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 so many beautiful forms of nature. Of these, landforms make up terrains like mountains, plateaus, plains, and valleys. It also includes some coastal forms like bays or peninsulas, ocean ridges, and ocean basins.
The mountains always fascinate humanity for their calm and majestic beauty with their 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 the charming masses of the sky. They 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. But mountainous regions always rise by such fragments by a few centimetres a year!
Mountains always represent humbleness with their beautiful faces and steep angles. They give us the time to appreciate the beauty of our mother earth by allowing us to escape from the mad rush and pollution of modern life.
The idea of a trip to the mountains itself brings around a positive vibe on our mental wellbeing.
Mountains symbolize stability, reliability, and stillness, their peak signifying a spiritual consciousness.
There are about 1,000,809 mountains around the world. They cover about 20% of our earth, and nearly 50% of the people are directly or indirectly dependent on them.
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.
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.
There are many beautiful mountains worldwide like the Table Mountains of Cape Town, Eiger Mountain in Switzerland, Mount Fuji of Japan, West Virginia Mountains in the USA.
So let us explore all that you need to know about West Virginia Mountains
All You Need To Know About West Virginia Mountains
West Virginia region was originally constituted to the northwest of Virginia. But its 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 the friendly country folks, are all like a slice of heaven.
So let’s climb along these limitless mountains to explore the beauty of some of the highest peaks.
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 Ridge and Valley region.
This is an entirely mountainous region and contains more than 1000 named mountains. On second thought, there is more mountainous land in West Virginia than in 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 the Allegheny Mountain, overlapping into the Ohio River drainage basin.
Nearly 75% of West Virginia encompasses forests. There are about six wilderness areas like the Monongahela National Forest, Otter Creek Wilderness and George Washington National Forest.
A 1000 foot deep river gorge is also there for outdoor enthusiasts. 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
From just anywhere in West Virginia, you can see only the Appalachian Mountains, with easy access to one of the great mountain hiking and mountain biking trails.
The border of West Virginia is punctuated by rugged summits and long mountain ridges of the beautiful Ridge and Valley Province.
1. Climbing The Highest Point – Spruce Knob
This is the highest elevation point of West Virginia, standing aloof at the summit of Spruce Mountains at 4863 feet above sea level. You will be surprised to know that to reach the rugged alpine summit of Spruce Knob, and 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 hundreds of years 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. Right from Seneca Rocks to the Dolly Sods, you will love the picturesque hiking trails that Monongahela National Forest offers for all of you hiking enthusiasts. 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 that attract a lot of visitors at the West Virginia Mountains is the Seneca Rocks that rises nearly 900″ above the river 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
5. The Bear Rocks Trail
This is one of the well-known barren landscapes in Dolly Sods that is filled with red spruce, boulders, and bogs. There are numerous hiking trails at the Bear Rocks that give you a superb view overlooking the Canaan Valley.
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.
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 at 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 in the pace of 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. This state park includes the town of Cass and a part of the summit of Bald Knob, the highest point of the Allegheny Mountains, attracting a considerable number of visitors. Train rides begin at the Cass Depot and offer views filled with rich histories and unparalleled views of the wilderness.
11. The Quiet Zone
The Green Bank Telescope, which is nearly 500″ tall and weighing 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 tiniest of interference makes it impossible for the telescope to decipher what the radio waves from space mean. Hence, the Quiet Zone was created to 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 about 257 acres of ski-able terrain spread over 11,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains. It is bowl-shaped, located at the conjunction of Cheat Mountain and Back Allegheny. Visitors get to enjoy skiing, snowboarding or enjoy the view from your resort at the summit of the mountains.
West Virginia is one place where you don’t have to travel far to see around the world. It holds the record for the smallest towns named after some of the world’s famous cities like Berlin, Athens, Calcutta, Cairo, Shanghai, and Geneva.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and go on one of the most exciting unmatched mountain hikes filled with natural beauty in the West Virginia Mountains.
Remember, the mountains have always been here from millions of years ago, much before even we humankind existed and will continue to be here long after we have gone.
The West Virginia Mountains are a place where you are forced to push yourself to thrive on meeting the challenges of one of the most scenic mountains.