A “Grand” Experience in Almost Heaven: Did you know about West Virginia’s own grand canyons?
The Grand Canyon has long been regarded as one of the many wonders of the world. Travelers frequently flock to northern Arizona to get a glimpse at the iconic canyon, but were you aware that West Virginia is home to its own “grand” canyons? The Mountain State is home to several incredible, scenic canyons that will leave visitors in awe.
The Blackwater Canyon is located in the mountains of Tucker County. It is an eight-mile long gorge that was carved by the Blackwater River and begins at the foot of the iconic Blackwater Falls. In total, the Blackwater River drops around 1,250 feet in elevation throughout the canyon. Throughout Blackwater Falls State Park, visitors can find jaw-dropping views from numerous points of the canyon.
The Cheat Canyon is a 10-mile long canyon in northern West Virginia that is home to more of the finest whitewater rafting in the state. The canyon lies between the towns of Albright and Cheat Lake, and its canyon rim rises as much as 1,200 above the river.
The Trough is a six-mile long gorge that is carved by the South Branch of the Potomac River. The area is so steep and wooded that it is only accessible by boat, foot or South Branch Valley Railroad. The Trough was the site of a 1756 battle of the French and Indian War known as the Battle of the Trough. Visitors of the Trough will experience unique views of Hampshire and Hardy counties that are certainly worth the lengths they’ll take to get there.
Perhaps the most obvious choice on the list, the New River Gorge is one of the most iconic and notable locations found anywhere in the Mountain State. The New River that traces through the deep gorge is regarded as one of the oldest rivers on the planet. In total, the New River Gorge National River spans more than 72,000 acres and sees more than 1 million visitors annually. The gorge is home to some of the finest whitewater rafting in the country, as well as the widely recognized New River Gorge Bridge.
West Virginia’s canyons may not be as large as the Grand Canyon, but they each hold historical relevance and beauty. No matter the season, these breathtaking views are always worth the hike.
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This post was last updated on August 3, 2020