This bed and breakfast near Cass Scenic Railroad is a great base for exploring the area’s attractions.
Drive out to the mountains of Pocahontas County past blooming wildflowers, beneath shade trees, through one of the most biologically diverse national forests, to a place where the waterfalls are high, the telescopes giant, and the trains ancient.
Tucked away on 13 acres in Slaty Fork, between Marlinton and Snowshoe, you’ll find The Morning Glory Inn bed and breakfast. Located just off U.S. 219 behind the Big Spring Fork stream with tranquil porches and lush vegetation, this inn is a popular choice for travelers looking for a peaceful retreat close to some of the state’s top attractions—like Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, Green Bank Observatory, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, and the Greenbrier River Trail. Husband and wife team Rod Molidor and Karin Anderson own and operate this inn that they built from the ground up using cedar and pine wood they bought in West Virginia. It opened on New Year’s Day in 1998.
The Morning Glory Inn is one of the top traveler-ranked accommodations in the entire state on TripAdvisor. It has received their Certificate of Excellence every year for the last five years, earning its spot on TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame in 2019. Certificates of Excellence are only given to around 10 percent of all businesses on the travel review website and recognize accommodations that maintain an average of at least a four-star rating. Guests from all over the world that stay here rave about their experience, and they often come back time and time again.
Bob Fielder lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, and first discovered The Morning Glory Inn in 2010 on one of his regular trips to Snowshoe. Since then, he only stays here when he’s in the area, which is typically five to six weekends each ski season. Fielder says he’s stayed at the inn around 40 weekends in all. “The Morning Glory Inn is the most well-run B&B I’ve stayed at,” says Fielder.
“It feels like our wintertime home away from home. As you walk into the foyer, you instantly feel welcomed and you know you’re on vacation. The MGI is always very clean and nicely decorated and so you really feel comfortable and at home. The hot breakfast is fantastic.”
Molidor and Anderson grew up in northern Illinois, where their first date in high school was at a local drive-in movie theater—though neither could remember what film was playing. These high school sweethearts recently celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. Once their children left the nest, they set out to see the country and take seasonal resort jobs where they could put their backgrounds in food and beverage management to use. They first came to West Virginia in the early 1990s to work at Snowshoe Mountain Resort for a winter. They returned the following year and accepted year-round positions at the resort, where they stayed for five years before opening their own inn.
“We want our guests to be comfortable, like they are at home,” Molidor says.
“We’re not a big hotel or a condo where you check in and then never see anybody again,” adds Anderson. “Our personal service is what sets us apart.”
The Morning Glory Inn’s name was inspired by Molidor’s fond memories of the abundance of heavenly blue morning glories trailing up just about any structure they could wrap their tendrils around on his Grandpa Nick’s farm in Illinois. The name fits, as breakfast is the highlight of your experience here, ensuring your day starts off in a glorious way.
Let the buttery sun streaming in the skylight overhead wake you. Follow the scent of strong coffee down to the common dining room, where your morning feast awaits. Fill up your plate with a smorgasbord of fruits, cereals, yogurts, and homemade breads topped with Anderson’s from-scratch blueberry or apple pie jam. Order your farmfresh eggs scrambled plain or cheesy with various add-ins like thick-chopped ham or sausage. Anderson’s handmade granola comes in three flavors and you can order a bag to take home or give as gifts.
Breakfast here is as much about the company as it is about the food. You may meet couples from neighboring Ohio or North Carolina on their annual ski vacation or a family from France here to ride one of the trains at Cass. Take your coffee out to the plush chairs on the porch to listen to birds sing and watch hummingbirds feed. The back patio is perfect for an evening conversation and stargazing to a chorus of croaking frogs.
On cold days, guests gather around the fireplace and pluck books and board games off the shelf to enjoy. Stained glass and large canvases painted with mountain scenes set the tone at this retreat. The sign above the door says it all: “Enter as strangers; leave as friends.”
All eight guest rooms are quite large with airconditioning, satellite TV, small refrigerators, coffee and tea service, hypoallergenic beyonddown pillows, remote-controlled LED candles, and private bathrooms with deep tubs and plush towels. The Morning Glory Inn also offers a pet-friendly room.
In your room, you’ll find a list of local events to check out while you’re in the area, like the Wild Edibles Festival at Watoga State Park or Appalachian Heritage Day at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Molidor and Anderson have also included menus from area restaurants to help plan your meals. Consider them your personal concierge—here to make dinner reservations or reserve a golf tee time for you.
Pack a paper map or print your driving directions before heading this way. Cell phone service is spotty or nonexistent in much of the area, making this a destination for a real vacation from emails and to-do lists. If you must connect, there is Wi-Fi at the inn.
When asked what her favorite thing about running a bed-and-breakfast is, Anderson says, “meeting new people and hearing their stories. Everybody has a story.” 71 Spring Road, Slaty Fork, 304.572.5000, morninggloryinn.com
Written by Brenda Kissko
Photographs courtesy of the Morning Glory Inn