In the heart of Appalachia lies West Virginia, a land with 1,000 named mountains. The "Mountain State" is almost entirely covered with rugged peaks in the Appalachian Mountain's Alleghany and Cumberland ranges. In West Virginia, when you want to find rivers to fish or splash pools in one of its many gorgeous waterfalls, you usually must drive sharp switchbacks up and down into the state's steep terrain. To be fully immersed in everything these mountains have to offer, it's well worth it.
In Pendleton County, Seneca Rocks is a craggy mountain peak accessible only by rock climbing. Seneca Rock is visible from WV Route 28, but if you want to experience the wilderness of Monogahela National Forest, you are going to have to stop at a trailhead and hike in.
Outdoor recreation in the forest is one of the state’s major attractions. Mountain biking, backpacking and horseback riding are all available to enjoy here. Mountain streams feature the perfect temperature and habitat to support native brook trout. Anglers can use fly rods and follow streams deep into West Virginia’s forests in pursuit of pools of this colorful fish. Freshwater lakes throughout the 9 million acres of national forest land gives anglers the opportunity for bass and panfish.
An exotic boggy wetland area, reminiscent of arctic tundra, exists within the Monongahela Forest as well. Cranberry Glades is the largest bog area in the state. Wild cranberries are a native North American plant and grow most often in Canada and New England. West Virginia’s wet acidic swamps are also a perfect habitat. Red spruce, hemlock and yellow birch surround the bog area and create a beautiful, colorful scene out in this wilderness.
West Virginia has a plethora of challenging big game to hunt. Wild boar, quail and squirrel entertain outdoorsmen, but the most popular game in the state is whitetail deer. Black bear and elk are also hunted throughout the "Mountain State." Over mountain ridges and down country roads into high fields and meadows, bird hunters hunt ruffed grouse, American woodcock and ring-necked pheasant. In the spring, grouse and woodcock will be low on the forest floor and in the underbrush. As the season moves on into late summer and fall, these wild birds move to locate foods and are often found roosting in trees. Either season in West Virginia produces good birds and lots of memories in wild places.
West Virginia's state slogan is "Wild and Wonderful!" If you agree that wild places are the most wonderful, then West Virginia is the state for you.