With more than 226,500 acres of state parks, forests, and recreation areas, and more than a million acres of federal lands, West Virginia offers a quick escape from the urban centers of Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC. Historic towns, ski resorts, caverns, and unparalleled natural scenery draw visitors to the Mountain State. The Monongahela National Forest, popular with hikers, anglers, hunters, and rock climbers, covers more than 900,000 acres along the eastern border.
Dominated by the craggy peaks of the Allegheny Mountains, part of the Appalachian chain, West Virginia has a varied landscape: The gentle hills of the eastern Panhandle give way to the rugged mountains of the Potomac Highlands and Mountaineer Country, which then slope into the lush Greenbrier and New River valleys and the scenic Mountain Lakes region. Moving west toward the Ohio River, the rolling terrain fades into the populous swath of the Metro and Mid-Ohio valleys and the northern Panhandle.