'm getting pretty close to my goal of leaving MD behind and there are places for sale that look interesting. We've been out there a number of times over the years and really like what weve seen, but i would think actually living there would be a different beast. We work from home so good internet is a must. Satellite isn't going to cut it. That narrows down the choices a lot it seems.

    Really my only complaint about the two places in particular we're looking at is that I don't think they have enough land (7-8 acres) to be able to shoot on privately without annoying the surrounding neighbors. But they both have fiber optic so I guess it's a trade, land for coverage.

    Anyway if anyone has experience living in or around those places I'm all ears. It looks like the closest ranges are at least an hour away from Canaan/Davis/Dryfork/Mathias. Unless there are places that just dont show up on google. How's the shopping situation? I figure a trip to the grocery store is going to be a bit of a drive as both places are kinda "out there". Any other concerns, personal experiences or info is more than welcome.


    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2012
    Dnag it. I should have searched first.
    I didn't realize there was a WV property search thread already.


    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 18, 2014
    There's some ranges in Hampshire county, but I think most people in Hardy county just shoot out back.

    I love the area around Mathias. There's stuff to do in wardensville and moorefield, but not much.


    Active Member
    May 24, 2012
    Escaped MD-stan to WNC Smokies
    We were considering that area but changed directions when we decided we wanted to be on a lake or river so, coupla thoughts til someone who actually resides there chimes in.

    You're wise to wonder (and be skeptical right up to proof) about the internet strength. We did not and we’re shocked at bad CenturyLink TRULY SVCKED in our region. Luckily, Spectrum took over and our Internet now is impressive, by any standards.

    As far as acreage, and bearing in mind, “there are no guarantees,” could more research turn up a property that has adjacent acreage that may remain available til you’re in a financial position to add it to yours? (That’s what happened to us albeit, accidentally; two years after moving in the lakeshore lot next to ours came up and negotiating anonymously through a broker we were able to get it at fire sale pricing …

    With respect to shopping, and after watching Dunkirk, MD go from “the dark side of the moon” in the 60’ and 70’s to “40 minutes from the White House” in the 90’s and especially after 2000, I have adopted a perspective NOT of, “What is shopping like TODAY? but rather, “What is shopping likely to be, in (__) years?”

    The answer is that all rural areas are experiencing relatively unprecedented waves of development … W. VA and Eastern TN particularly …

    Above all else, CONGRATULATIONS! Despite its natural beauty and the general swellness of the shooting community, escaping the MD sh*t-hole can only be described as remarkable. Your goal is enviable and here’s wishing you,

    Best o’ Success!


    Active Member
    Oct 21, 2010
    Loudoun, VA
    we have a vaca place in davis (canaan valley). a couple of years ago we rented it out for a few months over the winter to a dentist husband and wife and they said there was no way they'd spend another winter here...

    if you like/love the outdoors this is a pretty nice area. tons of hiking and mtn biking and cv state park has a pretty decent 18 hole course. if you want restaurants, shopping, the arts, etc, no way. walmart in elkins is ~40 minutes, lowes in oakland is an hour or so. we just use our phones and cellular for hotspots, local internet pretty much sucks.

    there is a small locally-owned range outside of davis that has a few small bays and rifle out to 200, don't think it gets used much. cv park has a small trap range.

    davis has a 'stop & spend' small grocery store with all the basics and a dollar store.


    The one with two L
    Nov 26, 2010
    Beautiful area. Canaan is pretty touristy, most of the properties are in some type of weekender communities. Can be good, doesn't have to. Not that many rural properties in the valley itself.
    With Davis and Thomas you have to be a bit careful that you don't buy a pile of mine tailings.
    Mathias is more rural. As you can see from the WV property thread, good internet connectivity is scarce. If you can find 8 acres with fiber, you probably want to jump on that as that is a unusual combination.

    None of these places is gonna have three full service supermarkets and a Starbucks. You'll do your weekly shopping like everyone else at Walmart. But you know that already.


    Active Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    Bit of a stretch to compare Caanan & Davis to Matthias in the same sentence . Caanan is more of a resort/ tourist area , Mathias is closer to generic rural WV .

    Hardy does have A gun club near Moorefield, but seems more of an old school sportsman type place rather than tacticool . But most people just shoot out back .


    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2012
    Thanks folks. Yeah it makes sense that the internet situation is hit or miss. Both places we're looking at have fiber through Frontier. (We have Fios fiber where we are now). As long as we can work/stream and the ping isn't terrible (we do quite a bit of online gaming) anywhere with fiber is probably ok.

    Driving 40-50 min to grocery shop at Walmart isn't a big a deal. We do that now (because the WalMart near us is getting sketchy). The thing we'd have to change is that there would be no more "I don't feel like cooking so well just get take out" nights, or quick trips to the store for something we forgot.

    As long as there's a couple options within an hour drive that should work. I try to do just one big trip a week or every other week and I tend to stock up on non-perishables and stuff with a longer shelf life already. I'm mostly limited by freezer/storage/pantry space right now. I don't mind planning out trips and stockpiling food, for lack of a better term. Especially since there's a good bit more snow up there than we get down here.


    My home is a sports store
    In the 80,s and early 90,s I used to have a hunting cabin In the town of Benbush. It was right there in Davis and near Thomas. Was an old coal mining town with a total of maybe a dozen houses and trailers if that many. I took a huge house and removed second floor and reduced the size of it. Was a quiet place and no noise or traffic on 219. 219 was not a through road back then. I used to fish and hunt and was in a valley. There was only one small shopping place down the road and across the Black Water river and in Davis. Hell back then it was an ABC operated bar in that town. We wore our holstered pistols into town back then and no permit. No cops and the towns were unincorporated. I am thinking no internet service there. I would simply hunt anywhere there and shoot. Walked out back up the mountain or across the street to one of the abandoned coal mines and deer hunt. Also walk down the road to abandoned land. Ii am thinking its all populated and bult up now. Use to drive to Oakland or Red House MD. to a store for goods, ammo or alcohol. Anyone been through Benbush recently. I am curious what the place is like now


    Active Member
    Sep 3, 2012
    In the boonies of MoCo
    Anyone been through Benbush recently. I am curious what the place is like now
    Yep, not much has changed other than the ABC got out of the consumer sales end of things back in the late 80s or early 90s.
    The area around Canaan/Davis/Thomas has been booming the past decade or so. To the point that prices doubled or tripled in Davis and Thomas the past three years or so. Many of the homes in Benbush have been snapped up and turned into very nice places. Things are hot enough in the area that even Douglas has seen most of the dilapidated camp homes (all 6 of them that were still standing) purchased in the past 10 years and totally renovated. Shoot, on 32/48 headed south out of Thomas, they just built 4 new rental cabins perched on the river-side slope above the road out to Douglas.

    OP: You can use this tool to find out what your broadband options are for a given address:

    If you want fiber and acreage with no covenants on firearms usage, I recommend looking around Bruceton Mills, just across the line from Garrett County. Fiber runs right along I-68, so it's available in most places out there. You have Morgantown for all your shopping needs and a great hospital system. It's still high enough in the mountains to get the cooler weather in the summers and decent snow in the winters while not being the literal arctic climate that you experience in the Canaan region.

    Alternatively, I would look into places in Pocahontas county, Randolph County, Grant County, or Pendleton County for what you seem to be looking for.

    I LOVE the Canaan region and would move there in a heartbeat if I could get a job that would let me. BUT, if you aren't prepared for the winters there, it's going to SUCK. Pushrod can tell you that it's no joke when it comes to wind, bitter cold, and deep snow that doesn't melt off for months if it's a cold winter.


    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2012
    Thank you for the information all. I appreciate it.

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