West Virginia Mountains offers you a dream vacation of a lifetime. So read on before you start exploring this mountainous terrain.
Our Earth is filled with many beautiful landforms of nature that make up terrains like mountains, plateaus, plains, and valleys and also includes coastal forms like bays or peninsulas, ocean ridges, and basins.
The mountains fascinate humanity for their calm and majestic beauty, sheer mass, and appearance. When we see the sunset on the peaks of the mountains, it gives us a breathtaking view that is incredibly calming.
Mountains are a reminder that this world is not artificial and cannot be controlled or predicted by humanity. They remind us that we need to be rigid and flexible.
The Beauty Of Mountains
Mountains are created by geological processes that raise the surface of the Earth. The scenery that we all are in awe of is created by erosion. Erosion is a gentle day-to-day process with bits of rocks falling off, thus slowing the downstream washing. Over time these tiny fragments of rocks can wash away mountains.
Mountains always represent humbleness with their beautiful faces and steep angles. They give us the time to appreciate the beauty of mother earth by allowing us to escape from the mad rush and pollution of modern life. The idea of a mountain trip brings a positive vibe to our mental well-being. Mountains symbolize stability, reliability, and stillness, their peak signifying a spiritual consciousness. Even though life is a little harder for those living close to the mountains, they are healthier and enjoy the uniqueness of nature rather than the people living elsewhere.
Defying the gravity of the Earth, mountains stand firmly vertical, peeking out from the sky. They form a unique environment of cultural diversity, biological diversity, and linguistic diversity.
Of all the mountains, The Himalayas are said to be the largest natural source of ice after the Earth’s two poles. Thus, the Himalayas are often called the Third Pole of the Earth. Many beautiful mountains exist worldwide, like the Table Mountains of Cape Town, Eiger Mountain in Switzerland, Mount Fuji of Japan, and the West Virginia Mountains in the USA.
Let’s go on the country roads of the West Virginia Mountains.
All You Need To Know About West Virginia Mountains
Originally constituted to the northwestern region of Virginia, West Virginia’s inhabitants revolted against the state’s separation in 1861 during the American Civil War by choosing to remain within the union.
After two years, a new state was formed, remaining in tradition with its motto “Montani Semper Liberi,” meaning “Mountaineers are always free.”
The beautiful scenery of the West Virginia Mountains, along with the incomparable opportunities of fun things, outdoor recreation, and friendly country folks, is like a slice of heaven.
West Virginia, nicknamed “The Mountain State,” is credited with being the only state situated entirely in the ridge and valley Appalachian region. This region stands at an elevation of 460 meters above sea level and is the highest of any U.S. state.
West Virginia is situated to the east of the Mississippi river consisting of four provinces – The Blue Ridge, The Allegheny Mountains, The Allegheny Plateau, The Cumberland Mountains, and the Ridge and Valley region.
This is an entirely mountainous region and contains more than 1000 named mountains. On second thought, West Virginia has more mountainous land than any other state per square mile.
This state is divided into two crucial physiographic provinces – The Appalachian or Allegheny Plateau and The Valley and Ridge region.
The Appalachian Plateau is a large cut-up plateau that ends at Allegheny Mountain, overlapping into the Ohio River drainage basin.
Nearly 75% of West Virginia encompasses forests. There are six wilderness areas, like the Monongahela National Forest, Otter Creek Wilderness, and George Washington National Forest.
Nevertheless, there is plenty to explore in this mountain state, like mountain biking, rock climbing, and several hiking trails.
Some More Facts About West Virginia Mountains
You can see the Appalachian Mountains from anywhere in West Virginia, with easy access to one of the great mountain hiking and biking trails.
The border of West Virginia is punctuated by rugged summits and long mountain ridges of the beautiful Ridge and Valley Province.
For people in the mood for casual walks, there are several historical museums like the Avampato Discovery Museum and the West Virginia State Museum or Charleston’s scintillating restaurants, bars, and cafes, along with fantastic hiking and mountain biking nature spots.
1. Climbing The Highest Point – Spruce Knob
This is the highest elevation point of West Virginia, standing aloof at the summit of the Spruce Mountains at 4863 feet above sea level.
You will be surprised to know that to reach the rugged alpine summit of Spruce Knob, you do not have to be a good rock climber or don hiking boots.
You can drive up the mountain road, and then all you need to do is take a short walk up to the observation tower. This observation tower offers an incredible 360-degree view of the wild countryside.
2. Exploring The Caverns
The underground passageways of West Virginia Mountains, Seneca Rocks Caverns, and Smoke Hole Caverns are an opportunity that will leave you with an alien-like world experience of stalactites and stalagmites. You can explore the hundred-year-old geological history and see lots of cave-dwelling critters.
3. The Quaint Hiking
The Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia Mountains is a popular destination for mountain hiking. From Seneca Rocks to the Dolly Sods, you will love the picturesque hiking trails of Monongahela National Forest offers for all of you hiking enthusiasts.
The Snowshoe mountain is most captivating in the warm seasons of Virginia, where you and your kids can enjoy activities like mountain biking, fly fishing, or going on lift rides. For those who love fishing, the lake is filled with beautiful fish that will make your fishing experience memorable at the hills.
4. Seneca Rocks
One of the famous natural landmarks attracting many visitors to the West Virginia Mountains is the Seneca Rocks, which rises nearly 900″ above North Fork. For those who love hiking, you can enjoy an observation platform that rests at an elevation of 700″ on top of the Seneca Rocks. Rock climbing lovers can enjoy different rock climbing routes overlooking beautiful panoramic views from the top of the North and South peaks. The climb will be worth it.
5. The Bear Rocks Trail
One of the well-known barren landscapes in Dolly Sods, this trail is filled with red spruce, boulders, and bogs. Numerous hiking trails at the Bear Rocks give you a superb view overlooking the Canaan Valley, which is just a 20-mile drive from Harman to Thomas. You can drive through the captivating Canaan Valley State Park, Blackwater Falls State Park, and the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
6. The Lion’s Head
Just as the name suggests, Lion’s Head at Dolly Sods is famous for its unique rock face that looks similar to that of the head of a lion. The Lion’s Head is positioned just off the Breathed Mountain Trail of Dolly Sods on the Breathed Mountain.
7. Blackwater Falls State Park
One of the must-visit attractions of the West Virginia Mountains is its highest waterfall – Blackwater Falls State Park at a 57″ cascade. The lush forest hiking trail, red spruce mountain, and the tanned acid look of the fallen hemlock give the water an amber tint appearance.
It is perfect for driving enthusiasts who love exploring twisty roads through scenic beauty. Blackwater falls state park’s 20 miles of hiking trails provide an alluring long high path on the East Coast, making you fall in love with hiking. It is a must-visit scenic attraction for your dream vacation.
8. Chimney Rocks
This place gets its name from its appearance of a chimney stack-like rock formation. The view is considered one of the best views of the West Virginia Mountains. Even though the hike here at Chimney Rocks is deemed problematic, after you ascend the first 2.7 miles of North Fork Mountain Trail, hikers will never repent of this challenging climb.
9. The Declassified Bunker
This bunker located at The Greenbrier Resort was constructed in 1961. It was built as one of the top-secret bunkers in a super-size to house all the 535 members of the Congress of the Eisenhower era.
This bunker was in active use for nearly 30 years and was constantly updated, keeping pace with technological advancements so that it could be used during an emergency.
10. The Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
A heritage railway that will take you back to the steam engine era, listening to the blow of the train’s whistle while the steam billows out above the train is a delightful experience, especially for train lovers.
Train rides begin at the Cass Depot and offer views filled with rich histories and unparalleled views of the wilderness. This state park surrounds the train tracks and includes the town of Cass and a part of the summit of Bald Knob, the highest point of the Allegheny Mountains, attracting many visitors.
11. The Quiet Zone
The Green Bank Telescope, which is nearly 500″ tall and weighs 17 million pounds, is said to be one of the most significant objects on this Earth. This telescope captures all the radio transmissions from outer space.
Even the smallest interference makes it impossible for the telescope to decipher what the radio waves from space mean. Hence, the Quiet Zone was created to have no external disturbances around The Green Bank Telescope.
A unique thing about this part of the West Virginia Mountains is that this place has no cell phones or wi-fi, even in today’s modern world!
12. The Snowshoe Mountain
This is home to 257 acres of ski-able terrain spread over 11,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains. It is bowl-shaped and located at the conjunction of Cheat Mountain and Back Allegheny. Visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or the view from your resort at the summit of the mountains.
Below are a couple other options to add to your list of places to visit that can become a dream-come-true-vacation.
For the last 246 years, Berkeley Springs has provided its visitors the utmost respite and relaxation with its natural hot springs and unique, artistic culture.
Located 90 minutes from the Baltimore metro area, you’re welcome into a relaxing and peaceful environment that is home to mineral springs, art centers, recreational activities, all-around spa facilities, and bed-and-breakfast lodgings.
Berkeley Springs has its own Berkeley Springs State Park, the Washington Heritage Trail, and much more.
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
With a stretch of 53 miles from Hinton to Hawks Nest State Park, this park protects the serene 1000 ft deep New River Gorge in the Appalachian Mountains in Fayetteville.
Home to a rich biodiversity, New River Gorge National Park adheres to a variety of programs that help you witness nature’s gifts of flora and fauna, waterfalls and cliffs, and more wild and fun activities like whitewater rafting in the whitewater rapids along the lower gorge of the New River, rock-climbing cliffs like ‘The New’, fishing the river’s diverse fish in its waters, a day hiking, camping, etc.
This beautiful park is the home of the fifth longest bridge, the New River Gorge Bridge, which arches 1700 feet long, and is 876 feet above the New River. People can jump off it on the annual ‘Bridge Day’ on the third Sunday of October. It’s an all-day festival where you join the 5k race or watch the people Base jump from the bridge.
Harpers Ferry is a culturally and historically infused town, filled with stories of the civil war in the Civil War Museum and John Brown’s Fort in the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
This town also offers beautiful trails for hiking in The Appalachian Trail Visitor Center, a 5-mile-long Maryland Heights Loop, and the Loudoun heights Trail along the scenic Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.
In addition to hiking, other exciting activities on this trip can include ziplining, whitewater rafting, paragliding, and much more. Families can also explore O’Be Joyfull Historical Tours for a spooky night in this small town.
Mountains are a fantastic place to go for weekend getaways, and West Virginia is one such hidden gem where you don’t have to travel far to see around the world. This article provides enough reasons for a West Virginia mountains visit for a dream vacation.
So what are you waiting for, nature lovers? Pack your bags and go on the most exciting trip to the unmatched mountain hikes filled with natural beauty in the West Virginia Mountains. Just keep away from the private land up in those mountains.