West Virginia Hiking, Nature July 08, 2017
9 Amazing Natural Wonders Hiding In Plain Sight In West Virginia – No Hiking Required
There is certainly plenty of beautiful scenery in the Mountain State, and not all of it requires an all-day hike to get there. Here are nine beautiful views that are a short stroll, train ride or drive to go see.
1. Seneca Rocks Discovery Center
The Seneca Rocks Discovery Center is located at the base of Seneca Rocks on WV Rt. 28. It has an outstanding and majestic view of the vertical wall of Seneca Rocks.
2. Bald Knob Overlook
Most people arrive at Bald Knob by train, riding on the historic Cass Scenic Railroad. The Bald Knob observation deck provides a panoramic view of the Allegheny Mountains.
3. Jefferson Rock, Harpers Ferry
From Jefferson Rock, visitors can see the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. This view of the river gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains was described by Thomas Jefferson as being "one of the most stupendous scenes in nature." Jefferson Rock is just a short walk from lower Harpers Ferry along the Appalachian Trail. Unfortunately, due to the nature of its location, Jefferson Rock is not accessible to those with physical limitations.
4. Spruce Knob
Spruce Knob is the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains. There's a lookout tower at the top which provides a beautiful view of the dense spruce forests. One can drive safely all the way to the top. The road is well paved though the last section is narrow.
5. Coopers Rock, Main Overlook
Just a quick, easy stroll from the main parking lot at Coopers Rock will bring you to the main overlook, and astounding mountain and river views.
6. New River Gorge National Scenic River
A quick climb to the Grandview Overlook will give you a spectacular view of the New River Gorge National Scenic River.
7. Fort Boreman Park Overlook
Fort Boreman was used by the Union army during the Civil War to ensure that the Baltimore and Ohio railroad was not taken over by the Confederate army. Today, the park provides a beautiful view of the Ohio River and City of Parkersburg.
8. New River Gorge Bridge and Rapids
The view from the Visitor’s Center just off of U.S. 19 in Fayetteville provides some stunning views of this 876 foot high marvel and the rapids below.
9. Beartown State Park
Beartown State Park 110-acre state park located on the eastern summit of Droop Mountain, 7 miles southwest of Hillsboro, West Virginia, off Rt. 219 on Beartown Road in northern Greenbrier County. I’ve included it here because of its convenient boardwalk access to its unusual rock formations, which are comprised of Droop, or Pottsville, sandstone formed during the Pennsylvanian age. Massive boulders, overhanging cliffs, and deep crevasses are easily visible, and there is an accessible view platform right off of a handicapped accessible walkway.
So, not every site worth visiting in West Virginia requires an all-day time commitment or hours of hiking to get there! These are “just off the beaten path.” Can you share some of the places you know that are easy to visit and worth the trip?