West Virginia - Rough Guides

Charleston, West Virginia

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The people of West Virginia are only half joking when they call their state the Ireland of the US. Generally poor and almost entirely rural, it shares a similar history of exploitation by outside powers, with timber and coal-mining companies taking advantage of the rich natural resources while giving little in return. But, quite apart from the almost Third World deprivation which endures in some areas, West Virginia is also, in places at least, incredibly beautiful, and can boast the longest white-water rivers and most extensive wilderness areas in the eastern US. The extreme topography, which has historically isolated its inhabitants, now makes the state a popular destination for hikers and outdoors enthusiasts, and the moonshiners of old have been replaced by ski instructors and mountain-bike guides. The state’s most popular destination, the restored 1850s town of Harpers Ferry, is barely in West Virginia at all, standing just across the broad rivers which form its Maryland and Virginia borders. To the west, the Allegheny Mountains stretch for over 150 miles; more than a million acres of hardwood forest rival New England for brilliant autumnal color.
The Rough Guide to USA

DESCRIPTION FROM:

The Rough Guide to USA

by Samantha Cook, Tim Perry, and Greg Ward (Rough Guides)

The people of West Virginia are only half joking when they call their state the Ireland of the US. Generally poor and almost entirely rural, it shares a similar history of exploitation by outside powers, with timber and coal-mining companies taking advantage of the rich natural resources while giving little in return. But, quite apart from the almost Third World deprivation which endures in some areas, West Virginia is also, in places at least, incredibly beautiful, and can boast the longest white-water rivers and most extensive wilderness areas in the eastern US. The extreme topography, which has historically isolated its inhabitants, now makes the state a popular destination for hikers and outdoors enthusiasts, and the moonshiners of old have been replaced by ski instructors and mountain-bike guides.

The state’s most popular destination, the restored 1850s town of Harpers Ferry, is barely in West Virginia at all, standing just across the broad rivers which form its Maryland and Virginia borders. To the west, the Allegheny Mountains stretch for over 150 miles; more than a million acres of hardwood forest rival New England for brilliant autumnal color.

©  Samantha Cook, Tim Perry, and Greg Ward/Rough Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Charleston
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: All contact information for accommodations, dining, and activities is provided in the eTrail.
Driving Directions: Directions to West Virginia - Rough Guides

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Apr 2018