12 Exciting Adventures in West Virginia: Wondrous and Worth a Visit - Atlas Obscura Lists

12 Exciting Adventures in West Virginia: Wondrous and Worth a Visit

Stay in a fire tower with breathtaking views, tour a top-secret nuclear bunker, and explore captivating worlds below ground—here are 12 marvels of the Mountain State.

The appeal of West Virginia extends far beyond its storied country roads, top-notch ski resorts, and pristine wilderness. To really get acquainted with the Mountain State, you have to scratch below the surface, squeeze between its nooks and crannies, and soar to invigorating heights. 

The lush woodlands of Seneca State Forest deliver sweeping panoramas by day and unobstructed dark skies by night, atop the only fire tower vacation rental east of the Mississippi. Hop aboard a steam-powered train to climb one of the highest peaks in the state, or, in the Mountain Lakes, tackle all 122 steps to experience views from the top of the state’s only functioning lighthouse. Along the Appalachian Trail, you can even climb a stunning shale formation that once inspired Thomas Jefferson.

A historic via ferrata, or “iron path,” in the Monongahela National Forest, offers experienced climbers—and even non-climbers—routes to gain new perspectives from over two football fields high, and a raptor observatory delivers incredible views hawks, eagles, and the Allegheny Mountains.

Deep below a luxury resort, a secret government nuclear bunker—complete with blast doors, a decontamination shower, and Congressional conference spaces—is a study in the zeitgeist of the Cold War era. And hundreds of feet below Lewisburg, you can explore an otherworldly cave that shares a magical mile of interconnected passages, a “disappearing” stream, and a 28-foot-tall stalagmite.

Whether climbing to great heights or descending to the depths below—and much more in between—wonder awaits in West Virginia.

Sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Tourism. Learn more and plan your trip at wvtourism.com