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West Virginia National Parks

by Aakash singh

West Virginia National Parks is known for its rugged mountains and wide range of outdoor recreations including biking, hiking, and cross country skiing. Besides, there are 37 state parks. Let’s check out the West Virginia national parks more closely.

West Virginia National Parks


How Many National Parks are in West Virginia?

The state has 6 national parks including Harpers Ferry, Gauley River, Bluestone, and others.

West Virginia National Parks

S. No Name Area Established Location
1 Harpers Ferry National Historical Park 3,660.73 acres (1,481.44 ha) Jun 30, 1944 Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia
2 Gauley River National Recreation Area 11,507 acres (4,657 ha) Oct 26, 1988 Summersville Dam outlet

National Parks in West Virginia


  1. New River Gorge National Park And Preserve (Hinton, Beckley, Glen Jean, and Fayetteville, WV)

    The New River is a rugged, whitewater river that flows northward through deep canyons. It is one of the oldest rivers on the continent. The New River Gorge National Park And Preserve are spread across a total area of more than 70,000 acres of land. It offers you splendid scenic beauty as well as recreational opportunities.

    New River Gorge National Park And Preserve is 53 miles long and is rich in cultural and natural history. Explore the narrow and winding roads. You can get the park map at any visitor center.

    Canyon Rim Visitor Center remains open round the year and you can visit it anytime. Sandstone Visitor Center remains open continuously during summer, spring, and fall. In winter the center remains open intermittently. Grandview and Thurmond visitor centers are seasonal in nature. It opens on Memorial Day and continues till Labor Day.

    You can get a wide variety of food, lodging, and full-service campgrounds in the gateway communities surrounding the park such as Beckley, Fayetteville, and Hinton. Within the park, you can avail of primitive camping facilities without charge, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

    On mountains, the weather often remains cooler and wetter than in the surrounding area. July is the warmest month as well as the month with maximum average precipitation. On average, the warmest month is July. The maximum average precipitation also occurs in July.

    The physical address of New River Gorge National Park And Preserve is 104 Main Street, Glen Jean, WV 25846. While traveling from Beckley to the Glen Jean exit, you can take Route 19 North to reach Park Headquarters. Once you exit Route 19, make a left turn followed by a right turn at the next intersection to reach the headquarters. If you are using GPS to reach the destination, use the headquarter coordinates 81.15587W, 37.92775N.

    The weather remains unpredictable in the Appalachian Mountains. It can change quickly. The possibility of sudden storms remains always. So, be prepared for storms when you visit New River Gorge National Park And Preserve.

    Public WiFi facility is available at Canyon Rim and Sandstone Visitor Centers.

  2. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (Harpers Ferry, WV, VA, MD)

    Step into the past by visiting the quaint, historic community at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. It is located on the Potomac River and Shenandoah River. Stroll through the streets to view the picturesque surrounding. Hile the trails and battlefields of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to look into those bygone years. Visit the museums to take a sneak peek at the exhibits. Discover Harpers Ferry by spending a day or a weekend.

    Harpers Ferry National Historical Park’s physical address is 171 Shoreline Drive, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425. Its visitor center is situated along US Route 340 in West Virginia. The entrance of the park is situated 8 miles (13 km) east of Charles Town (West Virginia) and 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Frederick (Maryland).

    You can experience all four seasons at Harpers Ferry. During winter, it remains cold accompanied by snowfall. It rains a lot in springtime, making it the perfect time for flowers to bloom. While the summer remains bright but humid, you can feel the chill during fall.

    The coverage of cellular facilities varies from one provider to another. To verify coverage, check with your service provider.

  3. Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (Potomac River, DC, MD, WV)

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park preserves the early transportation history of America. It started as a coveted dream for the passage of Western wealth. C&O Canal has been operating as a lifeline for communities living along the Potomac River. This is because agricultural products, lumber, and coal are being floated down the waterway to market.

    Currently, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park acts as a doorway to discover historical, natural, and recreational treasures. This historical park’s physical address is 410 Severn Avenue, Suite 314, Annapolis, MD 21403. Its headquarters is situated in Annapolis MD and remains open from Monday to Friday (9 am to 4 pm), except for major holidays. The Chesapeake Bay remains open round the clock, 365 days a year.

    The climate of this place is characterized by a warm humid temperate climate. The summers are hot and there are no dry seasons. The usual temperature varies from 29 °F (-1.7 °C) to 86 °F (30 °C).

    The temperature reaches extremes rarely. It rarely dips below 19 °F (-7.2 °C) or goes above 91 °F (32.8 °C). The warm season starts on May 30 and continues until September 18. During this time, the average daily high temperature remains above 77 °F (25 °C). The cold season starts on November 29 and continues till March 4. The average daily high temperature remains below 50 °F (10 °C).

    The headquarters of Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park is located in Annapolis MD. Except for major holidays, it remains open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm.

Best National Scenic Trail


  1. Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Maine to Georgia, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV)

    Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a public footpath that is more than 2,180 miles (3,508 km) long. It traverses through the lands of the Appalachian Mountains. This trail through the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands was first conceived in 1921 and completed in 1937. Though it was built by private citizens, it is now managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, many other state agencies, and numerous volunteers.

    Just 28 miles of this trail passes through West Virginia and its elevation varies within 265 feet (81 m) and 1,200 feet (366 m). The Appalachian National Scenic Trail passing through West Virginia mainly consists of historic Harpers Ferry, the Brown’s Raid site, and notable Civil War battles. Within Harpers Ferry national historical park, there is no camping site available. However, you’ll find commercial campgrounds nearby.

  2. Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail (Sixteen States: IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MO, MT, NE, ND, OH, OR, PA, SD, WA, WV)

    Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail is around 4,900 miles (7,886 km) long. It begins in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) and continues till the Columbia River’s mouth near Oregon’s Astoria. You can explore its historic outbound/inbound routes and the preparatory section from Pittsburgh to Illinois’ Wood River.

Best National Scenic River, Bay, and Recreation Area


  1. Bluestone National Scenic River (Athens, Pipestem, and Hinton, WV)

    Bluestone National Scenic River consists of both the Bluestone River and the ancient gorge it has carved. This diverse and scenic area is located in the southern Appalachians. This living landscape provides you an unspoiled experience and works as a thriving haven for a wide range of flora and fauna. In southern West Virginia, this national park protects a 10.5-miles (16.9 km) section of the river. It is situated around 70 miles (112.7 km) southeast of Charleston.

    Bluestone National Scenic River has got its name from the bluish limestone of the streambed. This park can be accessed through Bluestone State Park and Pipestem Resort State Park.

  2. Chesapeake Bay (Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC, DE, MD, NY, PA, VA, WV)

    The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America where you can both learn and enjoy. Explore the American Indian landscapes, colonial towns, major league cities, farms, and fishing villages. Take a tour to the lighthouse, go fishing, pick crabs, ride the kayaks, and slurp oysters. Enjoy Chesapeake’s natural beauty.

  3. Gauley River National Recreation Area (Summersville, WV)

    Gauley River is a free-flowing river that is 25 miles (40 km) long. Consisting of a wide array of natural and cultural features, the Meadow River passes through scenic gorges and valleys. Many class V+ rapids are there in the Gauley River. It makes this river one of the most adventurous white water boating rivers in the east.

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