CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Happy West Virginia Day! The Mountain State is a whopping 159 years old!
The June 20th holiday is about appreciating all things West Virginia, especially the Mountain State’s natural beauty. Thanks to the West Virginia Department of Tourism, residents and visitors can enjoy the state’s scenic views at one of the nine new, “larger-than-life” Almost Heaven swings.
There is one swing in each of the nine state tourism regions.
The Department of Tourism collaborated with students at Nicholas County Career and Technical Center to build the nine supersized and handcrafted wooden swings. Students from the Mountaineer Challenge Academy helped install the swings.
“The Nicholas County students did an amazing job with this project – we couldn’t have imagined a more perfect backdrop to add to these scenic spots,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “So much hard work and skill went into each one, and we are excited to share them with the world, starting today.”
The locations of the nine swings are listed below.
1. Eastern Panhandle: Cacapon Resort State Park
How to get there: Drive or hike to the Cacapon Mountain Overlook. The swing is beside the observation deck just steps away from the parking area.
Features: Scenic views of mountains “as far as the eye can see.”
2. Hatfield-McCoy Mountains: Buffalo Mountain Trail — Death Rock
How to get there: Take the Buffalo Mountain Trail System to get to the Death Rock Overlook.
Features: “One of the best views the region has to offer” looking out over the mountain town of Williamson.
3. Metro Valley: Charleston
How to get there: Walk to the University of Charleston lawn and turn left toward the boathouse. The swing is adjacent to a fire pit and directly across from the State Capitol.
Features: Direct views of the State Capitol and Kanawha River PLUS a special pawprint from Babydog!
4. Mid-Ohio Valley: Fort Boreman Scenic Overlook
How to get there: Visit Fort Boreman Historical Park and follow park signs to the Ohio River Overlook near the picnic shelters and playground.
Features: A bird’s-eye view of the scenic Mid-Ohio Valley formed by the confluence of the Little Kanawha and Ohio rivers at Parkersburg.
5. Mountain Lakes: Stonewall Resort State Park
How to get there: Once on the resort property, continue on State Park Road. Pass the lodge on the right, continue to Lightburn’s Restaurant at The Palmer Course, and go behind the clubhouse.
Features: A sweeping backdrop of the lake and mountains.
6. Mountaineer Country: Coopers Rock State Forest
How to get there: Start at the parking lot closest to the main overlook and gift shop. Walk on the cobblestone path farthest to the left. Pass the pavilion, and the swing will be to the left.
Features: A lush forest backdrop.
7. New River-Greenbrier Valley: Babcock State Park
How to get there: This swing is near the park office in front of Glade Creek Grist Mill.
Features: A perfect position in front of Glade Creek Grist Mill, one of the state’s most photographed spots.
8. Northern Panhandle: Wheeling Heritage Port
How to get there: Visit Wheeling Heritage Port, and the swing is located on a grassy patch just off the walkway to the river.
Features: Views overlooking the iconic Wheeling Suspension Bridge and the Ohio River.
9. Potomac Highlands: Blackwater Falls State Park
How to get there: Take the trail to the main overlook. The swing is located just off the trail.
Features: A backdrop of the spectacular waterfalls in the distance.
The Department of Tourism designated the swing locations based on the nine most scenic and Instagramable spots in West Virginia. The swing sites were strategically positioned using data from over 100,000 social media posts.
Gov. Jim Justice and the Department of Tourism invite people to show their love for West Virginia by posting social media photos of their favorite places around the state, including the swing sites. Gov. Justice’s office reports that tens of thousands of posts have already reached tens of millions of people around the world, showcasing West Virginia’s unmatched beauty.
“The research shows just how important this is – now, more than ever, people are planning their vacations based on what they see on social media,” Gov. Justice said. “Help us show the world just how great it is here in Almost Heaven, West Virginia!”
For more information about West Virginia tourism, visit the Department of Tourism’s website.