West Virginia is a state packed full of adventure and unforgettable scenery. Once you see the majestic beauty of the Allegheny and Appalachian mountains you’ll understand why it’s called “Almost Heaven.” Tucked away in those mountains are enchanting places most people never even knew existed.
1. Berkeley Spring's Castle
The beautiful and historic Berkeley Springs castle was built in 1885. The castle was built by Colonel Samuel Taylor Suit for his new bride. It has 13 beautifully crafted rooms and a dungeon. To add to its enchantment, many believe that the castle is haunted by an unknown specter.
2.The Majestic Graceland Inn
Graceland Inn located in Elkins, West Virginia is truly enchanting. This historic mansion was originally the home of Henry Gassaway Davis, a U.S. Senator in the 1800s. It is a registered historic landmark. All of the rooms in the Inn are furnished with antiques and give you the feeling that you have stepped back in time.
3. The Ghost Town of Thurmond
This ghost town has enchanted folks for decades. In the early 20th century, this one-time coal depot was connected to the outside world by only a single train track. The town’s fate was sealed in 1935 when its only bank collapsed. Miles of scenic roads will lead you to this well-preserved state treasure.
4. Vrindaban's Gold Palace
New Vrindaban is a Hare Krishna Community built in the town of Vrindabanin in 1968 to honor Srila Prabhupada. At one time it was the home to 400 followers. The palace is built from stone, marble, onyx and has 24 karat gold leaf overlay. The palace with its mosaic floors and beautiful vistas is open year round to visitors.
5. Cool Springs Park
Cool Springs Park located in Rowlesburg, West Virginia is packed full of old-time charm. The roadside stop is a landmark that has been open more than 75 years. It offers buckwheat pancakes that are a gift to your taste buds, along with animals, railroad artifacts, a gift shop and homegrown apples and fresh apple cider.
6. Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory
The Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory in Monroe County is a bird watcher's dream spot. A 30-minute hike leads adventurers to a forest service fire tower, which gives bird watchers an incredible view of migratory birds from August to November. From the top you can get eye to eye with raptors while enjoying the view of miles and miles of mountains.
7. Mount Woods Cemetery and Castle
it may seem strange to call a cemetery enchanting, but this one is. The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic places and is the oldest one in West Virginia. Overlooking the cemetery is the remnants of the Mount Woods castle. From the castle's ruins you get an unforgettable view of Wheeling.
8. Kaymoor Trail and Mine
The 896 steps descending into the New River Gorge along with the Kaymoor trail will lead you to the abandoned town of Kaymoor and its mine. You'll see some of the most beautiful scenery in the state on the trek. The bottom is rich in history. The trek back up the steps is a true cardio workout.
9. Lake Shawnee Amusement Park Ferris Wheel Taken Over By Nature
The Lake Shawnee Amusement Park in Princeton has been inactive for a long time. Visitors don't come to ride, but for the park's eerie enchantment. Legend has it that the amusement park is haunted. The chains of the old swing rattle even when the wind is calm. A young girl died after being hit by a swing and several visitors have said they have seen her ghost. The owners say that the little girl is not the only ghost lingering in the park.
10. Grave Creek Mound
Located in Moundsville, what appears to be a simple grass hill is so much more. Built slowly, well over 100 years ago, the mound is a prehistoric graveyard. it holds the graves of unknown numbers of prehistoric West Virginians. It is believed the builders moved over 60,000 tons of dirt to build the 69 foot mound.
11. High Falls on the Cheat River
High Falls is one of the state's lesser known waterfalls, but is also one of the most beautiful. It is the perfect place for a little alone time or a romantic outing.
Whether you are planning a day away or a vacation, there is much to see and do in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.