West Virginia – Mountain State

Facts about West Virginia

State: West Virginia
Abbreviation: WV
Capital: Charleston
State Since: June 20, 1863
Area Codes: 304
Bird: Cardinal
Flower: Rhododendron
Largest City: Charleston
Motto: Montani semper liberi
Mountaineers are always free
Nickname: Mountain State
Population: 1,808,344
Song: West Virginia My Home
Tree: Sugar Maple
Time Zone: -5

Adjacent States:

  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • Kentucky

West Virginia Travel Information

West Virginia is one of the states of the United States. The standard abbreviation for the “Mountain State”, as it is nicknamed, is WV. The capital is Charleston. Get inspired for your next trip across America with our West Virginia tips and travel information. For fun ideas from the locals, check out Ask a Local!


The area now called West Virginia was originally settled by Native American tribes. Until the American Civil War, it belonged to the state of Virginia, although there was already disagreement between the government and the planters in the region. When Virginia seceded from the Union, the western counties in turn seceded from Virginia. This happened on April 27, 1861. On December 31, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed a law allowing West Virginia to form an independent state. On June 20, 1863, it formally became the 35th state of the United States.


The state of West Virginia covers 62,809 km², of which 62,436 km² is land. It is in the Eastern time zone. The state is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north , Ohio and Kentucky to the west, Maryland to the east, and Virginia to the south. The main river is the Ohio, which forms the border with the state of the same name. The state is partly located in the Appalachians, with the top of Spruce Knob (1482 m) being the highest point.

Demography and economy

In 2000, West Virginia had 1,808,344 inhabitants (29 per km²). The largest cities are capital Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling. See how many cities are in West Virginia. The gross product of the state in 2001 was $42 billion.


The executive branch of the state is headed by a governor, who is directly elected by the voters in the state. Since January 2017, Jim Justice has been the governor of the state of West Virginia. Justice was a member of the Democratic Party at the time of his election, but switched to the Republicans in August 2017.

Until the late 20th century, West Virginia was dominated by the Democratic Party because of the large number of workers in the mining industry. However, as a result of the industry’s demise, its influence in the state has dwindled in recent years, and today West Virginia is one of the most Republican states in the country. In the 2016 US presidential election, Donald Trump won West Virginia with more than 68% of the vote from Hillary Clinton.

The legislature is made up of the West Virginia House of Representatives (West Virginia House of Delegates) with 100 members and the West Virginia Senate (West Virginia Senate) with 34 members.

Seneca Rocks

Seneca Rocks is located in Monogahela National Forest and is extremely popular among climbers. The stunning rock formations rise nearly 275 meters above the North Fork River. Seneca Rocks and the nearby Champe Rocks are the most impressive of these formations. Those who prefer not to climb can follow the trail, which starts at the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, up. From here you have an amazing view over the picturesque valley.

New River Gorge

The New River Gorge National River is a rugged river that flows from North Carolina, Virginia to West Virginia. The river is surrounded by beautiful colorful forests and mountains. You can also go hiking, rafting, mountain biking and climbing here. You can also take the 12-kilometer Fayette Station Road, which takes you over a narrow bridge to the other side of the river and offers amazing views along the way.