With peaks in every direction, West Virginia certainly lives up to the nickname "The Mountain State."
The Appalachian Mountains, waterfalls, and lush river valleys really do make West Virginia feel like "Almost Heaven." Here, nature meets American mining history—what's not to love? Whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, and skiing are just a few ways to explore the Mountain State. Speaking of exploring, start your journey at one of the state parks or recreation areas. Monongahela National Forest lies at the heart of Appalachia. Here you find hiking trails, waterfalls, and the highest point in the state (with an elevation of 4,863 feet!) Feeling stoked for adventure? Book a whitewater rafting trip through the historic New River Gorge. The famous bridge and 1,000-foot cliffs give the New River some truly epic vibes. You can also hit the water at Gauley River National Recreation Area. It's one of the best rafting spots in the eastern United States. Rock climbers can't miss the chance to visit Seneca Rocks. Towering 900 feet above the river valley, they're one of the most famous landmarks in the state. For more outdoor fun, hike through over 5,000 mountain acres at Greenbrier state forest. When night falls, don't get caught snoozing in your tent—West Virginia is one of the best places for stargazing on the East Coast. Midland Trail National Byway is another must-see. Stretching 119 miles, this natural drive is one of the country's oldest routes. You can also hike the Appalachian National Scenic Trail from the visitor center at Harpers Ferry. State park campgrounds take reservations during the summer, but during the offseason, it's usually first come, first served. Canaan Valley and Beech Fork are a few of the parks that offer year-round camping. Outside the parks, you also find plenty of RV parks and private campgrounds amid West Virginia's most beautiful landscapes. The weather is comfortable from spring through fall, but you may want to avoid camping in July and August. It's the peak of the tourist season. During the winter, find a heated cabin as a base camp for your skiing or snowboarding adventure.