There are so many wonders of nature in West Virginia it’s hard to narrow down to just these few.

1. New River Gorge

via Wikipedia/JaGa

via Wikipedia/JaGa

Not the bridge (that’s a manmade wonder), but the gorge itself. What you may not realize as you pass high over the canyon is that the New River below has worked for years to carve the deepest and longest river gorge in the Appalachian Mountains. In fact it’s believed the New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world.

2. Cranberry Glades

via Wikipedia/Forest Wander (CC 3.0)

via Wikipedia/Forest Wander (CC 3.0)

Located in Pocahontas County, it’s the largest bog in the state. A true wonder of nature, the plant life here resembles Canadian tundra—taking root before last glacial retreat over 10,000 years ago. In fact, Cranberry Glades is the southern most home for many of the plants found there.

3. Dolly Sods

20151119_dolly_sods_fall

This plateau—-the highest of its kind east of the Mississippi River–is also home to plant life not normally found this far south. The area was actually used in the 1940’s as a practice artillery during World War II. In the 90’s several live mortar shells were fond and detonated.

4. Seneca Rocks

Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County - via Wikipedia/Jarek Tuszynski (CC 3.0)

Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County – via Wikipedia/Jarek Tuszynski (CC 3.0)

This iconic West Virginia wonder in Pendleton County actually began to form 425 million years ago when an ocean covered what is now West Virginia. That’s right, the rocks here are actually seashore sediments, some of which are believed to be over 200 million years old.

5. Ice Mountain

Ice along Ice Mountain in Hampshire County - via YouTube

Ice along Ice Mountain in Hampshire County – via YouTube

Located in Hampshire County, this unique rock formation once allowed ice to be found along the mountain’s slope well into September. Today ice is only found through June, but cool air can be felt all summer.

6. Blackwater Falls

Blackwater Falls in Tucker County via Wikipedia/Tim Kiser (CC 2.5)

Blackwater Falls in Tucker County via Wikipedia/Tim Kiser (CC 2.5)

The falls are commonly believed to be the highest above-ground water falls in the state. While its unknown which European explorers were the first to discover the falls, the first account of the falls was published in 1853.

7. Spruce Knob

Spruce Knob in the winter - via Wikipedia/Wonderer84 (CC 3.0)

Spruce Knob in the winter – via Wikipedia/Wonderer84 (CC 3.0)

Spruce Knob is the highest point in the state and the highest in the Allegheny Mountains, rising to 4,863 feet above sea level. That means if you were to to stand at the height of Spruce Knob right beside the ocean, you’d be as higher up than three Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other!

MORE: The 5 Smallest Towns in West Virginia

Comments