West Virginia

West Virginia is part of the Appalachian Mountains, the eastern and south-eastern part belong to the Allegheny Mountains, a mountainous ridge with many State Parks and National Forests. Some 4,000 caves are known [2021] in the state, but the caves are often difficult to access, so only four of them are open to the public. All four show caves of West Virginia are located in the Appalachian Mountains.

The political boundary between Virginia and West Virginia cuts through a geological unit. The caves on both sides of the border share their geological structure and their history. So if you're in the area, take a look into caves on both sides! Many caves have a long history, including Indian artifacts, tales of treasure, mining of saltpeter for gunpowder and stories from the Civil War.

Beneath limestone, the state has huge reserves of coal. While coal mining is mostly abandoned, there is at least a single show mine you can visit. The National Coal Heritage Area (NCHA) encompasses 13 counties in southern West Virginia and was created to preserve, protect, and interpret lands, structures, and communities associated with the coal mining heritage of West Virginia.