4 Places to See on a West Virginia Road Trip

Rock a Little Travel

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West Virginia is home to historic cities and incredible natural beauty making it the perfect location for a summer road trip adventure.

If you've never been to West Virginia before, I think you'll be surprised at all the fun things to do. I recommend starting off in West Virginia's capital city Charleston for a day or two, then spending several days exploring the rest of the state.

This short guide on places to see on a West Virginia road trip is intended to inspire you to visit somewhere new this year and help you get started planning your visit.

If you've done a West Virginia road trip already, I'd love to know what stops you'd recommend to others. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments, I'm always looking for new ideas.

1. Charleston

Charleston is the hip and historic capital city of West Virginia located along the Kanawha River.

First time visitors will not want to miss the East End Historic District where they'll find the State Capitol, Capitol Market, and some of the city's best restaurants and bars.

Visitors can also enjoy some time out on the river by renting a kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard.

In the evenings, head to Haddad Riverfront Park where you can enjoy cocktails while watching live performances from the park's outdoor ampitheatre.

2. New River Gorge National Park

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New River Gorge National Park is located about an hour and 10 minutes southeast of Charleston.

New River Gorge is an absolutely beautiful national park encompassing over 70,000 acres along the New River. Visitors will not want to miss viewing the New River Gorge Bridge, crossing over the New River gorge down below.

Visitors will also enjoy the park's many activities including nature walks, hiking, biking, camping, river rafting, stand up paddleboarding, and more.

3. Harpers Ferry

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Harpers Ferry is located about 5 hours northeast of Charleston where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac River.

The town's biggest attractions are Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, John Brown's Fort, and the Appalachian Trail.

As with most national parks, I recommend stopping in at the Visitor Center when you first arrive so you can pick up a park map and ask any questions you might have.

After the Visior Center I would try not to miss Camp Hill, Bolivar Heights and the most visited area of the park, Lower Town. This is also where you'll find John Brown's Fort.

John Brown's Fort is a historical landmark where famous abolitionist John Brown barricaded himself after attempting to initiate a slave revolt by raiding Harpers Ferry. Things did not go well for John Brown and his followers, but the building remains and is one of the most visited historical landmarks in West Virginia.

Harpers Ferry also happens to sit along the infamous Appalachian Trail, a 2,200 mile hiking trail that runs from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine.

Harpers Ferry happens to be home to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, so visitors can learn about conservation efforts supporting the trail, or enjoy a hike along a nearby section.

4. Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is located about 3 hours northeast of Charleston along the northern edge of the Monongahela National Forest in the Allegheny Mountains.

The state park is home to the famous Blackwater Falls, a 57 foot waterfall along the Blackwater River. The falls are viewable year round via various viewing platforms easily accessible by car or foot.

Elakala Falls and Pendleton Falls are also located nearby and are equally accessible.

With over 20 miles of hiking trails, the park is a very popular destination for hikers. Other possible activities inside the park include nature walks, biking, camping, boating, fishing, and swimming.

Blackwater Falls State Park is open year round. Lodging and camping reservations should be made in advance by visiting the park's website.
I hope you've enjoyed this guide to 4 places to see on a West Virginia road trip and that I've inspired you to take a trip of your own. If you liked this article please consider giving me a follow for more local travel guides such as this one. As always, thanks for reading.

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