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See the light. Particularly at sunset.
Gorgeous mountain views in West Virginia, as pictured in “See the light. Particularly at sunset.” video
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Adventures in the Outdoors

Over 600 kilometers of West Virginia’s train tracks have been converted into trails for walking, hiking, biking and horseback riding. The rail trails (30 in all), with their gentle or level grades and wide rights of way, are easily accessible and among the USA’s most stunning. The same rivers that carve West Virginia’s gorges also provide outstanding water recreation. Its year-round fishing season includes an open season for trout. Plus, more than 32,000 kilometers of streams and more than 100 public fishing lakes mean anglers have lots of options. The Ohio and Kanawha rivers are popular for owners of pleasure boats, fishing boats and personal watercraft. Several other of the state’s waterways provide ideal boating opportunities, whether you’re after a gentle journey or prefer a whitewater rapids ride.


Plenty of Leisure Pastimes

West Virginia is also a wonderful place to relax. Soak away your stress in a hot mineral spring at a top-notch spa. Rather swing a club than cast a line? The Mountain State has the distinction of having the first golf club established in the USA. Today, there are more than 100 courses here. Find your needs met and more at world-class resorts like The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs. West Virginia’s hospitality is legendary: After one night here, you’ll understand completely, whether you’re steeped in luxury at a resort or sleeping under the stars along a swift-moving stream. Wake up to a gourmet breakfast in a charming B&B or rent a cozy cabin nestled deep within our towering forests.


A Stellar Place to Play

The outdoor recreation capital of the east offers plenty for city slickers, too. Sample Appalachian cuisine flavored with the state’s signature wild leek, the “ramp.” Enjoy dining on international fare from acclaimed chefs, or settle in at one of the state’s many established eateries for soul food or farm-to-table goodness. Explore the small-city nightlife found throughout West Virginia, informed by regional character and authentic local personalities. Catch live bluegrass and rock shows, or head down the Mountain Music Trail to get a sense of the state’s musical roots. The lively arts and culture scene offers everything from major productions to small-town acts that remain true to age-old mountain traditions.

See the light. Particularly at sunset.
Gorgeous mountain views in West Virginia, as pictured in “See the light. Particularly at sunset.” video
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Fun Fact

Hiking in the Dolly Sods Wilderness in Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia
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With elevations of more than 1,200 meters at certain spots, Dolly Sods is the USA's highest plateau east of the Mississippi River.

Nighttime at the Summersville Lake Lighthouse in West Virginia
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Even without access to an ocean, West Virginia is home to one lighthouse, the Summersville Lake Lighthouse.

Preparing a dish with local ramps
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Every spring, eager ramp-diggers head to the self-proclaimed 'Ramp Capital of the World' in Richwood to forage for West Virginia’s unique wild onion.

Photo: West Virginia Tourism Office

Must see places

The view in Coopers Rock State Forest
West Virginia Tourism

Coopers Rock State Forest

An outdoor enthusiast’s dream, this recreation hub near Morgantown offers mountain biking and rock climbing on the Cheat River Canyon rim. Try the Raven Rock Trail to size up the views of one of West Virginia’s northernmost gorges.

Paddleboarding on Summersville Lake in West Virginia

Summersville Lake

This lake’s turquoise water earned it the nickname “Little Bahamas of the East,” but it’s the world-class whitewater (Class IV-V rapids) on the Gauley River here that draws the crowds. Fish, boat, scuba dive or hike the sandstone cliffs.

Taking a ride along the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad

Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad

Ride historic steam-driven locomotives and vintage diesel-powered passenger trains April through December, viewing some of the most remote and untouched areas of the Mountain State, including Monongahela National Forest, along the banks of the Greenbrier and Tygart Valley and Shaver's Fork rivers.

The Green Bank Telescope scans the skies
West Virginia Tourism

Green Bank Observatory

Eastern West Virginia is home to the nation’s largest “quiet zone,” where the Green Bank Observatory picks up radio transmissions from outer space. Visit the science center here to learn what makes this unique facility tick.

The New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia

New River Gorge National River

This powerful river drives right through the Appalachian Plateau, creating the gorge. A stark contrast to dense forests, cross the western hemisphere’s longest steel arch span on a bridge walk tour. Stride along a catwalk for the vantage point of a lifetime from 260 meters high. Nearby, go zip-lining, rock climbing or whitewater rafting. For a more relaxing experience, tube the river or birdwatch.

A rock climber near the summit of Seneca Rocks in West Virginia

Seneca Rocks

Seneca Rocks, located in Monongahela National Forest, is one of the most scenic landmarks in West Virginia. Popular with rock climbers, this magnificent formation rises nearly 275 meters above the North Fork River. Non-climbers can follow the 2-kilometer interpretive trail located at Seneca Rocks Discovery Center to hike up part of the rocks and take in gorgeous views of the valley below.

Historic charm and stunning views at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

It may be small, but the town of Harpers Ferry played a big role in the Civil War as the site of John Brown’s raid on the national arsenal. Recount that history through the park’s museums and exhibits, or explore it yourself on the 32 kilometers of trails. See historic structures as well as the point where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac.

Twilight at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

The Greenbrier

Stop and see this enormous, extravagant and historic hotel, a National Historic Landmark. Set on a mineral spring, the Greenbrier was built in 1778 and features a special bunker tour, where visitors can go into a declassified Cold War fallout shelter built into the mountainside.

Blackwater Falls State Park in Davis, West Virginia

Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is named for the falls of the Blackwater River, whose amber-colored waters plunge five stories then twist and tumble through a 13-kilometer gorge. The "black" water is a result of tannic acid from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. Follow the Blackwater Falls Boardwalk Trail to see one of the most photographed sites in West Virginia, but don’t stop there: The park is home to a number of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing.

Touring the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine in West Virginia

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine

Take a trip underground into what was once an operating coal mine at this unique attraction located in small-town Beckley’s New River Park. Veteran miners will guide you through the past and future of West Virginia mining, while also telling firsthand stories, as you ride in a comfortable vintage mine train.

Explore West Virginia destinations

The Ace Hotel Rooftop in downtown Los Angeles, California
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Ask a Local

Performer at the Mountain Stage series in West Virginia
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Performer at the Mountain Stage series in West Virginia
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Official West Virginia Travel Site

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The historic Wheeling Suspension Bridge, built in 1849, over the Ohio River
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