Wild Wonderful West Virginia! Hiking, white water rafting, lakes, mountains and great food—there is so much to do and see!
There are many outdoor activities in West Virginia, but another great activity is to visit some of its local towns!
Lost World Caverns
Located just outside Lewisburg, you can find Lost World Caverns, a series of natural underground caverns featuring fascinating terraced pedestal-like stalagmites, curtains, flowstone, rimstone, domepits and waterfalls. The caverns were discovered in 1942—the only entrance to the cave was through a deep vertical drop local farmers used to dump trash. The cave was officially surveyed in the 1960s and found to have more than a mile of interconnected passages, some of them 245 feet below the surface. The remains of a prehistoric cave bear were found in the cave in 1967. In the early 1970s, the owner of the land on which the cave is found removed the trash, installed walkways, dug out the entrance and invited tourists.
Lewisburg is home to one of the four Carnegie Halls in the world continuously used as performance centers. The Hall offers regular live performances by artists from around the world, classes, workshops, arts in education programming, fine art exhibits, and more. Carnegie Hall, Inc.’s original structure was designed by architects Barrett & Thompson in 1902 in the Georgian Revival style.
A great place for tubing and kayaking, the Greenbrier River is perfect for spending a leisurely day on the river. The river can be accessed by multiple access points.
No trip to Lewisburg is complete without visiting some of its famous restaurants. Hill and Holler, Stardust Cafe, Food and Friends all have fantastic food!
Also located in the southern part of the state, Hinton was named after John "Jack" Hinton, the original owner of the town site and much of the downtown area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Hinton is situated along the New River.
Bluestone Lake is a flood control reservoir located on the New River near Hinton, West Virginia. At its normal pool level, Bluestone Dam impounds a 10.7-mile stretch of the New and its tributary, the Bluestone River.
A few miles south of Bluestone Dam are the Sandstone Falls. Sandstone Falls is a wide waterfall on the New River a few miles north of the town of Hinton. The New River is about 1500 feet wide at the point it encounters a sandstone ledge. The river breaks over and around the ledge, creating an island and a number of falls of varying heights and widths depending on the level of the river.
And after a hiatus due to COVID, Second Saturdays will return to Hinton this year. A fun tradition, Second Saturdays will begin May 8, 2021, with the Mecot Camara Memorial Ride, which will then be followed by an evening concert on the courthouse lawn.
Located in the eastern panhandle, Harpers Ferry is located on the Potomac and Shenanodoah Rivers. Surrounded by mountains, the town has a rich military history. It is best known for John Brown's raid in 1859, in which he attempted to use the town and the weapons in its Federal Armory (munitions plant) as the base for a slave revolt, to expand south into the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Brown was captured thirty-six hours after the raid began, with most of his men killed or wounded.
The Civil War left a path of destruction on Harpers Ferry. Because of the town's strategic location on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, both Union and Confederate troops moved through Harpers Ferry frequently. The town changed hands eight times between 1861 and 1865. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, Federal soldiers set fire to the Armory and Arsenal to keep them out of Confederate hands. The Arsenal and 15,000 weapons were destroyed, but the Armory flames were extinguished and the weapons-making equipment was shipped south. When the Confederates abandoned the town two months later, they burned most of the factory buildings and blew up the railroad bridge.
Thomas Jefferson stood on the site of Jefferson Rock in 1783, and the Harpers shale structure was named for him. Jefferson Rock offers gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains, and the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.
St Peter's Church
The church sits high above the town, occupying a prominent location on the heights above Harpers Ferry. The original church was built in 1833 and was the only church in Harpers Ferry to escape destruction during the war. From the site of the church you can view a sweeping vista across the gorge of the Shenandoah River above its confluence with the Potomac River. The street along the side of the church building is part of the Appalachian Trail.