West Virginia is located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States. Ohio and Pennsylvania border it to the north, Maryland and Virginia to the east and south, and Kentucky to the west. The northern part of the state lies within the Southern Appalachian Mountains, while the southern part lies within the Allegheny Plateau.
West Virginia covers an area of 24,230 square miles, making it the 41st largest US state. Much of its terrain is characterized by rolling hills and rugged mountains crossed with valleys, including a few flat lands along rivers or near other bodies of water. The highest point in West Virginia is Spruce Knob at 4,863 feet above sea level, while its lowest point is at Potomac River at 240 feet above sea level.
The primary geographic regions in West Virginia are Allegheny Mountain Region and Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians. The Allegheny Mountain Region extends from Highland County in northwestern Virginia through Pocahontas county into southeastern West Virginia. It includes many mountainous ridges, such as Eastern Alleghenies, Cumberland Mountains, Shenandoah Valley Ridge, Greenbrier Valley Ridge, and two dozen other ridge systems.
The Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians are mostly centered around southwestern West Virginia, which borders Kentucky and Tennessee but extends up to the Eastern Panhandle region, including smaller ridges such as New River Gorge National Park. This region then transitions into flatlands around rivers creating narrow floodplains along them, such as the Cheat River canyon extending a bit further south in Kanawha Valley.
West Virginia is home to several rivers that serve as main sources of water, recreation, and transportation. The Potomac River is the longest river located entirely within the state, stretching for 221 miles. Other significant rivers include the Big Sandy, Ohio River, Cheat River, New River, and Gauley River.
The State of West Virginia is divided into 55 counties. In alphabetical order, these counties are: Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, and Wyoming.
With an area of 62,754.8 sq. km, West Virginia is the 41st largest and the 38th most populous state in the USA. Located in the south-central part of the state, at the confluence of Elk and Kanawha Rivers in the Allegheny Mountains is Charleston – the capital, the largest and the most populous city of West Virginia. It serves as an administrative, cultural, economic, and industrial center for the state.
The State of West Virginia is located in the South Atlantic Region of the United States. West Virginia is landlocked and shares its land borders with 5 states. It is bordered by Virginia in the southeast; by Kentucky in the southwest; by Ohio in the northwest; by Pennsylvania in the northeast and by Maryland in the east and northeast.
Regional Maps: Map of North America
|Legal Name||State of West Virginia|
|ISO 3166 Code||US-WV|
This page was last updated on February 2, 2023