Wilderness Makes West Virginia Wonderful


Scene from West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest Wilderness. Image credit:Wilderness Society

West Virginia is more than deserving of its state slogan: "Wild and Wonderful." It boasts Ancient mountains, untamed rivers, caves, culture, and much more.

What's bizarre to me, however, is that the West Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association believes that its members who cater to tourists should support none other than coal mining -- even when that involves blowing off the tops of those ancient mountains. The association wrote a letter to its members asking them to join a group that promotes the coal industry. That must've had some river guides and bed and breakfast owners scratching their heads. To support those whose livelihoods show off the beauty of their great state, we started a group on our Climate Crossroads website called "West Virginia -- Wild and Wonderful," where we list ten great reasons to visit. Check out our list, then click on through to the group and show West Virginia some love by adding a comment on why you love this great Appalachian state.

1. Great skiing and hiking trails.
2. Its Mother Forest is the oldest and most biologically diverse temperate-zone hardwood forest in the world.

3. Wildlife. Venture into the forest and you might glimpse wood thrush, wild turkeys, beavers, black bears, otter, foxes, bats, bullfrogs, and salamanders.
4. World renowned whitewater rafting on the New, Gauley, and Cheat Rivers.
5. Flyfishing for brook trout on secluded mountain streams.
6. The Charleston metro area, a hub of art, culture, family attractions, and historic sites.
7. American ginseng. Really!
8. Yummy local treats for every season. Wild mountain blueberries in the summer, buckwheat cakes in the fall, and maple sugar in the winter and spring.
9. Spelunking at Lost World Caverns, home of the largest stalactites in the U.S.
10. A million acres of wild national forest lands and state parks to explore.

Love West Virginia? Click here and tell us why.