Deep in the tree-covered Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is home to six national parks and 37 state parks. Over 1.7 million visitors visit these parks, the 3 national heritage areas, 2 national trails, and 1 wild and scenic river every year. Over 1,000 sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the parks are open year-round and offer a variety of lodging types and activities. Remote lakes and multiple forests make this state a nature lover’s dream. The list of parks in West Virginia includes a variety of parks, lakes, historical sites, and forests. Lots of forests.

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National Parks & Historic Sites

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Maine to Georgia, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV; one location is Harpers Ferry, WV

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.

Bluestone National Scenic River

Athens, Pipestem, and Hinton, WV

The Bluestone River and the rugged and ancient gorge it has carved is a richly diverse and scenic area of the southern Appalachians. Bluestone National Scenic River is preserved as a living landscape that provides an unspoiled experience for visitors and a haven for a variety of plants and animals. The park protects a 10.5-mile section of the Bluestone River in southern West Virginia.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Potomac River, DC, MD, WV; places include Shepherdstown, WV and Harper’s Ferry, WV

Preserving America’s early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today it endures as a pathway for discovering historical, natural, and recreational treasures.

Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC, DE, MD, NY, PA, VA, WV; one place is is Monroe County, West Virginia (Potts Creek and Sweet Springs)

NPS helps you learn about and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, American Indian landscapes, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake.

Coal National Heritage Area

WV; 100 Kelly Ave, Oak Hill, WV 25901

The 5300 square mile National Coal Heritage Area lies in southern West Virginia, a region shaped by the history of coal deposits found in its ancient mountains. Today, the area’s communities retain much of their original character as “company towns,” reflecting local traditions, immigrant laborers and the dominance of the coal industry.

Gauley River National Recreation Arear

Summersville, WV

The 25 miles of free-flowing Gauley River and the six miles of the Meadow River pass through scenic gorges and valleys containing a wide variety of natural and cultural features. The Gauley River contains several class V+ rapids, making it one of the most adventurous white water boating rivers in the east.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

767 Shenandoah St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

A visit to this quaint, historic community, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, is like stepping into the past. Stroll the picturesque streets, visit exhibits and museums, or hike our trails and battlefields. Spend a day or a weekend. We have something for everyone, so come and discover Harpers Ferry!

New River Gorge National River

Hinton, Beckley, Glen Jean, and Fayetteville, WV

A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. The park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.

Wheeling National Heritage Area

1400 Main St, Wheeling, WV 26003

The Wheeling National Heritage Area celebrates the city’s dramatic setting along the Ohio River, providing experiences in Victorian architecture, waterfront park development, historic city markets, renovated industrial buildings featuring retail shops, restaurants and interpretive exhibits, and West Virginia Independence Hall, the birthplace of the state of West Virginia during the Civil War.

For more information, go to Visit West Virginia.


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