Geography of West Virginia

West Virginia is one of the smallest states in the USA, covering an area of 24,231 square miles.

Geographical Facts About West Virginia

Area24,231 square miles
Land Area24,087 square miles
Water Area145 square miles
Mean Elevation460 meters
Highest PointSpruce Knob (1,427 meters)
Lowest PointHarpers Ferry (73 meters)
Geographic CenterBraxton County

General Features

West Virginia is a state located in the South Atlantic and the Appalachian region of the United States. The state is bordered on the north by Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland; on the east and south by Virginia; and on the west by Kentucky and Ohio. The geographic center of the state is located in Braxton County.

The landscape of the state can be divided in to two land divisions:

  • Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region: Extending from northeast portion of west Virginia to the eastern one-sixth of the state, is a forested area known as the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region.

    The area is composed of many forests, mountains, caves and underground streams. Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia, lies in this region.

  • Appalachian Plateau: The region lying to the west of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region, is known as the Appalachian Plateau. It covers five-sixths of West Virginia. The area comprises rugged hills.

Climate of West Virginia

West Virginia has a humid sub-tropical climate with hot and humid summers while the winters are generally mild. The highest temperature recorded in West Virginia was 44ºC, on July 10, 1935 at Martinsburg. The state recorded its lowest temperature of '38ºC, on December 30, 1917 at Lewisburg. The climate is foggy in valleys of the Kanawha section, especially the Tygart Valley. It is also one of the cloudiest states in the United States.

West Virginia has many high mountain ranges. The highest point in the state is Spruce Knob.
The other major mountains are:
  • Back Allegheny Mountain
  • Allegheny Mountain
  • Ice Mountain
  • High Knob
  • Saddle Mountain
  • Nathaniel Mountain
  • Patterson Creek Mountain
  • Wacousta Hill
  • Peters Mountain
The major rivers in the state of West Virginia are:
  • Ohio River
  • Guyandotte River
  • Greenbrier River
  • Birch River
  • Blackwater River
  • Cranberry River
  • Holly River
  • Little Bluestone River
  • Stony River
  • Williams River
The major lakes in the state of West Virginia are:
  • Beech Fork Lake
  • Tygart Lake
  • Bluestone Lake
  • Sleepy Creek Lake
  • Lake Sherwood
  • Summit Lake
  • Summersville Lake
  • Northbend Lake
  • Warden Lake

Last Updated on: August 31st, 2017