West Virginia - Rough Guides Professional Review and Guide
"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now makes the state a popular destination for hikers and outdoors enthusiasts, and the moonshiners of old have been replaced by ski instructors and mountain-bike guides.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."