If you’re looking for cool places to explore, there are plenty to be found in West Virginia. From an old prison and a hospital to a ghost town to places in nature, here are some of the best spots to explore in West Virginia.
1. Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County that’s most known for John Brown’s Raid and its role in the Civil War. Its historic district contains about 100 historic buildings that will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time.
2. Seneca Rocks
Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County offers beautiful views and is a great place to explore.
3. Champe Rocks
This pair of large crags in Pendleton County is closeby Seneca Rocks and just as cool-looking but they are perhaps less known.
4. Organ Cave
Organ Cave in Greenbrier County is the largest cave system in the state. It’s a registered National Natural Landmark. It’s also a historic place, because it was there that Confederate Soldiers hid from the Yankees for three winters during the Civil War.
5. Lost World Caverns
Exploring this system of caves in Lewisburg takes about 45 minutes. You’ll see The Bridal Veil, which is a column of sparkling white calcite, the War Club, a 28-foot stalagmite and other formations.
6. The West Virginia State Penitentiary
If you’re brave enough, the West Virginia State would be an awesome place to explore. The old prison in Moundsville operated from 1876 until 1995 and is currently a tourist attraction and training facility. It was the site of numerous executions during its day and is rumored to be haunted, so explore at your own risk.
7. Lake Shawnee amusement park
If abandoned and creepy is your style, check out this old abandoned amusement park in Princeton. It shut down in the 1960s after two kids reportedly died in accidents there.
8. The ghost town of Thurmond
Thurmond, located in the New River Gorge area, is one of West Virginia’s ghost towns. It was once a thriving railroad town during coal’s heyday, but now it has about 5 residents. It was also the location for the filming of the movie Matewan.
9. Cranberry Glades
Cranberry Glades are a cluster of peat bogs in Pocahontas County, W.Va. This is a great place to explore if you’re interested in plants. The land there is highly acidic and supports plants commonly found at higher latitudes, including two carnivorous plants: the purple pitcher plant and the sundew.
10. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
This old mental hospital operated from 1864 until 1994. It was closed in 1994 due to changes in the treatment of patients. Believed to be haunted, It’s a popular place for ghost hunters.
Have you explored these cool places in West Virginia? What is your favorite place in the Mountain State to explore?