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West Virginia - Mountain Mama, these two terms are inevitably linked. These lines hallmark John Denver's song “Take Me Home Country Roads” (released in 1971). That is the most iconic country music piece of the 20th century, even officially chosen as such.

There you are!:

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, growin' like a breeze
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country roads

Practicals

Public safety

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West Virginia - Ritchie County - a trooper - j.k. photo

West Virginia - Point Pleasant - Mothman Statue - This red-eyed chrome beast pays homage to the popular modern myth of West Virginia's insectoid monster - j.k. photo

Health

Among all US states, West Virginia has the highest number of drug overdose deaths per population (42 per 100,000 people).

Background

Destination in brief

Neighbors: Ohio and Pennsylvania (north), Maryland (northeast), Virginia (east and south), Kentucky (southwest)

Size: 62,259 km²  (24,231 sq mi)

Population (in 2020): 1.8 million - 93% White, 4% Black or African American, 1% Asian

Capital city: Charleston

Geography

West Virginia is more mountainous than Virginia.

History

In 1863, West Virginia split from Virginia during the U. S. Civil war and was quickly and probably illegally admitted as a state by Congress. The state of Virginia had seceded from the Union, so had no voice in the matter. Lincoln saw this as a way to gain support for the Union and weaken the Confederacy. It worked. After the war, Congress had no desire to restore the land to Virginia.

Attractions

Charleston

The Greenbrier Resort

 Palace of Gold in Moundsville

Huntington

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

West Virginia - Harpers Ferry - b.a. photo

Shepherdstown, or Little Germany

West Virginia - Shepherdstown - b.a. photo

West Virginia - Shepherdstown - b.a. photo

New River Gorge National River

Seneca Rocks and Monongahela National Forest

Blackwater Falls State Park

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