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New River Sandstone Falls in Summers County, West Virginia
Panorama of New River Sandstone Falls in Summers County, West Virginia.
Image: Gene

___ Reference Maps of West Virginia (WV)

About West Virginia

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Location map of West Virginia state USA
Where in the United States is West Virginia? Location map of West Virginia in the US.

West Virginia is one of the 50 US states. The landlocked state is situated in the central eastern US mainland.

West Virginia is bordered by Pennsylvania in north, by Virginia in east, Kentucky in south west; the Ohio River forms the border with Ohio in east. The Potomac river forms a section of the state's border with Maryland.
West Virginia consists of 55 counties.

West Virginia Topographic Regions Map Topographic Regions Map Map of West Virginia (click map to enlarge)

The territory of West Virginia was originally part of the colony, and later the state of Virginia.
West Virginia was separated from Virginia during the American Civil War (1861) and admitted to the Union as a separate state on 20th June 1863, as the 35th state.

West Virginia occupies an area of 62,755 km² (24,230 sq mi), compared it is slightly larger than half the size of Bulgaria. Compared with other US states, West Virginia is almost three times the size of New Jersey or about half the size of Mississippi, but it would fit into Texas eleven times.

West Virginia Geography

Two major physical regions dominate the Mountain State, (West Virginia's nickname): the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region in the east and the Allegheny Plateau in the center and west. Alongside both banks of the Ohio River stretches the Ohio Valley.

West Virginia's cultural regions
View of Seneca Rocks in Monongahela National Forest in eastern  West Virginia
View of Seneca Rocks, the cliff like rocks are situated at the north end of the River Knobs within the Monongahela National Forest of eastern West Virginia.
Image: Aneta Kaluzna

West Virginia's major culturally and geographically distinct regions are, from north to south:
1. Northern Panhandle, the state's northernmost extension, an industrial region (steel and glass), largest city and economic center is Wheeling.
2. Mountaineer Country (North Central West Virginia), largest city, home to West Virginia University (, and economic hub is the college-town of Morgantown.
3. Mid-Ohio Valley in the northwestern part of the state, largest city and the county seat of Wood County is Parkersburg, home to the Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival (
4. Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands, the small stretch of territory in the northeast of the state includes the Potomac Highlands, a region popular for its scenic areas like in North Fork Mountain area or the Germany Valley. The Eastern Panhandle includes both West Virginia's highest and lowest elevations: Spruce Knob at 1,482 m (4,863 ft), in Pendleton and Harpers Ferry, 73 m (240 feet) on the Potomac River. Largest city is Martinsburg, county seat of Berkeley County.
Germany Valley, West Virginia
View of the scenic Germany Valley high in the Allegheny Mountains, West Virginia.
Image: ellenm1

5. Mountain Lakes, Virginia’s heartland is a somewhat isolated region in the center of the state, promoted as: lakes, fresh air and mountains ( Main urban centers are Cowen, Summersville, Weston, Buckhannon, and Glenville.
6. Metro Valley, West Virginia's urban center which includes the state capital Charleston.
7. Hatfield-McCoy Region (aka South Western Mountains) in southwestern West Virginia expands from the valleys of the Ohio, the Big Sandy and the Tug Fork rivers south along the border of Kentucky and into the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains. Major urban centers are Wayne, Logan, and Chapmanville.
8. New River/Greenbrier Valley (aka Southern West Virginia) is a region with a coal mining heritage. Places of interest in the New River/Greenbrier Valley region are the New River Gorge, the New River Gorge Bridge, Tamarack, a large arts and crafts facility, The Greenbrier, a palatial luxury resort and the site of a massive underground bunker that was meant to serve as an emergency shelter for the United States Congress. Main urban center and regional hub is Beckley.

New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville, West Virginia
New River Gorge Bridge, the 924 m (3,030 ft) long steel arch bridge spans the New River Gorge near Fayetteville in West Virginia. The roadway of the bridge is 267 m (876 ft) above the New River.
Image: Dennis Church

Major rivers are the Gauley River, which merges with the New River to form the Kanawha River, the Greenbrier River, the Guyandotte River, the Monongahela River, and the Elk River.
All rivers in the western parts of the state are via the Ohio River eventually part of the watershed of the Mississippi River; however the rivers in the Potomac Section (or Eastern Panhandle) in the north east, are part of the Potomac River drainage basin and flow via the Potomac River into Chesapeake Bay.

Major lakes are Summersville Lake, a reservoir fed by the Gauley River, it is West Virginia's largest lake located in Nicholas County; Tygart Lake, a reservoir fed by the Tygart Valley River, a major tributary of the Monongahela River, and Bluestone Lake, a reservoir fed by the New River.

Highest point
Ironically the Mountain State's highest point is the summit of Spruce Mountain, known as Spruce Knob, at just 1,482 m (4863 ft) above sea level, with a prominence of 848 m (2,781 ft), however, it is the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains.

Natural resources
West Virginia's primary natural resources are coal, natural gas, stone, salt, oil, and mineral springs.

West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston
Rendered image of West Virginia State Capitol. The Italian Renaissance style building is located at the Kanawha River in Charleston, the state capital of West Virginia. The Capitol houses the West Virginia Legislature and the office of the Governor of West Virginia.
Image: Google

West Virginia has a population of 1.83 million people (2018 est.) [2]; capital and largest city is Charleston (pop. 49,000), Charleston's metropolitan area has a population of 222,000.

Largest metro area is Huntington (pop. 363,000).

Other major cities and towns are Morgantown, Parkersburg, Wheeling, and Weirton.
Largest airport in the state is Charleston's Yeager Airport (IATA code: CRW).

Cities and Towns in West Virginia

West Virginia Capitol at Night, in Charleston, West Virginia
West Virginia Capitol in Charleston at Night.
Image: ellenm1

The map shows the location of following cities and towns in West Virginia:

Major cities: Charleston, Morgantown, Huntington, and Wheeling.

Other cities an towns:
Beckley, Bluefield, Bridgeport, Buckhannon, Charles Town, Clarksburg, Elkins, Fairmont, Franklin, Grafton, Hinton, Keyser, Lewisburg, Logan, Madison, Marlinton, Martinsburg, Moundsville, New Martinsville, Oak Hill, Parkersburg, Petersburg, Point Pleasant, Princeton, Ripley, Romney, Spencer, St Albans, Summersville, Sutton, Thomas, Weirton, Welch, Weston, and Williamson.

The detailed map below is showing the location of U.S. state of West Virginia with boundaries, the location of the state capital Charleston, major cities and populated places, streams and lakes, interstate highways, principal highways, and railroads.

You are free to use this map for educational purposes (fair use), please refer to the Nations Online Project.

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Reference Map of West Virginia
Reference Map of West Virginia (click map to enlarge)

Map is based on a state map of The National Atlas of the USA.
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