Interesting facts about West Virginia

west virginia flag

West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region in the Southern United States and is also considered to be a part of the Middle Atlantic States.

It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest.

As of February 2019, the population of West Virginia was estimated to be about 1.8 million people. It is the 38th most populous state in the United States.

West Virginia is the 41st largest state in the United States in terms of total area with 62,755 square kilometers (24,230 square miles).

The capital and largest city is Charleston. The city is Located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers.


West Virginia’s nickname, the Mountain State, is well deserved. Some of the most rugged land in the country can be found in this, one of the smaller states.

Most of the level land areas found in West Virginia are flat strips that lie along the major rivers. If you’re traveling in this state and you’re not traveling along a river, chances are you’ll either be going uphill or you’ll be going downhill.

The highest point in the state is atop Spruce Knob, at 1,482 meters (4,863 feet), and is covered in a boreal forest of dense spruce trees at altitudes above 1,200 meters (4,000 feet).

spruce knob

The state’s most significant river is the Ohio.

Hot water mineral springs are found throughout this mountainous state; White Sulfur Springs is the most

Nearly 75% of West Virginia is covered by forests.

west virginia forest

West Virginia has 6 national park and 29 state parks.

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 85 kilometers (53 miles) 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.

new river gorge national river

The New River Gorge Bridge is a steel arch bridge 924 meters (3,030 feet) long over the New River Gorge. With an arch 518 meters (1,700 feet) long, the New River Gorge Bridge was for many years the world’s longest single-span arch bridge; it is now the fourth longest.

new river gorge bridge

Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County. 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, and advertisements. The river is named for its tannin-darkened water.

blackwater falls state park

The Greenbrier is a luxury resort located in the Allegheny Mountains near White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Since 1778, visitors have traveled to this part of the state to “take the waters” of the area. Today, The Greenbrier is situated on 4,500 hectares (11,000 acres) of land with 710 guest rooms, 20 restaurants and lounges, more than 55 indoor and outdoor activities and sports, and 36 retail shops.

the greenbrier

Snowshoe resort is best known for its skiing, with three separate areas to choose from, all with 100% snowmaking. With an 800-foot vertical drop, Snowshoe Basin’s 38 trails cover all experience levels, served by seven lifts, including a high-speed detachable quad.

snowshoe resort

At the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, you can relive the Golden Age of Steam on a line built in 1901 to haul lumber from the forest to the mill, riding in refurbished logging flat-cars pulled by an original Shay steam locomotive. The full 4.5-hour trip includes switchbacks that allow the train to climb grades as high as 11 percent to reach Bald Knob.

cass scenic railroad state park

West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, after the American Civil War had begun.

Delegates from some Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia decided to break away from Virginia, although they included many secessionist counties in the new state.

West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key border state during the war.

west virginia map flag

Between 250 and 150 B.C., the Adena people built what is known as Grave Creek Mound in Marshall County. Now standing 62 feet tall with a 240-foot diameter, it is the largest conical burial mound in the United States. In 1838, two men dug their way into the mound, exposing a burial chamber with skeletons and jewelry.

Two apple varieties originated in West Virginia: the Grimes Golden apple, discovered on a farm near Wellsburg in the early 19th century; and the Golden Delicious apple, found on a farm in Clay County in the early 20th century. In 1995, the Golden Delicious apple was designated the official state fruit of West Virginia.

The world’s largest sycamore tree is located on the Back Fork of the Elk River in Webster Springs.

On January 26, 1960 Danny Heater, a student from Burnsville, scored 135 points in a high school basketball game earning him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

West Virginia is considered the southern most northern state and the northern most southern state.