West Virginia State Facts

West Virginia State Facts

Federated state of the USA (62,759 km2 with 1,814,468 inhabitants in 2008); capital Charleston. It is made up of different morphological zones: the Ohio valley, to the West, fertile and populated, the plateau of Cumberland and the mountainous Allegheny region. The climate has a continental character, with hot summers, cold winters and abundant rains mainly in summer. The waters partly go to the Potomac and to a greater extent measure in Ohio. Agriculture (cereals, vegetables, potatoes, fruit and above all tobacco), with the raising of livestock and the exploitation of the forest cover, is considerably developed. In the secondary sector, alongside the aerospace, electronic, chemical and medical instrument production sectors have established themselves in the traditional iron and steel, mechanical, glass, wood and textile branches. Coal production is huge. Other important cities, besides the capital, are Huntington, Parkersburg, Wheeling.

According to abbreviationfinder, the western part of Virginia, which remained unexplored until 1669, was inhabited by various Indian tribes against which the English colonists fought a bloody battle (Fort Pleasant, 1774). Economic development and social order differentiated the territory from the eastern part and severe economic conflicts arose in the Virginia assembly between the respective representatives. After the assembly’s vote in favor of secession (1861), the deputies of the West repudiated the decision, forming a new government (June 19). A constituent assembly, convened on November 26, 1861, decided to expand the borders of the new state and adopt the name West Virginia. Ratified the Constitution (April 3, 1862) and inserted in it rules on the gradual abolition of slavery, as had been requested by the Congress, V.


Some of the most beautiful areas of land can be found in the north, such as the Blackwater Falls and to the south the wooded Canaan Valley. The east is dominated by the barren highlands of the Dolly Sods Wilderness. Nature lovers in particular will get their money’s worth in West Virginia, as more than 65% of the state’s territory is forested.

West Virginia offers a variety of outdoor and soft adventure sports – such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking – as well as places for camping, fishing and golfing. The natural boundaries of West Virginia form the Apalachian Mountains in the east and the Ohio River with a tributary in the west, the state is nicknamed Mountain State. The highest point is the Spruce Knob (1,481 m) in the Allegheny Mountains, the headwaters of the Potomac River. This largest nature reserve near the east coast is only a few hours’ drive from several large cities and yet hardly visited.

From the second half of September, the state shows itself from its most beautiful side: avenues of colorful beeches, fiery-red blueberry bushes and forests in bright autumn foliage shape the picture.

The capital is Charleston with around 51,000 residents, other important cities are Huntington, Wheeling, Parkersburg and Morgantown. West Virginia was first explored in 1675 and settled since around 1750. It gained political importance with the secession from Virginia during the Civil War (1861). Initially a separate state, it has been the 35th state in the USA since 1863.


West Virginia has no international airports. The regional airports in Beckley, Bluefield-Princeton, Charleston, Clarksburg-Fairmont, Keyser, Huntington, Lewisburg, Morgantown and Parkersburg are connected to international airports in the USA.


Harpers Ferry National Historic Par (official website): Part of the Civil War Discovery Trail; In 1859, John Brown and 18 followers raided an arsenal in Harpers Ferry. The militant slave opponent was captured and later hanged for high treason. The town of Harpers Ferry is located in the wooded valley at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers, where the states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia meet.

Civil War Trail (Official Website): West Virginia has preserved its civil war past through historic sites and monuments. Along the Civil War Trail there are numerous locations that played a significant role in the American Civil War.

New River Gorge National River and National Park (official website): Impressive natural spectacle of the gorge carved by the river. The rapids are famous among friends of river rafting. The gorge is spanned by the second highest steel bridge in the world. The Canyon Rim Visitor Center is located on US 19, approximately 24 miles north of Beckley.

Once a year, the round arch bridge, which is otherwise used in four lanes, is opened for extreme sports enthusiasts and pedestrians. The so-called Bridge Day is one of the most popular events in Mountain State (around 200,000 visitors). Hundreds of base jumpers dare to jump into the depths and numerous climbing teams rope down from the approximately 270 m high bridge at a dizzying depth. The best spectator seats are on the bridge or just below it in a rafting boat on the New River. The view from the bridge is also attractive because of the autumn colors of the surrounding mountainous forest landscapes. Information about Bridge Day, accommodation and the supporting program can be found on the website officialbridgeday.com.

Oglebay Resort (official website): 600 hectare city park, which offers a garden center, a museum, scientific demonstrations and a zoo in addition to an abundance of sports facilities.

Lost World Caverns (official website): Stalagmites, waterfalls and fascinating stone formations, the main room covers an area of ​​almost 7,000 square meters.

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine (official website): Former miners lead through the disused coal mine in replica miners; 40 minute tour; Museum.

Organ Cave (official website): Part of one of the largest limestone cave systems in America. The cave derives its name from a 13 m high stone formation in the form of an organ.

Seneca Caverns (official website): The Seneca Rock, made of Tuscarora stone, is 293 m high; Climbing school. The Seneca caves are nearby.

Climate and Weather

West Virginia has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. Due to differences in altitude, the regional climatic fluctuations are considerable. Tornadoes and hurricanes are rare, strong thunderstorms in summer sometimes with torrents.

According to countryaah, West Virginia has the following main cities:


City of the USA (51,176 residents in 2005), capital of West Virginia, at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers. Commercial center of a region rich in coal deposits (although today some mines have been closed); industrial activities in the chemical, steel and mechanical sectors.

West Virginia State Facts

About the author