Wild and wonderful West Virginia is known for the beautiful woodlands, waterways, and wildflowers that dominate the state's still widely rural landscapes. To help you discover what's hidden in the hills of the Mountain State we've consulted Trails.com and the West Virginia Division of Tourism to highlight five of the state's best hikes.
Greenbrier River Trail
You can hike up to 78 miles on the Greenbrier River Trail, which loops through some of most scenic and remote areas of the Seneca Creek Backcountry. This rail-to-trail conversion trek runs parallel to the free-flowing Greenbrier River and treats hikers to views of the adjacent Monongahela National Forest, Seneca State Forest, and Watoga State Park.
Known for its high country forests and vegetation, unique geology, and opportunities for viewing wildlife, West Virginia's highest peak is Spruce Knob (4,863 ft.) and there are 60 miles of trails open for hikers to explore. From the observation tower on Spruce Knob's summit hikers are treated to 360-degree panoramic views of the seemingly endless forests, ridges, and meadows that make up the surrounding Seneca Creek Backcountry.
The Allegheny Trail follows a north-south route for 330 miles from the Mason-Dixon Line at the Pennsylvania state border line to Peter's Mountain, where it meets the Appalachian Trail. West Virginia's first designated long-distance trail, the Allegheny Trail leads hikers through the mountainous Durbin and Seneca State Forests as well as Watoga State Park.
Dolly Sods Wilderness Area
Nearly 50 miles of trails are open to hikers throughout the beautiful and expansive Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, a remote high-altitude plateau in the Monongahela National Forest. These trails give hikers the opportunity to view distinctive flora and fauna throughout the mountain meadows, stunted forests, and rocky crags that make up the Dolly Sods.
North Bend Rail Trail
The 72-mile North Bend Rail Trail runs through public lands, pastures, and rural towns, and hikers can stop at many historic points of interest (like the former Stage Coach Inn at Pennsboro and the Old Stone House) along the way. This scenic hiking trail is part of the cross-country American Discovery Trail, and it crosses 36 bridges and passes through 13 tunnels as it cuts through several different landscapes on its east-west route.