West Virginia Parks
National Scenic Trail
Maine to Georgia, CT,GA,MA,MD,ME,NC,NH,NJ,NY,PA,TN,VA,VT,WV
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,185 mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
National Scenic River
Athens, Pipestem, and Hinton, WV
The Bluestone River and the rugged and ancient gorge it has carved is a richly diverse and scenic area of the southern Appalachians. Bluestone National Scenic River is preserved as a living landscape that provides an unspoiled experience for visitors and a haven for a variety of plants and animals. The park protects a 10.5-mile section of the Bluestone River in southern West Virginia.
National Historical Park
Potomac River, DC,MD,WV
Preserving America's early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today it endures as a pathway for discovering historical, natural and recreational treasures!
Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC,MD,NY,PA,VA,WV
NPS helps you learn about and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake. Download the Chesapeake Explorer mobile app and have it at your fingertips.
The Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network connects you with the natural and cultural heritage of the Chesapeake Bay watershed through more than 170 exceptional parks, wildlife refuges, museums, sailing ships, historic communities, trails and more. Gateways Network partner sites and water trails are the special places where you can experience the authentic Chesapeake.
National Heritage Area
The 5300 square mile National Coal Heritage Area lies in southern West Virginia, a region shaped by the history of coal deposits found in its ancient mountains. Today, the area’s communities retain much of their original character as “company towns,” reflecting local traditions, immigrant laborers and the dominance of the coal industry.
National Recreation Area
The 25 miles of free-flowing Gauley River and the six miles of the Meadow River pass through scenic gorges and valleys containing a wide variety of natural and cultural features. The Gauley River contains several class V+ rapids, making it one of the most adventurous white water boating rivers in the east.
National Historical Park
Harpers Ferry, WV,VA,MD
A visit to this quaint, historic community, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, is like stepping into the past. Stroll the picturesque streets, visit exhibits and museums, or hike our trails and battlefields. Spend a day or a weekend. We have something for everyone, so come and discover Harpers Ferry!
Hinton, Beckley, Glen Jean, and Fayetteville, WV
A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. The park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
National Heritage Area
The Wheeling National Heritage Area celebrates the city’s dramatic setting along the Ohio River, providing experiences in Victorian architecture, waterfront park development, historic city markets, renovated industrial buildings featuring retail shops, restaurants and interpretive exhibits, and West Virginia Independence Hall, the birthplace of the state of West Virginia during the Civil War.
By The Numbers
- 6 national parks
- 1,541,805 visitors to national parks
- $65,800,000 economic benefit from national park tourism »
- 1,029 National Register of Historic Places listings »
- $175,104,830 of rehabilitation projects stimulated by tax incentives (since 1995) »
- 289,179 hours donated by volunteers »
- 3 National Heritage Areas »
- 15 National Natural Landmarks »
- 16 National Historic Landmarks »
- $45,846,337 in Land & Water Conservation Fund grants (since 1965) »
- 531 acres transferred by Federal Lands to Parks for local parks and recreation (since 1948) »
- $26,802,934 in historic preservation grants (since 1969) »
- 73 community conservation and recreation projects (since 1987) »
- 509 places recorded by heritage documentation programs »
- 6,562,183 objects in national park museum collections »
- 9 threatened and endangered species in national parks »
- 383 archeological sites in national parks »
- 53 Certified Local Governments »
- 2 Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans »
- 4 Discover Our Shared Heritage travel itineraries »
- Download the summary »
These numbers are just a sample of the National Park Service's work. Figures are for the fiscal year that ended 9/30/14.