6 Iconic West Virginia Views & The Top Ways to Experience Them
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing, scenic Sunday afternoon drive through the mountains or an adventure-filled hike to an iconic overlook, West Virginia is the place for you. No matter where you travel within the state, you’re sure to discover why many consider West Virginia to be Almost Heaven! From the rolling hills of the New River Gorge and Greenbrier Valley to the peaks of Dolly Sods and Spruce Knob, West Virginia truly is an adventurer’s paradise. Scenic highways and trails will lead visitors to unique experiences only found right here in the Mountain State.
It won’t take visitors long to discover how Grandview received its name. Located just outside of Beckley, Grandview offers visitors accessible trails that lead to breathtaking views of the New River Gorge. The main overlook is positioned more than 1,400 feet above the New River and offers visitors the chance the see the town of Quinnimont, which is where coal was first exported from the gorge in the late 1800s. Scenic views are not the only thing Grandview offers, though! Visitors can also enjoy the sights and sounds of Theatre West Virginia here from June through August every year.
DOLLY SODS WILDERNESS
Spanning across Grant, Randolph, and Tucker counties, Dolly Sods is the highest plateau east of the Mississippi River with altitudes reaching higher than 4,100 feet. For one of the most breathtaking views of the Mountain State, visitors can take Forest Road 75 along the ridge of the mountain to reach Bear Rocks Preserve – a 477 acre portion of Dolly Sods that is one of the most recognized and photographed areas in the state! The sandstone boulders mixed with the color of the brush and trees in fall make Dolly Sods a photographer’s paradise.
Nestled in Tucker County, Canaan Valley is home to the headwaters of the Blackwater River, vast wetlands and the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge. The area is a bowl-shaped valley with panoramic views of the surrounding Allegheny Mountains and a habitat rarely found in the eastern United States. Visitors can enjoy a drive down Rt. 32 to the town of Davis, which is home to the iconic Blackwater Falls. Blackwater Falls State Park offers visitors over 20 miles of trails to explore, but for the easiest, most accessible view of the falls, visitors should make their way to the Gentle Trail for a short 0.2 mile trek.
Located just outside of Bluefield in Mercer County, Pinnacle Rock State Park is a 396-acre park featuring more than seven miles of trails. Visitors are encouraged to climb the staircase around Pinnacle Rock to experience views of the rolling hills of the southern coal fields and nearby East River Mountain. A 5-minute drive down scenic Rt. 52 will give visitors the chance to visit Bramwell – one of the state’s most unique small towns. The Corner Shop Diner in Bramwell is the perfect place to grab a milkshake and cool off after the hike at Pinnacle Rock.
Stretching across much of southern West Virginia, the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system will take visitors off the beaten path for fun-filled adventure and incredible scenery! The trail expands across Logan, Kanawha, Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer, Wayne, Lincoln, Mingo, and Boone counties. The Hatfield-McCoy Trail system is West Virginia’s natural playground and offers visitors the chance to find their own version of Almost Heaven with over 600 miles to explore!
LONG POINT TRAIL
Winding through Fayette County, Long Point Trail is a roughly three-mile trail located near Fayetteville. The trail leads visitors through the woods to arguably one of the most popular overlooks in the entire state! Once visitors have reached the Long Point rocks, they can take in the sights of the New River Gorge Bridge and the winding New River below it. Visitors seeking more engaging views around the New River Gorge can partake in a zipline canopy tour or a night zipline tour at nearby ACE Adventure Resort or Adventures on the Gorge.
Which scenic view is your favorite?
This post was last updated on August 3, 2020