Discover the natural wonder of Almost Heaven at these destinations
Exploring new and beautiful places is always an incredible adventure. Home to some of the most impressive parks and public lands east of the Mississippi, West Virginia is the perfect place to start exploring these wide-open spaces filled with natural beauty. Whether it’s an hour drive to a public land or a state park just a couple miles away, you’ve always wanted to explore, stunning sights and the chance to be at one with nature await at these beautiful locations. Discover the natural wonder of Almost Heaven.
NEW RIVER – GREENBRIER VALLEY
The New River-Greenbrier Valley region of the state is known for its outdoor adventures and one-of-a-kind views. Home to the New River Gorge National River, the Gauley River National Recreation Area and the Bluestone National Scenic River, this region has incredible hiking trails and beautiful, unspoiled terrain just waiting to be explored.
The Bluestone River is a great spot for fishing smallmouth bass, rock bass and bluegill. Make sure you have your West Virginia fishing license on hand before you go. If you’re in search of Almost Heaven views, the New River Gorge National River features an array of hiking trails with stunning views around every turn.
Escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the state’s beautiful Eastern Panhandle region. Miles of hiking and biking trails and fishing are all available at Cacapon Resort State Park. Take the Laurel Trail, which leads to a crag overlooking the Sleepy Creek Valley and winds through mixed forest trees, Keefer Sandstone outcroppings boulders from which wildlife and birds may be observed. Or visit Berkeley Springs State Park, which is renowned for its warm spring water, which flows at a constant temperature of 74.3 degrees.
Adventure and history await within the Hatfield-McCoy Mountains. Surrounded by scenic mountains, Chief Logan State Park is a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. Hiking and biking trails await at this beautiful retreat. Or cast a line in Chief Logan Lake, which is regularly stocked with trout and catfish.
Find peace and tranquility at Cabwaylingo State Forest. Nine miles of hiking trails wind through Cabwaylingo State Forest, which showcase a wide variety of wildflowers, trees and overhanging rock cliffs.
Although the Metro Valley is home to the state’s capital city, of Charleston, the region is still home to many outdoor locations to explore. Located just seven miles from Charleston, Kanawha State Forest features more than 25 miles of hiking and biking trials and has diverse wildflower, tree and bird populations. Head out on the water at Beech Fork State Park. Great for an aquatic getaway, Beech Fork State Park has a sprawling 720-acre lake with 31 miles of shoreline perfect for fishing and water sports.
The scenic lakes of the Mountain lakes region provide aquatic adventures and gorgeous surroundings. Known as “the Little Bahamas of the East”, Summersville Lake provides incredible views and adventures. The lake has clean, clear water and boulders, cliffs, overhangs and rock walls, which makes for a stunning setting. With more than 28,000 acres of water and 60 miles of shoreline, Summersville Lake is the largest lake in West Virginia. Favorite activities at the lake include swimming, fishing and boating and it’s a picturesque location to simply spend some time out on the water enjoying nature.
Exploring miles and miles of scenic West Virginia landscape is easy to do in the Mid-Ohio Valley region. The North Bend Rail Trail stretches 72-miles across north-central and western West Virginia. The trail crosses 36 bridges, passes through 10 tunnels and is part of the 5,500-mile American Discovery Trail. At North Bend State Park more hiking and biking trails are available as well as fishing and boating opportunities.
The Potomac Highlands region of Almost Heaven is known for its outdoor adventures, one-of-a-kind experiences and dramatic scenery. The Monongahela National Forest covers nearly 1 million acres and is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the country. Some of the state’s most iconic points are located within the forest including Seneca Rocks, North Fork Mountain, Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, Cranberry Glades and Spruce Knob. The remote landscape of the Monongahela National Forest makes it an ideal place to hike, mountain bike, fish, boat and rock climb.
This region is also home to beautiful state park’s such as Blackwater Falls State Park, Canaan Valley Resort State Park and Lost River State Park where more hiking and biking trails and chances to experience nature await.
History and rolling riverside scenery await in the Northern Panhandle. Experience peace, quiet and scenic beauty at Tomlinson Run State Park. The parks 1,398 acres are divided into two sections, a wilderness area with heavily forested hills, overhanging cliffs of sandstone and shale, and many wildflowers and fauna and a developed area with traditional park offerings. Tomlinson Run State Park is an ideal location to relax and unwind. At the park hiking trails, fishing and boating are all available.
Full of outdoor beauty, the Mountaineer country is always an incredible region to explore. At Coopers Rock State Forest take in some of the state’s most iconic views. At Coopers Rock State Forest, take the Ravens Rock Trail, which leads to the Ravens Rock Overlook and offers a spectacular view of the Cheat River Canyon.
This post was last updated on February 28, 2022