State Capitol, Charleston, West Virginia – A Photo Essay

West Virginia was founded in the midst of the American Civil War, the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state. An enabling act was approved by President Abraham Lincoln admitting West Virginia to the Union, on the condition that a provision for the gradual abolition of slavery be inserted in its constitution. President Lincoln issued a proclamation...

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Get outdoors with a hike in North Central West Virginia

North Central West Virginia is known for world-class hiking for every skill level. There are a number of picturesque trails winding through forest, across ridge lines or to peaks with stunning views of the surrounding hills. Rail trail systems exist in many West Virginia counties, including Harrison and Marion. At Prickett’s Fort State Park, the rail trail goes through...

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Parts of national forest closed for Mountain Valley Pipeline construction

The U.S. Forest Service says it is closing parts of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia and West Virginia as construction begins on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The department issued an emergency closure order affecting land in Giles County and Montgomery County in Virginia, and Monroe County in West Virginia. According to a release from the...

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Arizona elk headed to West Virginia

Dozens of Arizona elk will soon roam southern West Virginia’s reclaimed coal fields, bugling a call of the wild not heard in the Mountain State since the Civil War. The Arizona Game and Fish Commission last year voted to send 60 elk to help the effort. In late January a team of wildlife managers and volunteers captured and quarantined the animals at a state wildlife...

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West Virginia Counties Plan Network of New Trails

An almost forgotten railroad could become a big part of a new trail for hikers, bicycle enthusiasts, and horseback riders that are interested in exploring the mountains and forests of Mercer and Summers counties in West Virginia. Mercer County and neighboring Summers County are working on plans to develop hiking trails and water trails. The hope is that an old railroad...

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Mountain Valley Pipeline: An Unnecessary Threat to the Appalachian Trail

The Mountain Valley Pipeline, spearheaded by EQT Corporation, is proposed to carry fracked natural gas for over 300 miles through the Virginia and West Virginia countryside, crossing over dozens of water sources, through protected areas and breaching the A.T. corridor. The pipeline will run parallel to the Appalachian Trail for over 90 miles and carve ugly gashes in the...

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48 Hours in Tucker County, West Virginia

In the northeast corner of West Virginia nestled between mountains, lakes, and rivers lies the tiny, quaint county of Tucker. Though the county has a small population of under 5,000, the large sense of community has helped create one of the most beautiful, booming outdoor areas in the United States. Winters filled with an abundance of snow have created a serene mountain...

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How hiking with my autistic son reminded me of the best of WV

By Scott Finn It started out of desperation. Winter is a hard time for my son, Max. He has autism, which means he hates any break in routine — and winter has a knack for screwing up schedules. And not unlike most 10-year-old boys, Max is a tightly-wound ball of kinetic energy. He literally bounces off the walls during the winter. Sometimes, we get in the car and drive...

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Welcome to West Virginia: The Birthplace of Rivers

One-thousand feet deep, Blackwater Canyon, in the heart of West Virginia includes public, state and private land. The canyon is home to the cheat mountain salamander and the West Virginia flying squirrel. Outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs follow the historic railroad grade through the canyon from Thomas to the Limerock trail, seven miles away and beyond. A lush...

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Scientists Just Pinpointed Another Example Of Fracking’s Environmental Impact

A dumping site for fracking fluids long suspected to be leaching into Wolf Creek, a West Virginia waterway with ties to a county’s water supply, has indeed contaminated the creek with multiple chemicals, a new U.S. Geological Survey study has found. The “study demonstrates definitively that the stream is being impacted by [unconventional oil and gas extraction]...

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Honor 100 years of National Park Service with WV hiking challenge

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service by hiking 100 miles or more on trails in the New River Gorge National River and Bluestone National Scenic River in 2016. The 100 Mile Challenge is the first of many local events during 2016 to celebrate this landmark anniversary, according to the National Park Service. All challenge participants that hike 100...

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History, beauty, and hiking in Harpers Ferry

Built at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry, WV has become America’s chronicler of centuries of confluences: of a coastal collection of states and a people striking out across a continent, of freedom and shackles, of North and South. The town, of course, was seared into our nation’s consciousness by the failed slave insurrection here in...

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West Virginia Power Company Admits Coal Is Doomed

In front of a roomful of energy executives, the president of Appalachian Power declared that the war on coal was over, and coal had not emerged victorious. This is in West Virginia, a state where coal mining is the largest industry and employer. Charles Patton, president of Appalachian Power, told energy executives that coal consumption is likely to remain stagnant...

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Wildflower Weekend Coming To New River Gorge National River In West Virginia

If, after the long, snowy and cold winter, you’re ready for some colorful spring wildflowers, consider heading to New River Gorge National River in West Virginia this weekend, April 24-26, 2015, for the 12th Annual New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend. This three-day event showcases the biologically diverse southern Appalachian forest at New River Gorge National...

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WV walking, hiking trails ready for spring traffic

The first rays of sunshine have burst through the clouds to melt the snow, and people and animals are emerging from a sleepy winter. While many walking and hiking trails carved through northern West Virginia are well known, such as the Panhandle Trail, Montour Trail and Mingo Creek County Park trails, others are hidden treasures. Enlow Fork is tucked away in Greene...

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New Analysis Shows West Virginia’s Chemical Spill Traveled Into Kentucky

The chemical that contaminated West Virginia’s drinking water supply last year traveled father and lingered longer than had been previously recorded, according to a new study by U.S. Geological Survey researchers. Published online in the journal Chemosphere, the peer-reviewed research shows that the chemical — 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol, also known as crude MCHM — was...

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On The Anniversary Of The Elk River Chemical Spill, West Virginians Tell Their Stories

January 9, 2015 marks the anniversary of the West Virginia chemical spill in the Elk River, in which thousands of gallons of a toxic chemical used to process coal spilled upstream from a water treatment plant serving the state capital, Charleston, and surrounding areas. Around 300,000 West Virginia residents were left without potable water as officials scrambled to purge...

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Allegheny Trail started in a parking lot

The idea behind the creation of West Virginia’s longest footpath – the 330-mile-long Allegheny Trail – can be traced to a late-night conversation in a Charleston parking lot. “Sometime in about 1972, I was attending an Izaak Walton League meeting in Charleston, where I was living at the time, when I met Bob Tabor, who had recently moved here from...

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Group works to create national monument in Monongahela forest

Several organizations are working to establish a national monument in the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia aimed at preserving about 123,000 acres. The proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument in and around the Cranberry Wilderness would include the headwaters of the Cranberry, Williams, Cherry, Greenbrier, Gauley and Elk rivers. Groups working on the...

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