the New River Gorge Bridge

Most of the scenic places you’ll want to see in West Virginia are in the southern and eastern portions of the state, where ridges of the Appalachian Mountains rise from the Allegheny Plateau and river systems flow to feed both the Ohio in the northwest and the Potomac in the northeast.

This entire portion of the state is lovely, and even driving down the interstate will lead to beautiful mountain vistas. However, there are a few especially beautiful places in West Virginia that are worth going out of your way to see.

New River Gorge National River is a rough name, but an incredible place to see. Located less than two hours southeast of Charleston, it is also easy to get to. The National River, run by the National Parks System, stretches over 53 miles of the New River, itself one of the geologically oldest rivers in North America – the river turns into the Kanawha River as it continues to flow through West Virginia and into the Ohio. All of the gorge is beautiful, steep tree-covered mountains rising up from a slow-moving river. However, the best place to really see it is where US Highway 19 crosses via the New River Gorge Bridge, itself an engineering wonder and one of the most photographed spots in the state.

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