Take a road trip through the Mountain State
By Natalie Hamren
West Virginia is a state full of wonder, beauty and adventure—you probably think of the Appalachian Mountains when it comes to America’s 35th state. Even though West Virginia is small in size, it still packs a punch. Here are the best things to do the next time you’re in the Mountain State.
With over 70,000 acres to enjoy, there is something for everyone in New River Gorge National Park & Preserve. The New River is one of the oldest rivers on the continent—known for having some of the best whitewater rafting on the planet.
You can enjoy world-class rafting with a local guide—like Adventures on the Gorge or ACE Adventure Resort—and experience the national park in a thrilling way.
If you prefer to keep your vacations dry, there are plenty of hiking trails to discover at New River Gorge. The Canyon Rim Boardwalk Trail takes you to a breathtaking overlook of the New River Gorge Bridge—standing tall at 3,030 feet.
Charleston is West Virginia’s capital and the state’s most populous city. It’s a city filled with rich history that spans back to the 18th century. One of the best ways to learn more about Charleston and West Virginia is by visiting the West Virginia State Museum.
The free museum allows visitors to explore West Virginia’s past—from its booming coal days to the present. Give yourself a few hours to browse the museum—you never know what you might learn.
After, grab a bite at Charleston’s Capitol Market, which is housed inside a turn-of-the-century train station. It offers a variety of delicious foods, yummy desserts and artisan crafts.
Harpers Ferry is a city full of history, culture and nature. Home to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters and Visitor Center, Harpers Ferry sees thousands of hikers a year. Don’t worry—you don’t have to thru-hike the entire Appalachian Trail to experience the best of the region. In fact, only 4 miles of the trail is in West Virginia, giving you the perfect amount for a day hike.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park gives visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in some of the nation’s most pivotal history. Visit abolitionist John Brown’s Fort to learn about the Harpers Ferry insurrection.
To round off your trip, visit St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. Built in 1833, it’s the only church in Harper’s Ferry to survive the destruction during the Civil War.”