ABOUT WEST VIRGINIAWest Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, and Pennsylvania and Maryland to the northeast. The capital and largest city is Charleston. West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions, breaking away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The new state was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War border state.
The New River Gorge National River is a unit of the United States National Park Service designed to protect and maintain the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia. Established in 1978, the NPS-protected area stretches for 53 miles (85 km) from just downstream of Hinton to Hawks Nest State Park near Ansted. New River Gorge is also home to some of the country's best whitewater rafting. The focus of this rafting is in the New River Gorge from the Cunard put-in to the Fayette Station take-out.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in and around Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The park includes land in Jefferson County, West Virginia; Washington County, Maryland and Loudoun County, Virginia. The park is managed by the National Park Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Originally designated as a National Monument in 1944, the park was declared a National Historical Park by the U.S. Congress in 1963.
Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, West Virginia, USA. The centerpiece of the Park is Blackwater Falls, a 62-foot (19 m) cascade where the Blackwater River leaves its leisurely course in Canaan Valley and enters rugged Blackwater Canyon. It is among the most photographed venues in the state and appears on calendars, stationery, advertisements of all kinds and, most famously, on jigsaw puzzles. The River is named for its tannic acid-darkened water.
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is a State Park located in Cass, Pocahontas County, West Virginia. It consists of the Cass Scenic Railroad, an 11-mile (18 km) long heritage railroad that is owned by the state of West Virginia. The park also includes the former company town of Cass and a portion of the summit of Bald Knob, highest point on Back Allegheny Mountain.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center of the United States National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc for the purpose of radio astronomy. NRAO designs, builds, and operates its own high sensitivity radio telescopes for use by scientists around the world.
Seneca Rocks is a large crag and local landmark in Pendleton County in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, USA. It is easily visible and accessible along West Virginia Route 28 near U.S. Route 33 in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area of the Monongahela National Forest. One of the best-known scenic attractions in West Virginia, the sheer rock faces of Seneca Rocks are a popular challenge for rock climbers.
Berkeley Springs State Park is a state park located in the center of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The centerpieces of this park are the spa facilities. These waters are currently and historically billed as having medicinal or restorative powers, generally taken internally for digestive disorders or in baths for stress relief. Native peoples visited these springs as did George Washington.
Festivals and Events
The Lost World Caverns
Lost World Caverns, located just outside of Lewisburg, West Virginia, is an underground natural series of caverns. In November 1973, the caverns were registered as a National Natural Landmark as they "feature terraced pedestal-like stalagmites, flowstone, curtains, rimstone, domepits, and waterfalls. " Originally named "Grapevine Cave", the only entrance was a long vertical drop into which farmers used to dump dead livestock and other trash.
Raft the Gauley River
The Gauley River is a 105-mile-long (169 km) river in West Virginia. It merges with the New River to form the Kanawha River, a tributary of the Ohio River. It is one of the most popular advanced whitewater runs in the Eastern United States and is the chief feature of the Gauley River National Recreation Area."