West Virginia

DSC_5083West Virginia is the northernmost of the southern states. The state is entirely situated in the Appalachian Mountains, which are supposed to have been the highest peaks on earth some 400 million years ago, higher than the Himalayas today. Mountain ridges for hiking and camping, rivers for kayaking, bathing and white water rafting, caves, forests and scenic drives, West Virginia has all of them to offer.

The people are different, and coming from New York one will be definitely stroke by the lack of ethnic diversity, WV is mostly white and American. It is one of the poorer states (it has the worse economy in the country only after Mississippi), and many people live in trailer homes. Along beautiful roads that cut through green forests and steep hills, there are many small towns, and I was surprised to see how many houses were boarded, abandoned. Trailer homes are normal, run down shops and roadside stores sprinkle the scenery.

The nature here is astonishing, there are many scenic roads cutting through eye-enchanting valleys and magical forests like the Monongahela National Forest with its tall sky high hemlocks of the Cathedral State Park, foamy waterfalls, and peaks that offer an unforgetable view of the Appalachian mountains.

I visited a couple of charming towns, like Lewsiburg and Thomas, which left me with colorful fond memories. The Greenbroer Valley is home to the well known Greenbrier resort, one of America’s luxury resorts, also a national historical landmark.